learn / 2019

College & Career Access Program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson

The BGCC College & Career Access Program is designed to guide underserved youth ages 6-18, with the support of a Case Manager, as they discover their passions as well as their paths into college and the workforce. Our College Bound Program empowers youth of all ages to make positive academic decisions about financial aid and college. Our Workforce Development Program shares with teens the confidence to be proactive in developing skills to succeed in today’s evolving workforce.


What does your organization do?

Our mission is to offer our young people a safe environment where they can be themselves, dedicated adults who respect them, and outcome-based programs that empower youth to become lifelong learners.

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

Growing up in South Los Angeles, Marcos lived through his youth without positive role models other than his resilient mother. He lived through financial and emotional burdens, and his future felt hopeless. Those feelings changed for Marcos when he walked through the doors of the Club at Carson High School his 11th grade year. He was able to begin to dream a life he never thought possible. With the guidance of Club staff like Michelle, Marcos began an internship with Marathon Petroleum Corporation (formerly Andeavor) and he began to apply for college, as well as scholarships to fund his education. With encouragement and support from Michelle, Marcos applied for the Gates Millennium Scholarship, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was awarded a full ride to the university of his choice.

Today Marcos is proudly in his fourth year of a five-year engineering program at the University of Southern California. This program will award him both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Engineering, May of 2020. Marcos studies Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management. Marcos says: “College has been more work than I ever imagined and truthfully, the hardest part is not my classes. As the first in my family to go to college, the biggest hurdle for me was simply figuring out how everything works. Lucky for me, Michelle never lets up. She is my guardian angel who never lets me down. I used to think superheroes were only in the movies. Today, my superhero is Michelle. Because of Michelle, the Boys & Girls Club, and my mom, I will no longer be defined by my zip code nor a statistic society has written for me. I am Marcos, community leader and soon to be, an engineer.”

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • College matriculation rates
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment
  • Student education pipeline

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

  • East LA
  • South Bay
  • LAUSD

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

The BGCC serves youth 6-18 years of age at 11 Club locations in Los Angeles County. Our Carson locations include the Main Street Clubhouse, Bonita & Towne Elementary Schools, Andrew Carnegie, Rancho Dominguez & Stephen White Middle Schools, and Carson High School. Our South Los Angeles locations include Edwin Markham & John Muir Middle Schools, and Locke & King Drew High Schools. The diversity of our communities is reflected in the diversity of our youth: 47% Hispanic or Latino, 25% Black, 13% other race, 9% Asian, 4% two or more races, 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 1% White. At least 79% of our youth qualify for free or reduced price lunch, while 38% live in single parent households. The BGCC works to bridge the gap between school and home for our youth who experience poverty and crime in Carson and South Los Angeles.

The BGCC COLLEGE & CAREER ACCESS PROGRAM ensures that youth graduate from high school on time with skills to succeed in college and in the workforce. Our outcome-driven programs and caring staff support youth as they take an active role in learning and goal-setting. We provide youth with opportunities to explore careers, enhance their education, and develop leadership skills. The BGCC provides diverse programming that meets the needs of youth and opens up a world of opportunity. Our College & career Access Program includes the following diverse programs:

The BGCC AIM (Achievement in Middle School) PROGRAM is a one-on-one case management program for youth ages 11-13 that focuses on providing core competencies through intensive academic tutoring, mentoring and experiential learning. AIM is designed to instill confidence in youth as they successfully move into middle school, and again into high school.

The BGCC COLLEGE BOUND PROGRAM is a year-round program offering youth ages 6-18 opportunities to participate in workshops, college field trips, and receive one-on-one academic case management. College workshops provide youth with hands-on activities on topics that include paying for college and stress management. Many of our youth step foot on a college campus for the first time because of BGCC college field trips. Youth see first-hand how to get involved in college through sports, clubs, and student leadership groups. BGCC Club alumni provide tours of their own campuses, giving youth a stronger connection to the college experience, and allowing them to see how they can make it through high school and into college.

The BGCC WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM runs year-round to provide teens ages 13-18 the resources and opportunities to succeed in the workforce. With one-on-one case management, teens are supported as they build their resumes, apply and interview for jobs, and persist in employment and skill-based internships. Through workshops, certification training, worksite field trips, and the support of strong mentors, teens are empowered to get out into their communities to make confident work and career decisions.

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)

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

BGCC’s evaluation process reflects its commitment to continuous quality improvement. We regularly measure the effectiveness of our programs and their impact on members’ lives. The BGCC will collect data on the following to evaluate its programs: (1) Number of youth served; (2) Participation rates; (3) Grades; (4) Grade progression; (5) High school graduation rates and (6) Improvement in competencies and behaviors, self-esteem, confidence and perceptions. Registration forms document enrollment numbers. Sign-in sheets and rosters record daily attendance and participation in activities. The BGCC uses transcripts, report cards and academic case management files to track grades, grade progression and academic progress. The data is compiled and reviewed monthly. For youth who stay in the LAUSD school system, the BGCC tracks grade progression through its data sharing partnership with LAUSD and local schools. The BGCC works closely with the administration of schools to receive transcripts. Parents/guardians sign consent forms, allowing schools to release their child’s information to the BGCC in order to track academic outcomes. Pre/Post-tests measure changes in skills and knowledge. The BGCC implements the BGCA National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI). This includes the annual National Outcome Survey, which measures improvements in self-confidence and self-esteem. The Vice President of Operations meets bi-monthly with program staff to evaluate activities and make programmatic adjustments. This provides staff with on-going opportunities to discuss best practices and address challenges.