learn / 2020

New Village Girls Academy

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by New Village Girls Academy

New Village will welcome 100 high-need girls of color from underserved neighborhoods in LA County, help them pursue a better future through interest-driven education and internships, and support their social-emotional needs with intensive, personalized services. In a caring community, each student will be able to realize her potential through a realistic plan for graduation, college and/or career. Senior class graduation rate will be 85%, 90% of graduates will qualify for four-year colleges, and 80% of graduates will enroll in college.

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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

For teenage girls who struggle with attendance or school failure, and whose personal lives are marked by trauma and personal challenges, appropriate education choices are limited. Traditional schools can’t or won’t meet their extensive needs. California’s “alternative” schools — mostly continuation schools and opportunity schools — typically offer little live classroom instruction and even less counseling, social work or other needed resources.

New Village offers a better alternative. We accept all girls (14 to 21) from LA County, but we specifically recruit girls who have dropped out or are failing in traditional schools, and/or face significant challenges. These are girls who are pregnant or parenting, court-involved, homeless and/or immigrants with low English fluency. They are dealing with trauma, abuse and poverty, incarcerated or addicted parents, special education needs and mental health issues. They are virtually all girls of color from underserved neighborhoods.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

New Village is part of the Big Picture Learning network, chartered by LAUSD and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Our exceptional principal and staff bring lived experience and compassion to their roles. We support each student’s individual needs, provide a rigorous A-G curriculum that qualifies graduates for admission to four-year colleges, prioritize the development of strong social-emotional skills, and prepare students for employment through workplace readiness training and mentored internships.

Our Board secures donations of more than $1 million annually to provide classes at the California Science Center; a makerspace; arts education; college/career preparation; wellness programming; a school social worker, psychologist, internship coordinator, college/career counsellor; student transportation; and summer school. Our partners provide free child care, medical services, mental health counseling, gardening/nutrition workshops and meditation training.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

New Village is demonstrating how lasting change is possible when students have access to an exceptional educational program, needed social supports and game-changing opportunities. We continue to achieve senior class graduation rates and college-going success which we believe are without parallel among schools that serve similarly at-risk students.

More than 220 girls have graduated from New Village since 2009. In 2019, we had 19 graduates, a 90% senior class graduation rate and 95% of graduates received an A-G diploma. Our alumnae can be found at Cal Poly Pomona, Mills College, Southern University, three UC campuses, four CSU campuses and three city colleges. Four alumnae graduated in 2019 from UCLA, UC Berkeley and Howard University.

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

Our vision of success is to achieve consistent enrollment of 100 students and help each one commit to her education through interest-based, student-driven learning and social-emotional supports that will provide a path to college, vocational training or gainful employment after graduation. Success will be measured by increased enrollment and attendance, academic achievement, internship and A-G course completion, and graduation and matriculation rates.

Our measurable grant objectives for 2020-21 are:

  1. Average daily attendance will be at least 75%.

  2. At least 75% of students will become work-certified and 70% will complete an internship.

  3. Senior class graduation rate will be at least 85%.

  4. At least 90% of the graduates will achieve an A-G diploma (excludes homeless and foster youth who are exempt by State laws).

  5. At least 80% of graduates will enroll in a four- or two-year college.

Senior class graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of 12th graders who graduate by the number who began the school year. We exclude those who defer graduation or those who transfer to another school.

In the long-term, the grant will result in more young women of color enrolling in college and working in meaningful jobs, especially in the fields of science, technology and social justice. These resilient young women will understand the value of networking, the power of mentoring, and the stabilizing impact of wellness on individual and community mental health.

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • College matriculation
  • High school graduation rates

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation