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La Loma Center: Green Education, Environmental Resources, and Job Training
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Our project will benefit Los Angeles in numerous ways as was discussed above. Specifically, we will have a major impact on the creation natural parks, beautiful gardens, and public spaces to organize community. LA has a shortage of green spaces, we solve that problem. We will empower the community with information and work, hosting regular classes, community workshops, and job training on a variety of relevant sustainability issues. Specific subjects include Arboriculture, Aquaculture, Beekeeping, Soil, Water, Seeds, School Composting, Compost Tea, Vermiculture, Xeriscape, Drip Irrigation, Dry-Stacked Broken Concrete Terracing, Masonry, Carpentry, Metalwork, Edible Gardening, Food Preservation (solar dehydration, canning), Fruit Tree Pruning, Green Roofs, Greywater, Living Walls, Natural Building (cobb, adobe), Natural Pools, Permaculture, Rainwater Harvesting, Urban Agriculture, Rocket Stoves/Ovens, Solar Power, Conservation Remodeling, and so much more. Our facilities will provide a perfect location for school field trips, afterschool programs, regular farmers’ market, as well as special events. We will become the place to go for cutting edge information and resources to improve our environmental health and urban sustainability. Designers and contractors will depend on us for the dissemination of ideas and supplies, hopefully inspiring the replication of the model. DIY people will be empowered by our offerings, and commercial and institutional clients will turn to us for leadership in creating jobs and getting their environmental projects completed with beauty and integrity. Los Angeles currently does not have a place like this in the entire county, there are many pieces to the puzzle, and we are putting them together to help accelerate our economic and environmental recovery.

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START SEEING UGLY!  A social app to reveal and transform blighted parts of Los Angeles
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The Ugly App is a tool for an ongoing program to benefit LA impacting the way the City solves problems. First, a step beyond the Neighborhood Council system, it will provide involvement of all interested citizens--even those not currently empowered to initiate change in their communities. By inviting L.A.’s citizens to assist in mapping epidemic, interstitial or “left over” sites that are eroding the fabric of the City, the START SEEING UGLY! campaign will challenge Angelenos to engage in finding solutions. It is expected that many participating citizens will be making their first step into community involvement and a sense of ownership in their neighborhood’s surroundings. If they later engage in community meetings to advocate for site remediation and/or to participate in developing public art for public awareness, an informed and engaged citizenry is in the making for Los Angeles. One significant impact could be the engagement of at-risk youth, in activity that guides them away from destructive acts and empowers them to be creative activists and stewards of their environment. This project will allow people who may have a history of disenfranchisement to engage with those that have the power to make change. By giving people a voice that is acknowledged and part of a larger effort to transform sites they helped select, trust will develop and encourage further volunteerism and stewardship Second, the resulting open source database and mapping system will be available to everyone as well as to Los Angeles organizations and agencies in both the public and private sectors, from community farmers to artists to urban planners and financial investors, to be used in the development of intervention strategies for L.A. communities. <br> Finally, START SEEING UGLY!, by design, systematically identifies parcels that denigrate the environmental, social, and economic health of L.A. neighborhoods and provides the model process that can transform them through positive social and environmental change. After generating interest and support in the transformation of “ugly” sites, M&A will work with Council Districts, the Council for Watershed Health and organizations already connected to communities where identified sites are located to embed each place with significance. In partnership with local stakeholders and citizens, landmark works of public art that inspire residents to take pride in their neighborhoods and become creatively engaged in their surroundings will be created and installed. It is expected that this effort will lead to widespread community pride, less graffiti, more vibrant places to walk and play, more activity in common areas of the neighborhood, and, thus, greater public safety. <br> This project will also leave behind a methodology and tool for collaborative investment by all stakeholders, especially underserved citizens, in improving the social and physical infrastructures of Los Angeles.

