learn / 2016

Empower low income youth to break out of the poverty cycle!

Empower low income youth to break out of the poverty cycle!

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Youth Business Alliance

Connect at risk and disadvantaged youth to life skills, local professionals, and businesses.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Alliance Patti & Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy, Animo Pat Brown HS, Animo Inglewood HS, Oscar De La Hoya Animo HS, Alliance Collins Family HS, Animo Venice HS, Animo South Los Angeles HS, Santee HS, Alliance Burton Technology HS, Animo Jackie Robinson HS, Animo Leadership HS, Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Tech HS, Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology HS, Alliance For Community Empowerment YouthBuild, Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez HS, Valor Academy HS

Please describe your project proposal.

We believe that every child deserves exposure to life skills education and connection with local business professionals. Our mission is to help at risk and disadvantaged youth break out of the poverty cycle. We currently serve about 400 students in 16 LA-area high schools and have approximately 25 Field Trip Partners and 1,000 registered Guest Speakers. There are approximately 30 schools on our waiting list and we would like to expand to support more schools and students.

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
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

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

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

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

The Youth Business Alliance (YBA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing critical 21st century business skills and perspectives into the classroom by leveraging business partnerships and resources from the community. The YBA was formed in 2012, servicing one disadvantaged school. We are now in 16 schools serving roughly 400 disadvantaged high school students each year. The YBA provides a year-long school course (‘Introduction to Business & Careers’) to these students, who will receive high school course credit upon successful completion. The course description/breakdown is as follows:

  1. Curriculum – Our program covers both the fundamental soft and hard skills a young professional will need to know to succeed in their future job or business. Students go through four modules (soft skills, career readiness, financial literacy, and business 101) and learn critical elements such as professional communication, resume writing, business plan development, and even participate in experiential exercises like a stock market trading game or a Shark Tank style pitch workshop.

  2. Guest Speakers – Every week, each YBA class has a different guest speaker from the professional community come to their class and share their personal/professional story. This program is our version of “reverse job shadowing”, where students get to learn about the speakers’ life story/journey, their career/business, and ask questions. Our students meet approximately 30 professionals in a school year.

  3. Field Trips – YBA students get to observe the behind the scenes of successful companies, many times meeting each department, learning about different job roles, participating in interactive workshops, and getting a VIP tour. What an impact it makes for our students to get out of the classroom and see a thriving company up close and personal. We’ve had teachers who have told us that after these field trips, some of their students are so inspired they pick up their grades almost immediately. Last year our students were able to check out companies like Google, SpaceX, Riot, etc.

Don’t you wish you had the YBA program when you were in high school? Would you credit at least part of your success today to a teacher or mentor who believed in you and shared some important principles with you? This is what YBA is all about - preparing future leaders, giving exposure, and creating opportunities for those with limited resources.

YBA caters to disadvantaged youth in underserved communities, most of whom are minorities, at risk, and considered low income (free/reduced lunch). Yet, the majority of our students are at the top of their class, with some of the best GPA’s, and they volunteer to stay after school to be part of the YBA. They are not looking for a handout, but simply a hand up to be the success story in their family.

We invite you to join us as we continue in our mission to support and inspire the future leaders of tomorrow!

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

We will evaluate our work through:

  1. Student Surveys. YBA students will take a survey at the beginning of the program and at the conclusion to measure the program’s effectiveness.
  2. Teacher/Couselor Feedback
  3. Guest Speaker Feedback
  4. Attendance and Persistence Rates
  5. Student GPA’s
  6. Disciplinary and Suspension Rates
  7. High School Graduation Rates
  8. College Acceptance Rates
  9. College Attendance Rates
  10. Job Shadow/Internship Rates

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
  • Quality improvement research