Education / 2013

Improve The Quality of Life Through Education and Community Support

Improve The Quality of Life Through Education and Community Support

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Quality of Life Center, Inc.

The Quality of Life Center, Inc., a charitable, community based non-profit agency, was established in 2004. The specific purpose of the agency is to institute programs that will educate urban communities on the availability of assistance to low-income, at risk youth and families residing in the Altadena, Pasadena and surrounding areas. The Quality of Life Center, Inc.'s mission is to develop and manage centers with multi-cultural programs and services designed to ensure that opportunities for success are equally shared by all participants with a desire to improve their quality of life. Through Art and Education we reach out to our youth and our communities. Quality of Life Center, Inc. programs mark a bold departure from traditional guidance programming. Through innovative instruction and individualized attention, youth travel a road to success that begins with believing in themselves and never giving up on the fact that success is yours for the taking. Though our programs somewhat defy the norm, they are now "nationally acclaimed" and have proven to be extremely successful in meeting the needs and providing youth an opportunity to prove to themselves that honesty and hard work can and will bring about positive life changes. Many of our youth programs address: youth who are dropping out of school, depressed, some with no sense of self worth, and others turning to the "streets" for love and understanding. Some are trapped in situations in which they have had no chance to follow their dream. "If we don't help them, who will? Our nationally esteemed Bright Futures Scholars program participants are brilliant scholars with extremely high GPA&'s. Quality of Life Center programs are designed to assist the young, enabling them to become productive citizens, build self esteem, dream and then conquer their most "impossible" dream. Without programs such as the ones offered in the Quality of Life Center, Inc., one out of every three low-income minority students attending high school will drop-out before earning a diploma (2005 PUSD Statistic). Most will not be encouraged to return to school, nor offered pre-training to become marketable in corporate America. Many students, even young scholars, if coming from low-income families will not have an opportunity to reach their full potential and scores of juvenile first offenders will be placed in the justice system. Much of our programming depends on community support. We are proud to say that our programs are endorsed by community leaders who see the value in what is being accomplished to direct positive changes in the future of our communities. The National Education Association (NEA), as well as many surrounding school districts, plan to foster pilot programs using Quality of Life Center Inc. components in 2008. At the Quality of Life Center, we have an opportunity to service families with many different needs. We will strive not only to meet the needs but to eliminate the problems causing the need. The Quality of Life Center will continue to make every effort to assist the youth, young adults and families in low income at-risk communities by providing services that improve the quality of life for all.


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

We currently have a 100% success rate in graduates from our Bright Futures Scholars Leadership Development program. They have ALL graduated from high school and moved on to college. Many of these students come from group home or foster home environments. Many of these same students are also the first ones to attend college from their families.

One of our other programs is a second chance program that allows juvenile first offenders an opportunity to turn their lives around. These Juveniles, referred into the program from the Juvenile Justice System are given an opportunity to redeem themselves, build self-esteem, and develop character while learning to make positive life choices. Many have taken that opportunity that they were given and done just that. Most of them have gone on to college and are living a life “on the straight and narrow”.

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

Community leaders such as the senator, congressmen and congresswomen, assembly members, county supervisor, ,mayor, council members, corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, judges, local schools superintendents, law enforcement and others, willingly volunteer their time to mentor our scholars individually as well as in groups.

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

Our success will be evaluated and measured by the high school and college graduation rates of our program participants. We maintain contact with all of our participants long past their graduation from this program and high school. We regular check up on our graduates to check on their college progress and success, including graduation from college as well.

It will also be measured by the continued growth of this program and ultimately the reduction of the high school drop-out rates in this community through our Stars for Stripes program and the increase in graduation rates of juveniles who go through this program.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

OUR PROGRAMS

BRIGHT FUTURES SCHOLARS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The Program extends itself to all targeted high achieving (3.0 GPA) students, including low-income students completing high school against insurmountable odds. The goal is to provide these young people with the tools necessary to quest for success.

A vital component in this program provides “group mentoring” as well as “individual mentoring”from our communities finest. Committed mentors include congressman, senators, assembly members, mayors, county supervisors, physicians, clergy, corporate CEO’s, attorneys, scientists, engineers, artists, educators, law enforcement officials, managers and administrators.

Bright Futures Scholars participate as Junior Council Persons (representing their mentors and schools all over the nation). Monthly Scholars television tapings are aired on Public Access Television, and can also be viewed online all around the world.

HEALTHY, WEALTHY & WISE

A multi-cultural health program geared to youth (of all ages) and families. The program further extends itself to addressing health issues and concerns of at-risk and low-income youth and families. Health education, at all levels, is provided to assist in maintaining healthy living and positive life choices.

SMOOTHING THE ROUGH EDGES “UNVEILING THE JEWELS WITHIN”

A pre-training, pre-screening program designed to target individuals’ ages 14-25 that need assistance in polishing  employment,, personal adjustment, professional and marketability skills. Participants are prepared to be competitive in corporate America.

STARS FOR STRIKES

A second chance program that allows juvenile first offenders an opportunity to turn their lives around. Juveniles, referred into the program from the Juvenile Justice System are given an opportunity to redeem themselves, build self-esteem, and develop character while learning to make positive life choices.

ART FROM THE HEART

A program in which children are able to express them selves through their passions in art be in visual arts or audible. Through painting, photography, or other visual arts or through the audible art of playing an instrument the children learn to release their emotions in a safe and productive format.

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

In the year 2050 success would be represented by many things: 1. Our Bright Futures Scholars Leadership Development Program curriculum will be in every middle and high school in the nation. These school will see an increase in the graduation rates of at least 15%. 2. Graduates of these programs will not only be successful in their personal lives but have a desire to give back and improve their communities stemming back to their volunteering while being a part of the Quality of Life Center, Inc. Their desire is to improve the quality of life of others. 3. Our mentors will still consist of community leaders such as senators, congressmen and women, assembly members, county supervisors, mayors, council members, corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, judges, local schools superintendents, law enforcement and others, but now those faces will be the faces of graduates of BFS who are themselves giving back to others what was given to them in their teenage years, which will make their messages and experiences even more poignant because they truly did come from where the current year 2050 students are coming from.