learn / 2015

Creating Brighter Futures through Second Chances

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Foundation for Second Chances

Second Chances Leadership Program builds and develops the self-confidence, life & leadership skills of youth through: Education, Financial Literacy, Leadership, Social Justice/Advocacy and Health. This is accomplished through interactive learning, in-class discussions, presentations/panels, workshops and exploratory field-trips (domestically & internationally). Our student ambassadors take what they’ve learned and teach our younger youth (middle/elementary students) about effective leadership.

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders
  • Implement and track policy

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?

  • Youth unemployment and underemployment
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Academic Performance Index* scores
  • College matriculation rates
  • Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher ed
  • Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)
  • Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.

Foundation for Second Chances (FFSC) serves youth in grades K-12 in communities plagued with crime, gang violence, extreme poverty, and low academic performance. FFSC recruits and receives referrals for youth from schools, community based organizations, libraries, DCFS and neighborhoods located in Service Planning Area 6. Students from SPA 6 face a number of economic, environmental, and social challenges that have a direct impact on their wellbeing. Within SPA 6 there is a strong prevalence of foster care, gang-related activity, juvenile delinquency, and youth victimization. These issues create profound instability in our families and communities, fueling high school drop, unemployment, and immense incarceration rates. As a result, this continues to make it nearly impossible for our youth to meet their basic needs, reinforcing the vicious cycle of poverty and suffering in the way of their success. FFSC wants to break that cycle by empowering children labeled as “disadvantaged” or “at-risk” to become leaders for themselves, their peers and their community. SCLP believes in every student’s capability to succeed when given access to all the necessary tools. SCLP consists of 5 modules that are 8 weeks in length. The modules expands our youth knowledge base by providing significant exposure to real-life work experiences, hands-on activities that challenge their decision making process, intense cross-cultural and intergenerational volunteer projects both locally and abroad. The components of SCLP are: Education, Financial Literacy, Leadership (includes Civic and Service Learning), Social Justice/Advocacy and Health. The objectives for SCLP: Assist students in developing specific skills needed for effective leadership, high graduation school and career paths; Provide students with a process for examining pertinent issues facing their communities and knowledge of those issues how to make change; Increase students understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity; Provide opportunities for students to apply the knowledge and skills learned through meaningful community service; Students become ambassadors of their own learning so they can better educate and teach their peers and community (train the trainer). This allows them to personally develop through SCLP and have access to tools and resources that not only helps students to apply to college, but also prepares them to succeed in life. Upon completion students receive a certificate and have a graduation.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We use quantitative & qualitative evaluation strategies to evaluate our youth’s work in addition to conducting intake surveys & doing case management on each student that enters our program. Each youth receives SMART(specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals to make sure that they are meeting their benchmarks for staying on task, being held accountable for their duties & are able to articulate what they are learning. Through our collaborative & strategic partnerships we are able to engage community leaders, stakeholders and clients to help us identify our success and any gaps. In order to evaluate SCLP we survey our students as well as their parents and teachers. A series of in depth surveys allow for us to evaluate the progress of our students in a holistic manner. Our Evaluation Strategies include several tools: Leadership Program Student Survey; Teacher/Staff Referral Form General School Functioning Assessments; Academic Achievement Assessments;Community Surveys

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research