play / 2016

CALÓ YouthBuild's Mobile Community Solar Arts and STEM Project

CALÓ YouthBuild's Mobile Community Solar Arts and STEM Project

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by CALO YouthBuild

CALO YouthBuild Students will create mobile solar powered generators to bring arts and STEM programming to underserved communities affected by youth violence, drug use, and academic apathy.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

YouthBuild Charter School of California

Please describe your project proposal.

CALO YouthBuild’s Mobile Community Arts and STEM project will allow its students the opportunity to design and create mobile solar powered generators to bring arts and STEM programming to underserved communities affected by youth violence, drug use, and academic apathy. The project will target local parks, housing projects and schools to identify young people who are at risk of engaging in drug use or violent/gang activity. Mobile programs will include music instruction/production and recording.

Which of the play metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play
  • Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs
  • Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities
  • Per capita crime rates
  • Perceived safety

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

  • East LA
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to play?

East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights are communities with a history rich in culture, art, and activism. Unfortunately, these contributions are often overlooked because of the communities’ reputation for low academic achievement from under-resourced schools, cycles of poverty, unemployment and under-employment and neighborhood violence. The proposed project was developed in response to a recent increase in violent, gang related activity among east side middle school, and early high school youths. Many local youth who have been identified as ‘problematic’ because of their behavior or neighborhood affiliation are being lost to gangs, and drug use because the local parks, community centers, or schools lack the resources or training to support them and they often find themselves pushed out of programming with nowhere else to turn to but the streets. Several of the youth at CALÓ YouthBuild found themselves in similar situations before reclaiming their lives and education. This project will allow CALÓ youth to put into practice the leadership development, green building construction and engineering skills, and arts and culture training provided to them in the YouthBuild program by designing mobile solar powered generators to power arts and STEM programming to younger versions of themselves. Students will work with CALÓ and YouthBuild Charter School of California staff to develop arts and STEM programming to take to underserved young people in local housing projects, parks, community centers, and schools. Programming would include music instruction, full band rehearsals, music recording and production, introduction to solar photovoltaics and energy efficiency, introduction to engineering, STEM careers, construction basics, leadership development, mentoring, and recreational community movie screenings. The proposed project will make LA the best place to play by using youth driven solutions to address serious community issues in an innovative way, integrating the arts, culture, and technology into programming that fosters community and promotes healing.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Using the metrics provided by LA2050, the project will provide between 10-15 informal places of quality play; enroll a minimum of 200 children in after-school programming; provide at least 6 local parks with intergenerational play; show a decrease in per capita crime rates by decreasing the amount of youth ages 14 -24 who are active gang members, reduce the amount of drug use among participants by 75%, and commit to a 5% rate of recidivism; and reduce the amount of incidents of violence and drug use by 75% at the participants schools, parks, housing projects, and community centers.

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

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support