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Peace to Prosperity
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Our CIS GAMES FOR PEACE project would benefit Los Angeles in a number of ways. Specifically, our CIS GAMES FOR PEACE participants come from communities with some of the lowest income and high crime areas in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. They face a relentless assault of negative influences that often result in drug abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, poor academic performance, even death. By participating in CIS GAMES FOR PEACE, youth and young adults will develop the skills, abilities, relationships and associations necessary to foster self-esteem, persistence, perseverance and positive attitudes to overcome negative influences. Next, the project follows evidence-based models already proven to be effective. Two significant studies, Yin (1986) and Spergel (1989) evaluated strategies typically used to deal with gangs and delinquency. Both studies found that the most effective were: • Community Organization- comprehensive interagency cooperation and community cohesion among grass roots organizations, law enforcement agencies along with job development • Providing Alternative Opportunities-other activities such as sports, recreation, youth service, job training and placement CIS services and our Wrap-around service delivery strategy are in line with the “Spergel Model” and incorporate all elements of the model. Our special connection with youth and sports has been long, consistent and one of the most highly successful elements of the public safety methodology. The 252 baseball, softball, football, basketball and soccer games and tournaments that CIS has conducted have been highly effective tools in enhancing communication, reducing violence and improving the quality of life for all members of the community. The LA Times February 20, 1994 praised the football game that marked the 110th day of the Valley Unity Peace Treaty. Since then, scores of newspaper articles have documented the importance of these sporting events in helping youth avoid gangs and violence. In 2004, CIS hosted the first ever softball game between LA County Probation Gang Unit Officers and former/current gang members to enhance communication and improve relationships. In August 2005, CIS in partnership with the LAPD, hosted the 5th Annual LAPD Celebrity Swing-A-Thon. The most significant and fundamental benefit to LA is that youth and individuals formally considered as “throw-away” are re-energized with hope and can contribute positively to our society. These are individuals that others have “given up on” and who have been called the “lepers” of society. They are gang-involved or gang oriented youth and young adults who, despite their past behaviors, have demonstrated a sincere willingness to turn their lives around and become productive members of society. LA or any city and community can benefit when souls, spirits and minds are uplifted and redirected toward positive action.

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Dancescape Ed
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My project will benefit Los Angeles through: 1. INCREASED ACCESS TO ARTS EDUCATION. As increased emphasis is placed on standardized testing, in many schools there is little room left for an arts curriculum. Furthermore, arts and music education budgets are often the first to be cut, despite the proven impact these programs have. Educatoors working in this space have defined dance as contributing to the development of a positive self concept, and a high self concept has a positive relationship with high academic standards. Studies have shown that students who engage with dance education are more likely to be well versed in critical and creative thinking, as dance asks students to problem solve, to think, to question, and to present material in an original way. The physicality of dance classes give students the chance to experience something other than pencil and paper, and is a progressive environment which allows students to make mistakes, but get better. The performance aspect of the program helps to instill discipline, commitment, improve team building skills, and build self-confidence. It also helps to produce more involved parents and teachers, which helps support a more successful overall school environment. 2. INCREASED ACCESS AND EXPOSURE TO THE PERFORMING ARTS. The Dancescape showcase is an all ages event, and often features student performers. We ensure that ticket prices are affordable for parents, friends, and other family members who want to come and enjoy the show. People have the opportunity to watch more than 150 different performers take the stage in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, Bollywood, and numerous other types of dance pieces; many audience members experiences some dance styles for the first time at our events. Many of our performers are industry leaders in their fields, whether it be touring with popstars like Justin Timberlake, or principal ballerinas from the Cuban National Ballet. We select venues with an intimate feel, so that the nuances of the performances can be experienced by all in attendance. We also ensure a fun but comfortable night club setting, so that no patron feels out of place. The educational component of our program plays a huge role in increasing exposure to the performing arts by giving students the opportunity to participate in dance that they may not have had otherwise. 3. COMMUNITY BUILDING. Because we draw from the entire dance community for our performances, people from all over Southern California come together at our events. Also, because we include students from a wide variety of both scholastic programs and private dance studios, the younger performers get the opportunity to meet and perform alongside groups from completely different geographic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds than their own

