learn / 2019

Caught You Doing Good

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by New Earth

"Caught You Doing Good" is a New Earth campaign to reward New Earth students for positive behavior and help them to resist negative influences from their neighborhood. Students will be rewarded for their positive behavior with gifts and cash awards to provide meaningful incentives for positive behavior and desperately needed resources for poor families. We intend to change their mindsets from their concern of "being caught" by law enforcement to "being caught" and recognized for good work.


What does your organization do?

We provide arts, educational, and vocational programs for juvenile justice-involved youth to transform their lives, move toward positive, healthier life choices, and realize their full potential.

Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

Check out the attached video that profiles two of our youth, Jaylin Robinson and Geegee Potts, who have used the services from New Earth to turnaround their lives:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=aQ4fHAOklRQ

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Students’ perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

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

  • South LA
  • Westside
  • County of Los Angeles

How will your project make LA the best place to learn?

Program Execution

The “Caught You Doing Good” campaign will provide cash and gift rewards to New Earth youth for making good decisions in their lives. This will include activities such as working hard on their education, resisting gang-involvement, helping others, making meaningful progress towards a personal goal, and being a good person. We are trying to counter the continuous pressure our students face to engage in unhealthy behavior.

Committees consisting of New Earth clinical workers, teachers, and program staff will meet regularly to ensure that “Caught You Doing Good” awards are distributed fairly and foster a positive culture. There will be two committees: one for the New Earth Arts and Leadership Center (NEALC) and another for the Residential Career Training Center in Calabasas.

Population

New Earth serves formerly incarcerated youth, youth on probation, foster youth, and other in-risk youth. This population is almost exclusively low-income (nearly all qualify for free or reduced-price lunch) and nearly all are African-American and Latino. They are at high risk for entering or (reentering) the juvenile justice system annually. To date, 54% have been African American, 43% are Latino, 2% are Asian and 1% are White. 65% are male and 35% are female. New Earth youth come from communities characterized by high concentrations of poverty, violence, and gang activity. System-involved youth have complex social-emotional, academic and mental health-related needs, which our programs help to address. Most New Earth students arrive with some high school credits from one or several high schools as well as credits from LACOE schools. However, despite this, their levels of literacy and numeracy can be quite low.

Timeline

June 4 – receive word from LA2050

July – Develop staff committees and establish clear policies, budget, tracking mechanism, and communications for this campaign

August – Provide first awards to youth, continue to do so on a weekly basis through end of school year in May 2020

Early 2020 – If program is successful, solicit philanthropic funding to continue the program after completion of LA2050 funds

LA2050 Goals

New Earth works with students who have dropped out of or been expelled from the traditional school system. New Earth helps students earn a high school diploma by providing a non-traditional academic environment, wraparound services, and love to enable our students to achieve their goals. New Earth will help LA2050 make measurable progress in several goal areas:

  • Students’ perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school

  • Suspension and expulsion rates

  • Youth unemployment and underemployment

In addition, New Earth also impacts the following PLAY metrics:

  • Per capita crime rates

  • Perceived safety

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project (testing a new idea on a small scale to prove feasibility)

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

Success will be defined by the impact on the mindset and behavior of New Earth’s students. We expect to see this in hard measures such as student attendance, peer referrals, task-orientation, completion of work assignments, participation in after-school activities, and so forth. We will ultimately measure success for this project as an accelerator of New Earth’s culture and values.