learn Finalist / 2019
Destination College +
Destination College + is the first transitional step of students from their previous lives to adulthood. For students in post-secondary education, it helps them secure their first job and start a career. For students in high school, it helps them acclimate into college life. Fulfillment Fund programs encourage and support students to graduate from high school and post secondary but the Destination College + offers the tools to transition into their new lives.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- L.A. Promise
- C5Y Foundation
- Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA)
- School of Visual Arts and Humanities (SVAH)
- Ambassador School of Global Leadership (ASGL)
- UCLA Community School (UCLACS)
Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.
Meet Jasmine, one of the thousands of Fulfillment Fund success story. Jasmine’s journey with the Fulfillment Fund began as a ninth grader. There, she met our team of passionate college counselors, including “Miss Elizabeth” who guided her as she prepared competitive applications, getting involved in extracurriculars, attending Destination College and scoping out her “dream” schools. Her journey culminated in walking across the stage of her high school with a 3.6 GPA and over a dozen college acceptances.
Jasmine was determined to get a college education but Destination College was the exclamation point to her post-secondary story. Shy by nature, she was intimidated by the sheer number of schools represented — from small local public colleges to private institutions from the east coast. She worked the courage to ask the rep from UC Santa Barbara since it was her first school of choice. She was surprised of how welcoming the reps were and answered her questions. Jasmine also attended three different workshops offered at Destination College — How to Seek Financial Aid, Paying Back Student Loans and Writing a Strong Personal Statement. By the end of the daylong event, she had two bags full of informational brochures from different schools and an intense conviction to attend college. She felt empowered.
Jasmine proudly became a UC Santa Barbara Gaucho. In 2017, she became an intern at the Fulfillment Fund and volunteered at Destination College. In 2018, she participated in Fulfillment Fund’s Career Expo and Career Accelerator, opening other internship opportunities. She spent last summer working with the Downtown Women’s Shelter. The experience led to consider pursuing a master’s degree in social work once she finishes her undergraduate education in sociology. She feels that this is the best avenue for her professionally and help the community at the same time.
This June, Jasmine will walk across the stage in another cap and gown, donning her bachelor’s degree and proudly claiming her place as her family’s first to graduate from college. Jasmine intends to remain involved with the Fulfillment Fund as a member of the Alumni Association and possible mentor — completing the circle of support we offer.
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- College and community college completion rates
- College matriculation rates
- Student education pipeline
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
How will your project make LA the best place to learn?
The recent college admissions controversy brings into focus the gulf between students with access to the myriad of professional services that guide them become competitive applicants, and those who have limited access to these services. Indeed, it exemplifies the complex requirements necessary to gain college admission for today’s students. Students and their parents need to focus on SAT/ACT scores, personal statements, extracurricular activities, academic course loads, financial support, and importantly, visits to post-secondary institutions. Alone, each requirement requires tremendous resources. Resources that students from lower-income households do not have.
These college admissions pre-requisites result in low-income students (students who qualify for low cost/no-cost lunch) feeling that they have even less opportunity to get a college degree. Within LAUSD, only 70% of students attend college — significantly lower than cohorts enrolled in private and parochial schools. Even worse, only 11% of low-income students graduate from college within 6 years.
What if there were a way to help low-income students be empowered and inspired to get a college education — a one-stop shop that offers financial aid literacy, help with preparing and writing personal statements, advice on extracurricular activities and access to a multitude of post-secondary institutions? What if this day also helped students look toward their future career paths so that they could start envisioning themselves on that road to success?
Destination College+ (DC+) is such a program. It is a daylong college preparation event that provides high school students, who may be the first in their family to apply for college, with a multi-faceted view of what to expect at college and how to prepare to get there. It addresses the unmet need of fostering a college-going mindset for low-income students.
This exciting, information-packed event includes college preparatory workshops, inspirational speakers, a campus tour, and an extensive college fair for 800 high school low-income students from Title I schools and parents. Some components include:
Grade-specific workshops that cover financial aid, career building, getting into your “right fit” school, building a high school portfolio, personal statement preparation, etc.;
Parent workshops (in both English and Spanish) on supporting students through the college application process, tips about financial aid, and financial literacy primers;
College fair with reps from more than 75 universities and colleges;
Companies with employment and internship opportunities.
Our timeline for the program is:
Six months before event: Event planning that includes identification and engagement of partner schools, speakers and others culminating to a daylong, tightly orchestrated event. We will conduct debrief afterwards and share best practices with partners. Success will be measured through surveys, attendance and college applications.
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.
As mentioned in the beginning of our application, we will consider the project a success based on a multiple different metrics in addition to the total number of students who will attend DC+. Below are our goals and metrics:
- Increase attendance of DC+
o from 600 to 1,000 high school students who will attend;
o from 100 to 200 parents who will attend;
o by adding 200 college students who will attend.
- Among Fulfillment Fund students
o 96% of attendees will complete financial aid applications
o 95% of attendees will commit to a college/university
- Among non-Fulfillment Fund Students:
o Increase their college going knowledge as measured through a pre/post questionnaire
o Get a better understanding of the importance of post-secondary education
- Among parents:
o Increase financial literacy as it pertains to college education