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Make one Healthy Choice... Then Make Another.
Make one Healthy Choice... Then Make Another.
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The city of Los Angeles is a salad bowl rich in food and culture. By exposing these mostly Hispanic/Latino youth to the many different cultures, healthy food options and physical activity, we will give them a hands-on learning experience that will allow healthier food choices and create greater cultural awareness. The goal is to create dialogue, not only with the participating youth, but with communities in other parts of Los Angeles, to help create better understanding and awareness of the differences and commonalities amongst Angelinos with a focus on healthy eating, food literacy, and physical activity. By exposing the youth to culture through healthy food options across the abundant landscape of Los Angeles, we will begin to create bonds and bridges between cultures and minority groups. A culture of health and fitness will be promoted in the Latino community that will reduce many of the health consequences of obesity we listed above. This reduces the public health risk that the Department of Public Health has identified about obesity. Thus, a healthier community actually is a less social service reliant community and can benefit all Angelenos in an unintended manner. Healthy eating can also be attributed in minimal studies as having other health benefits such as overall happiness, activeness, better school performance, and community participation. On a business perspective it is accepted that eating healthier also raises economic awareness and can benefit all of Los Angeles. By promoting health and creating discussion amongst the different sectors of greater Los Angeles, we are empowering Angeleno children for the rest of their lives.

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Civic Crowdfunding Platform for Local Government and Schools
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Our project will directly benefit Los Angeles through a couple ways. First, monies will be directly contributed to the education system in the City of Los Angeles having the effect of providing relief to the strained resources the City's schools are currently operating under. Second, the communities surrounding the schools will benefit from improved services and program enhancements provided by the funds raised through ZenFunder. Finally, the Los Angeles community itself will become increasingly engaged. Our exhaustive research has show that communities are willing to fund project and become more engaged, they simply haven't had the vehicle or tools to do so.

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Establishing a Hub for Cleantech Innovation and Job Creation
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We will build new companies, that create new jobs, thereby revitalizing downtown Los Angeles’ industrial core. Broadly, we will bring back the industrial core of downtown Los Angeles by rebuilding it into the cleantech innovation and commercialization center of the region. As a result, this area will once again provide family-supporting jobs for Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, East Los Angeles, Central and South Los Angeles, and beyond. In the next 4 years alone just one of the envisioned projects of the Roadmap – the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s La Kretz Innovation Campus—will generate over 1700 jobs from companies who pay $45M per year in salaries and wages and generate more than $85M per year in sales. We will create a new industrial powerhouse dedicated to clean technologies and sustainable jobs. We fully expect that by 2050, the LA Arts and Innovation District on the banks of the Los Angeles River will be the leading cleantech innovation and commercialization hub in the world.

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Changing the Course of the Alzheimer’s Epidemic in L.A. County:  Early Detection Counts Campaign
Changing the Course of the Alzheimer’s Epidemic in L.A. County: Early Detection Counts 12 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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<p>Due to health care reform, there is an opportunity now for transformational change in medical care. This change provides a chance to alter the course of the Alzheimer’s epidemic; to change how people with cognitive impairment are viewed and treated; and to change the quality of life of the people who care for them. Intervention now can save our region millions of dollars in unnecessary costs for hospitalizations and nursing home care. It can remove a predictable threat to the solvency of our public health care system. </p> <p>Changing the course of the epidemic in L.A. County– Currently, the numbers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are poised to skyrocket. Among Latinos and Asians, the increases will be most dramatic. Yet, due to nihilism and lack of accurate information, health care providers are not recognizing the disease and do not diagnose or treat the great majority of cases. These individuals are doubly victimized by their conditions. They suffer the relentless loss of their minds, and are frequently misunderstood and mistreated, by their families and by health care providers. This project will dramatically increase the detection of dementing diseases by our region’s health care providers and result in improved treatment and care.</p> <p>Saving our health care system – Unrecognized cognitive impairment is expensive. It creates barriers to the management of co-morbid health conditions such as diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. It leads to poor management of the needs of the patient. It drives up expenditures for Medicare, MediCal and private insurance. Several research studies have demonstrated that better detection, treatment and care management can lead to lower expenditures for emergency room visits, hospital stays, and doctor visits. Better care and access to community supports may also reduce expensive and unnecessary stays in nursing homes. This level of care can cost $90,000 or more per year and is born by families and the MediCal program. Better managed care will reduce costs to the private and public health care systems resulting in economic benefit to the government, employers and individual households.</p> <p>Changing the lives of families - Early detection means that families and patients will gain access to better quality health care and supports. L.A.’s caregiving families will suffer less burden and depression. They will be better shielded from financial devastation because recognition of dementing conditions will help with their management and with the management of co-morbid conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Better understanding of cognitive impairment will allow families more opportunity to plan for the future and get appropriate care. This is turn will lead to reduced absenteeism both at work for adults and in school for children in households dealing with the overwhelming burden of caregiving. </p>

