The 2019 My LA2050 Grants Challenge has started!

Check out the entries

Education / 2013

Building Future Leaders through STEM Education

Building Future Leaders through STEM Education

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Kids Progress Inc.

Kids Progress Inc. (KPI), the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' (HACLA) non-profit, recognizes the urgent need to guide our youth, under age 18, who represent over 41 percent of our 14 public housing communities, toward obtaining the education and skills to achieve economic independence by adulthood. We hope to provide a pathway to a self-sufficient life to select 45 youth to help them become the nation’s next generation of engineers, scientists, and technologists as they enter careers that offer opportunities for upward social and economic mobility. Great Minds in STEM™ (GMiS) understands that investing in education and the workforce of tomorrow is a top priority for the nation. GMiS’ education programs provide underserved and underrepresented pre-college students an avenue for college and career awareness in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is in this spirit that KPI and GMiS are joining forces in a 2013 pilot Estrada Courts STEM Summer Program that targets students in 4th - 12th grade, living in the Estrada Courts public housing community, in Los Angeles. This program will stimulate interest and achievement in math, science, engineering, technology, and computer science, and provide the awareness for students to opt-into pursuing STEM college and career pathways.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

KPI received the following grants and has leveraged in-kind funding to offset programmatic costs.

• Children’s Institute, Inc. -$300,000 over three years for Project Fatherhood, a men’s support group on parenting ($100,000 for 2013) • The Anti-Recitivism Coalition (ARC) provided a $30,000 sponsorship of the Canyon Creek Camp for youth and their parents (March 2013) • LA Men’s Center will sponsor 15 fathers and youth for a Fathers & Sons mentoring Retreat in April 2013 • Inner City Arts provided a $25,000 grant to fund a Performing Arts program at Jordan Downs public housing community (Spring 2013) • Forgiving for Living, Inc. provided a $10,000 grant for a Self-Esteem building program at Jordan Downs (Spring 2013) • $500.00- Jill and Steve Edwards (General KPI Donation) Total: $172,400 (2013) plus $500,000 in leveraged funding for the SHIELDS For families, Inc. Contract • A comprehensive education initiative was launched in 2012 to provide resources/programs for youth residing in public housing communities.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Kids Progress Inc. Great Minds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Success will be measured by:

1) The number of youth who participate and complete the program. 2) Changes in academic interest of all youth at their respective elementary, middle and high schools. 3) College admissions for high-school youth. 4) Jobs and income levels achieved by participants as students and later as professionals.

The performance of participants will be tracked for at least five years following program graduation.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

Our proposed program aims to keep Los Angeles competitive within technology-based sectors and industries by fostering a skilled, educated group of low-income youth currently living in public housing communities. Building Future Leaders Through STEM Education will:

1) Expose Los Angeles youth in public housing, grades four through twelve, to local industries that rely on engineers and other scientists as a chief source of innovation. 2) Provide 45 youth participants with in-class training led by leading professionals at local firms and schools. 3) Provide paid internships for youth within collaborating companies and government agencies. 4) Produce quantifiable results within a model program that may be duplicated within other low-income communities within Los Angeles.

KPI’s program is a pioneering collaboration with local STEM-based corporations, federal agencies and universities with the long-term goal of fostering academic and career development by harnessing the abilities of under-served residents in public housing. This program has the dual effect of improving and expanding the Los Angeles economy and breaking the cycle of poverty and costly government entitlements for today’s youth and young adults and their families.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

KPI has the goal of continuing this program annually starting in 2013. We are determined to inspire consecutive generations of youth toward careers that improve the Los Angeles economy, raise employment in careers with proven growth potential and reduce the numbers of children in public housing who remain on government support far into adulthood. By 2050, the latest class of graduates will be leaders at growing organizations currently evolving and to be established in the future.