learn / 2016

Ending generational cycles of poverty through urban youth and community development programs

Ending generational cycles of poverty through urban youth and community development programs

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Unite A Nation, Inc.

Building the Power and Brilliant Imaginations of youth through community leadership and life skills enhancement


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Dorsey High School, Jim Gilliam Recreation Center

Please describe your project proposal.

In collaboration with Dorsey high school and Jim Gilliam Recreation center; in the south Los Angeles community, we provide self-esteem building, individual and community goal setting, professional development, along with community projects as civic leadership and cultural arts to encourage academic and community success. Upon graduating from our programs, we will place youth in internships that match their field of interest, while connecting youth to networking relationships and mentors.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • College completion
  • College matriculation rates
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • Student education pipeline
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

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

  • South LA
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD
  • Baldwin Village 'The Jungles'

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

Unite a Nation will make LA the best place to learn by increasing and encouraging academic excellence, social service and economic growth among under-served communities of South Los Angeles.

We have created unique innovative educational enrichment programs for children, youth and young adults, girls and boys, ages 8 – 24 to end generational cycles of poverty and provide youth the resources they need to shape them into productive members of society through our four level approach:

1) Confidence and Communication 2) Healthy Relationships and Mentoring 3) Educational Enrichment and Civic Leadership 4) Entrepreneurship and Employment.

Unite A Nation, Inc., has addressed the specific needs of our young people (children, youth and young adults). We have identified the solution to the problems of our students by creating two unique programs: 1) POWER, 2) Brilliant Imagination.

Program 1. The comprehensive POWER Goal Setting and Professional Development programs mission is to build self-esteem, confidence, awareness and resiliency in young people, preparing them for positive relationships and successful futures through financial empowerment, history, education, mentoring and civic Leadership and self-advocacy.

POWER is a series of workshops offered year around at Dorsey High School. During the POWER program, with funding, we hope to provide the platform for each youth to create and adopt a Career Portfolio that contains their life goals, personal and professional plan, financial goals, photo’s, certificates of completion and awards. The end result is for youth to participate in professional Development, Leadership and Exposure through a 6 week volunteer or paid work internship that matches their career goals.

Program 2. Brilliant Imagination Cultural Arts and Multicultural program’s mission is to infuse positive self-reflection, developing the minds and health of local youth, while refining feelings and thoughts that represent our customs and values as a society with dance as our primary focus.

At Unite a nation, we use cultural art as a refinement or development of talents and interests through exposure and training. Along with, multiculturalism to examine many group cultures and the things that represent them. Studies prove that Students who participate in rigorous, arts-based programs perform better in school and have higher graduation rates than that of their peers who do not participate in the arts.

Lastly, we hope to develop and implement a youth community arts and leadership day as a final presentation. Our goal is to bring community and groups together as a way of activating unused community space in the Crenshaw district.

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

Our first measure of success is our waiting list of over 50 students who are referred to our program from their friends and classmates.

Other measures and outcomes for youth: Attend at least one community meeting/Town Hall Walk on a college campus and attend a college campus event Participate in the development of a community project Create a budget and learn financial literacy Gain better communication, etiquette and team building skills Show improvements in their overall confidence and self-esteem Identify his/her purpose, skills and talents, with timeline and goals of achievement Connect with a mentor and create mutually beneficial relationships Speak with at least one business owner/entrepreneur in their community Complete a career and/or business portfolio Learn and participate in Cultural Art, healthy living, eating and exercise Perform for community audiences of at least 200

We also measure our program with surveys, assessments and data collection by using primary and secondary data. We use youth testimonials at the end of the workshops.

Youth Testimonial, “I like this program it gives you a lot of opportunity. Also, I like how we communicate and are open to many ideas. Last year I met Mayor Eric Garcetti through this program and it was a great experience.” Dayja

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

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research