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Ready, Set, Gold!: A Students' Guide to a Lifetime of Fitness
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RSG! has already benefited Los Angeles - see the results below in evaluating our project quantitatively and qualitatively. RSG! reaches approximately 500 students/school (500 x 50 schools = 25,000 annually). It serves as a continual reminder that the 42 Olympians/Paralympians participating in the program and ranging in age from 20 years old to 72 years old are healthy lifelong models for students in fighting the epidemics of diabetes and obesity because they are the examples of healthy living habits and not diabetic or obese. RSG! is a reminder of the pride people felt in 1984 when we held our second Olympics here in Los Angeles; as I travel throughout Los Angeles, those who were here in '84, always have a story to tell on their volunteering, going to an event, and no traffic! And now Mayor Villaraigosa has tossed our city hat into the ring to host another Olympics in 2024. Who wouldn't want another one after London's successfully hosting their third Olympics. And there's a young man or woman in school now who will be propelled to be an Olympian because of what is set down in LA at this time and become like Olympian David Brinton ('88--cycling) who was motivated by watching the Olympics when he was 9 years old or seeing Olympian Paul Gonzales ('84--Boxing) the first Mexican-American to win a Gold medal.

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Harmony Project
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Harmony Project exists to serve low-income families, for whom the program is provided at no cost. Harmony Project founder, Dr. Margaret Martin, saw how music can shape intellectual development in underserved children and bring hope and greater well-being to families facing substantial challenges. With rare exception, we accept only those families whose income is below 185% of federal poverty level (this corresponds to the eligibility criteria for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s free/reduced lunch program). The neighborhoods we serve must have at least 50% of students eligible for the lunch program. Currently, students’ age range is from 6-18, with an average age of 11; 59% are female and 41% are male. The demographics of the 1,659 unduplicated youth we serve are: 70% Latino, 10% African-American, 10% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2% White, and 8% Mixed/Other/ Unknown. By virtue of their poverty and the neighborhoods in which they live, Harmony Project’s target population is at risk for juvenile involvement in gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, aggression, school drop-out, teenage pregnancy and parenting, depression, and suicide. Most of our programs are located within Los Angeles’ twelve Gang Reduction & Youth Development Zones designated by the Mayor’s Office, neighborhoods up to four square miles in area where documented rates of violent gang crime are 400% greater than elsewhere in the city. The study and practice of music provides a wide range of benefits in terms of cognitive and social development (e.g., improved academic performance, self-esteem, behavior). With cutbacks in public education, no music program in Los Angeles is providing the type of program that can deliver these benefits. The RAND Corporation’s 2004 report entitled, Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of Arts, highlights that “the most important benefits require sustained involvement in the arts.” Even with the many arts organizations in the city, no other commits to students for their entire childhood, providing a hands-on, year-round program with high expectations, and other program elements research has shown to be effective in fostering positive changes in participants. Harmony Project is providing services to communities that otherwise remain isolated and invisible. The students and families participating in Harmony Project today are the future of Los Angeles. We are creating the next generation of community members who will be educated, productive members of society and who will be eager to seek out, support, promote and participate in a Los Angeles rich in culture and music. These participants who graduate today will come back to invest, teach, and support social programs that will benefit new generations to come.

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LOLA, the Lifelong Organizational Learning App
LOLA, the Lifelong Organizational Learning App 79 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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<p>A healthier Los Angeles Educational landscape: digital, efficient, forward moving. <p> <p>The G o l d h i r s h F o u n d a t i o n has identified in their report that: Education received the lowest rating, meaning that is a significant impediment to human development. This outcome was based on the fact that the public school system in Los Angeles is failing many of its students. Graduation rates are low and too many kids throughout the county are not completing the necessary college preparatory coursework. Enrollment and investment in high-quality preschool is also lacking. On top of this, continued cuts at the state level are making a bad situation worse. Given that education is such a fundamental aspect of human development with far-reaching effects, the stark disparity in educational opportunities for the county’s students is unacceptable. Let’s start with this question: what do current special education services cost in the United States? According to Nathan Levenson, in a study sponsored by the Fordham Institute special education represented about 21 percent of all education spending across the nation in 2005, or $110 billion, compared with 18 percent in 1996. (Layton 2012) <p>Who are we talking about in Los Angeles? In LAUSD alone, approximately 77,000 students currently have Individual Education Plans, of which some 50,000 students are identified as having trouble with executive function. (Cross & Joftus,2011)<p> <p>In an era of budget cuts, can we do better? Yes we can! The current implementation of 1:1 aides has not proven effective and so far the main tool used when a child needs help –this is tremendously expensive and not a solution that works towards increasing independence.<p> <p>LOLA, a universal tool, requiring a relatively small investment will yield not only a huge learning impact on a large number of students, but also make a tremendously positive budgetary impact. <p> <p>Think about it: the typical 2013 modern-day LA classroom relies heavily on inconsistent, ineffective and costly practices such as: paper agendas, paper lists, verbal cues and one-on-one aides, whereas LOLA creates an individual organizational system opportunity, along with a respectful and private communication system through digital technologies.<p>

