learn / 2016
College Track: Developing purpose-driven leaders to transform LA
Please describe your project proposal.
College Track’s Dream LA project will transform high school students from Boyle Heights and Watts into leaders of change by helping them identify their dreams, turn their passions into actions, and make a positive impact in the LA community. Purpose-driven service projects will allow students to explore leadership, activism, community development and entrepreneurship – creating networks and developing interests that propel them through college and beyond.
Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?
- College completion
- College matriculation rates
- District-wide graduation rates
- Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math
- Student education pipeline
- Youth unemployment and underemployment
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
- South LA
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?
College Track will make LA the best place to learn by developing purpose-driven leaders of change through our Dream LA project, which provides students from low-income neighborhoods the opportunity to turn their passions into actions, engage in meaningful service projects, and make a positive impact in their communities.
College Track deeply believes that every person has the potential to change the world. Our 10-year program is designed to make sure our students are given the opportunity to fulfill that potential through earning a four-year college degree. We empower our students to transcend the limits of their circumstance by providing the support that helps them to discover their dreams, build their academic skills, secure financial aid, and persist on the path to and through college. As a result, College Track alumni are 2.5 times more likely to graduate from a four-year university than their peers. Yet, the magnitude of what our students accomplish extends far beyond earning a degree. A college graduate is twice as likely to be employed and will earn nearly twice as much as a high school graduate. It’s not only the economic impact that’s real – it’s also the community impact. A college graduate is twice as likely as a high school graduate to participate in society as a volunteer and nearly twice as likely to vote.
Success on the road to earning a college degree is not only about academic preparation. It is also highly dependent upon a student’s ability to develop a sense of purpose and GRIT – guts, resilience, integrity and tenacity. College Track believes that if students explore and articulate their dreams and purpose, they will develop stronger ownership over their own actions and outcomes, ultimately leading to success in college and beyond.
Through our Dream LA project, College Track will support 400 high school students from Boyle Heights and Watts to identify their dreams and passions, and then connect those interests in service to the LA community. Research shows that when students are engaged in service and community work, they make gains in measures of academic achievement, citizenship and character. Students will participate in curriculum developed by The Future Project related to exploring and identifying their dreams, culminating in a dream declaration. Driven by their own passions, students will then design and/or participate in community service projects, completing a minimum of 25 hours of service per year.
Service projects will allow students to explore leadership, activism, community development and entrepreneurship – creating networks and developing interests that propel them through college and beyond. Past projects include a book drive to promote early literacy in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club and Project DAD, as well as a campaign around food sovereignty. This year, we anticipate that students will partner with at least 15 organizations across LA to transform their passions into positive impact
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
College Track’s Dream LA project aims to 1) help students identify their dreams and passions, and 2) connect those interests in service to the LA community
Success of the project will be measured by: -Number of students who participate in the Dream LA project (Goal is 400) -Percent of students who complete at least 25 hours of community service by the end of the 2016-17 school year (Goal is 90%) -Percent of students who report that they understand how a college degree will allow them to pursue their passions and purpose (Goal is 90%)
Progress against these metrics is logged and evaluated via our Salesforce database. We also plan to gather qualitative data around the Dream LA project through surveys and one-on-one conversations with students and partner organizations.
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Advisors/board members
- Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
- Community outreach
- Network/relationship support