learn / 2015

W.A.R.: The Battle Starts With You... We Are Ready Are You?

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles

After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles wants to support our youth as they move through the toughest transition, middle school to high school, and make life-changing decisions that will determine their paths in high school and beyond. We want to continue to mentor our students in their high school years and provide them an opportunity to also mentor the future and make a difference. Through this program, students will become successful and active community members in the city of Los Angeles.


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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • County of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD

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

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program

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
  • 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)

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

There is an education alarm bell ringing! Across Los Angeles, there is a major high school drop out crisis and After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles is here to respond. According to estimates released by the Ad Council, 7,000 high school students drop out of school every day. Without a high school diploma, these children face huge socioeconomic challenges, including above-average unemployment rates, below-average wages, and an increased likelihood of serving time in prison. Our nation’s staggering dropout crisis most significantly affects minority students, with nearly 50% of Black, Latino, and Native Americans in public schools failing to graduate. ASAS-LA population of students are 91% Latino and 8% African American. Our students are most at risk of abandoning their education before receiving a high school diploma. After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles will combat this crisis by mentoring students in three ways:

  1. We Are Ready (W.A.R.) - We Are Ready is a middle school to high school transition program. ASAS-LA identifies and engages eighth graders who show signs they are at risk of dropping out, such as poor attendance, behavior issues, and low grades. The primary goal is to maximize the number of students who are promoted to the ninth grade, graduate high school and attend college.
  2. CampUs - Students who have completed the W.A.R. curriculum will have the opportunity to apply for and attend CampUs. CampUs is a summer program on college campuses that focuses on preparing rising ninth graders for high school and beyond. Students sleep in college dorms and take daily classes on how to be successful in high school, college, and the workforce. They are mentored by ASAS-LA staff and by successful high school and college students. Students attend nightly career panels, comprised of community leaders. Students examine critical issues affecting their communities, engage in debate, and develop their leadership and advocacy skills.
  3. Leaders Influence Family and Education- Students will attend Alumni Reunion Summits once a month. These summits will include topics such as high school plans, scholarships, life skills, entrepreneurship, college visits and assistance with college applications. Students will also receive on-the-job training where they will be paired with a Program Leader for 6-8 weeks. Upon graduation from high school and successful completion of L.I.F.E., students will be invited to become Program Leaders within the organization.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Our work will be evaluated on numerous levels. After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles works with a third party evaluator, Claremont Graduate School, to assess W.A.R. and CampUs program impact, and together with school district data, measures impact in areas such as academic performance and social-emotional development. Program impact is assessed through a series of pre and post surveys completed by students and mentors. We will also track attendance and consistency through Youth Services database. Claremont Graduate School will also collect Fall and Spring grades from each student, complete ongoing observations of the program as well as receive counselor tracking documents to ensure students will graduate.

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