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Empowering students thru arts and education
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The main goal of the program is to prepare students for a post-secondary degree and ensure that they enroll and graduate from a higher institution of learning. This goal will be accomplished through intense academic preparation and promotion of empowerment. A supplemental goal of the program is to engage students in a project based learning environment centered on learning communities. Forming learning communities will help students develop interpersonal communication skills. It will afford students the ability to lead as well as work cooperatively in a productive manner with their peers. Project base learning breeds empowerment through ownership. Students are more likely to be engaged when their objectives are organic. The responsibility to ascertain knowledge is transferred from teacher to student placing the teacher in the role of mediator. This act in and of its self whether or notrecognized by the host is psychologically empowering. OBJECTIVE 1: CONCEPTUALIZE THE ROLE OF COLLEGE Demystifying higher learning and the negative perceptions associated with being an at risk student applying for college. An extensive foundational (preparation) curriculum has been designed to strengthen students’ preparedness and awareness about college. ACTIVITIES: learning modalitiies assessment; highly effective teen workshop OBJECTIVE 2: INDIVIDUALIZED ASSESSMENT PORTFOLIOS Focused instruction for SAT testing tailored to meet students’individual needs. Instructors use test proven material and address students’ learning styles. ACTIVITIES: SAT workshop including practice tests; Best Practices workshop OBJECTIVE 3: STRUCTURING CURRCIULUM THAT EMPOWER STUDENTS Program includes music service learning opportunities that promotes responsibility and empowers adolescents to impact their community. Participants will be given the opportunity to complete an original composition which demonstrates an application of the knowledge attained over the course of the program. The composition will be performed by the student. If students choose not to perform their project must be described extensively in narrative format using the language of music theory, music history, and music productionThe goal of the project is to inspire creativity and empower students. ACTIVITIES: Music lessons and recording/producing workshop. OUTCOMES: Students will be accepted to a four year university.

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BE GREAT Mentoring Program
BE GREAT Mentoring Program
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The high school dropout rate in Los Angeles County is more than 20%. This rate is even higher for Hispanic and black students and students from low-income households. The community at Mar Vista Gardens, which is 84% Hispanic and has 55% of households living at the federal poverty level, is highly representative of this achievement gap. Through this project, we would be able to establish the BE GREAT program at Mar Vista Gardens as a model for other low-income and public housing communities. In fact, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) plans to use our after-school program, which is built around BE GREAT, as the model for youth programs at all of its housing sites. As a result, the program has the potential to impact nearly 7,000 young HACLA residents, and this number is continuing to grow as HACLA develops more low-income housing sites. Specifically, the BE GREAT model has proven to have the following results for youth participants who complete the program (based on data collected by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America over two years): • 54% maintained or improved their school attendance • 77% showed a constant or improved grade in reading • 74% showed a constant or improved grade in math • 56% maintained or improved their behavior at school • 98% progressed to the next grade level on time By implementing BE GREAT at Mar Vista Gardens, our ultimate goal is to break the cycle of poverty for families living in the community. BE GREAT uses strength-based strategies and problem solving techniques to help young people develop the academic, emotional and social skills necessary to succeed in school. Improved academic achievement will encourage students to stay in school and graduate on time, thus increasing opportunities for advancement through college and employment.

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Building A Community of Leaders, One Middle School Student at a Time
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Over time, Minds on Fire will build a corps of young leaders with the skills, confidence and commitment to effectively address challenges in their communities. They will enter high school prepared to graduate on time, with aspirations for college, career and civic life. And while the mission of Minds on Fire is to decrease the dropout rate for Los Angeles’s most at-risk middle school students, this project will have additional benefits spanning student achievement, youth development, teacher quality and community-wide engagement. Minds on Fire will start by working with 300 students across six schools. If that rate continues through 2050 (a conservative estimate), over 11,000 students will have participated. Because Minds on Fire looks at the Early Warning Indicators to identify students most at risk of dropping out, we will help students who would otherwise have dropped out succeed in school. They will develop the skills necessary for a successful post-secondary experience and in the workforce, namely: time management, collaboration, creative thinking, research and the academic skills that form the basis for these projects. 28,000 students drop out of school in LA County each year. 12,500 dropped out of LAUSD schools in 2011(1). If only 1,000 more students made it to graduation, there would still be a significant impact on the economy: They would likely (2): • Earn as much as $15 million in additional earnings in an average year; • Spend an additional $900,000 each year purchasing vehicles • Spend up to $45 million more on homes than they would likely spend without a diploma; and • Support as many as 130 new jobs in the region • Increase the gross regional product by up to $21 million, and pour as much as an additional $1.8 million annually into state and local coffers, all through their increased spending and investments. Improving graduation rates has a positive impact on community life. That, combined with the specifically community-problem-solving focus of this initiative would lead to an improvement in Los Angeles residents’ life expectancy, health status, and voting rates while also reducing the crime rate and the associated costs to incarcerate criminals (3). Young people across the country have already demonstrated their power to make change. Imagine if LA had thousands more young people exploring their own ideas for change – the potential is impossible to calculate, and a very real possibility. (1) CA Dept. of Education DataQuest; 2009-2010 Dropouts by Cohort (2) http://www.all4ed.org/files/LosAngelesCA_leb.pdf http://www.all4ed.org/publication_material/EconStatesPostsecondary (3) Source: http://www.measureofamerica.org/docs/APortraitOfCA.pdf

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Kids Play at Pershing Square
Kids Play at Pershing Square
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The PAB wants to establish a place for kids to be outdoors, dream, play and learn to work with others. So whether kids are playing on the playground swings at recess, or having friends over to swing on their own swing sets, it's more than playtime; it's a time to grow. A playground is a wonderful place for children to release stress. Swinging, jumping, climbing and running are good for children both physically and emotionally. Taking time away from structured activity is an important part of keeping a child well-rounded and healthy. A playground is not just a playground. It's a place for kids to dream, relax and learn to work with others. By nurturing our children in this way, we help create a healthier community. Downtown Los Angeles has a changing demographic with 50,000 new residents and a growing number of children. Currently, here is no playground for them to play, dream and learn. We want to fill that void.

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The Salamander Project: Re-designing Creativity in Education
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The Salamander Project will excite, inspire and motivate students, parents, and school operators to rethink the future of Los Angeles and its public education system and kickstart a meaningful, bipartisan, reform-focused dialogue. At the end of the grant period, The Salamander Project will have built a fully functioning Innovation Space at the Locke campus and conducted ‘creativity generation’ activities with 500 students. Beyond the grant period, No Right Brain Left Behind will continue to work with Green Dot to further develop the HackerSpace in a Box while building an online community with content, lesson plans, and inspiration where teachers using similar devices and DIY learning can upload their findings and classroom experiments. Green Dot will partner with other product developers in the creation and piloting of new digital learning tools, curricula, and lesson plans while providing a demonstration site for others in the education community to glimpse the possibilities of the future of public education in L.A. Just a month ago, the Los Angeles School Board elections inspired only 6% voter participation across Los Angeles, despite general awareness that our public schools are in crisis. Voter participation in the communities most dramatically impacted by poor political decision-making is even lower and illustrates a resignation to the idea that the status quo is unalterable. More than ever, the city’s communities require inspiration and motivation to believe that something better is possible. Already, Green Dot invests significant resources in educating and training the adult communities in which we work to equip them with the tools necessary to become empowered and authentic agents of change. The Innovation Space will allow parents to access ‘Creativity Generators’ themselves and connect with other communities just as their children connect with students from around the world. The Salamander Project will show parents that a successful, positive, and thriving public education is a very real possibility and in doing so, inspire greater optimism and civic engagement. Beyond our own students and their families, the Innovation Space will host visits and demonstrations for other school leaders interested in developing similar spaces of their own. The project will result in an affordable ‘blueprint’ of how to replicate the Innovation Space at other schools across the city. It is our hope that a network of such Spaces would connect students, teachers, and communities from across Los Angeles and contribute to wide-scale collaboration and understanding. In providing a working model of a truly 21st century learning environment, we hope to excite, inspire and motivate others to rethink the future of Los Angeles and its public education system and kickstart a meaningful, bipartisan, reform-focused dialogue.

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The Los Angeles Service Academy
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<p>LASA inspires young people to think about their region and their future and how these are intertwined. We aim to foster ties of community and connection between diverse groups of teenagers as we collectively explore how greater Los Angeles works. Along the way, we will offer assistance to those students by way of collegiate counseling and mentoring internships across the basin. Our LASA graduates will have foundational understanding of Los Angeles history and institutions as they move on in their education and into career paths. By maintaining connections to one another and to what we learn together, LASA students and graduates will create new and lasting ties across region and background, ties which we hope will grow as LASA grows and as our student participants move into positions of public service in their lives and careers.</p> <p>LASA aims to change the lives of its student participants and, in so doing, change the future of Los Angeles for the better.</p>

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Change-Making Gardens
Change-Making Gardens
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Right now to get a plot at a community garden, in most places in LA County you have to wait 3 to 6 YEARS. Meanwhile, there are many groups that are “thinking about” creating a community garden. ECM’s networking partners know specific landholders who are “thinking about” opening their land to growing food. Yet all these groups are scared of the unknown because they have never done it before. We have. We’ve created gardens in several vastly different models of what “community gardening” can mean (traditional plot style, school garden, and charity style). We can share what works and what doesn’t work, and help groups who are “thinking about it” get past the mulling-it-over stage into meaningful action – into creating real, physical, much-needed garden spaces. Ultimately, our project will facilitate much more land being available for community gardens in Los Angeles. Additionally, ECM has the connections – locally, nationally and internationally – with people who are taking a proactive stance to the threats posed by climate change, peak oil, resource limitations, and economic contraction. These are big scary problems, but there is plenty that we can do as grassroots citizens. Our project will lead to greater awareness of the issues, with more people striving to prepare our city and its citizens for the realities of the future.

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volunteers housing the homeless
volunteers housing the homeless 15 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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Getting fifteen chronically homeless people off the street and into permanent housing will (1) vastly reduce the amount of taxpayer money spent to take care of them IN the street -- in shelters, in emergency rooms and hospitals, in police stations and jails and prisons; (2) since the effort will be entirely volunteer and OF the community, it will draw the community as a whole into a closer relationship with the homeless generally and help to do away with the notion that we live in one world and they live in another; (3) it will save fifteen perfectly good people from a downward spiral from which most of us would be hard pressed to pull out and, in the case of a number of them, it will return them to a position of productivity alongside the rest of us: to jobs, to social and political interactions of all kinds, and (sure enough) to VOLUNTEERING to help others who are still on the downward spiral.

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High School Students Shape the Future of Los Angeles
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Our project will benefit Los Angeles in a variety of ways. • CityLife students-as-adults will know how to access “City Hall” and the planning process in order to provide input into the urban planning process. • Because CityLife students will understand the importance of the arts and their role in building and maintaining strong communities, they will support and protect various arts projects in their communities as well as throughout the city. • CityLife students will “spread the word,” reaching out to and working with students in neighboring communities. • CityLife students will become well educated citizens of the future, which according to the LA2050 Report, is the first step toward improving the City. • CityLife students will learn about a whole range of career possibilities in urban planning, politics and government, and related fields such as urban planning, architecture, law (land use…), environmental engineering, the arts and more. • Perhaps some CityLife students-as-adults will run for office and become public servants. • CityLife students will help improve the quality of their neighborhoods and communities through bottom-up rather than top-down policies, planning and activities. Each time one neighborhood improves, it has a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. • CityLife projects and murals will bring information, interaction, beauty, whimsy and art to the community. • CityLife alums will model their varied and innovative ways of seeing, thinking and acting.

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Award_topvotedidea
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-submission-inactive

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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