connect / 2021

CONNECT LIVE THRIVE

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Harvest All Resource Center

We seek support for Opportunity Youth (OY), ages 16-24 in attaining: enhanced social and career connections; holistic health and lifestyles; and college and/or career engagement. We will target OY living in South LA and pursue opportunities for such youth in the LAX area. OY will receive intensive mental health support and self-management skills for positioning sustained success in college and/or career pursuits; and access services and opportunities provided by LA2050 partners. Millennial mentors will support OY in achieving project goals.


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

  • South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Opportunity (OY) populations need connections to online job and training resources. OY in LA are disproportionately Black and Hispanic (almost 80% of all OY); live in low-income neighborhoods; & face important barriers to job access such as disconnections and labor market discrimination. Barriers to economic inclusion for OY in LA include: lack of home internet access; limited social networks (outside of low-income communities); and greater connections to online job searching info, platforms & skills. The LA2050 report found that entry level jobs (likely to be appropriate for OY) are clustered in several regions including the LAX area, Downtown LA, West. L.A., and Hollywood. Findings suggest a mismatch between regions with many OY and regions with the best employment opportunities for that population. The vast majority of youth, including at-risk and homeless youth, use the I-net frequently, while frequency, use & skills vary dramatically by socioeconomic status, race & gender.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

This project will, utilizing a culturally responsive approach, creatively expose OY to: 1) social and emotional learning skills; 2) real life examples of engaged youth, via the provision of Millennial Mentors; and 3) access to entry level jobs in the City of Los Angeles, particularly the LAX area. Project activities will include: 1) purposeful life training skills; 2) clinical support; 3) college and career sampling, exploration, and placement; 4) mentoring support; and 5) technology training (including meaningful social media contacts and greater connections to online job searching information, platforms, and skills). Outcomes from this partnership may include: paid internships, mentorships and educational opportunities; access to career assessment and job matching technologies; work force skills development and private sector job opportunities; and/or a 2-year free college experience. Partnerships and consultants will support the following activities: social and emotional learning; technology and college/career training; and social engagement opportunities. Participants will be recruited via public community & social media announcements and solicitations to South LA community-based organizations. Selection criteria will invite students to post video applications. All applications from participants that agree to program requirements will be accepted until the maximum is reached.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

30
Direct impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

This project will, creatively, expose OY to 1) SEL skills; 2) real-life examples of engaged youth, via the provision of Millennial Mentors; and 3) access to entry-level jobs in LA, particularly the LAX area. Project activities will include: 1) purposeful life training skills; 2) clinical support; 3) college and career sampling, exploration, and placement; 4) mentoring support; and 5) technology training (including meaningful social media contacts and greater connections to online job searching information, platforms, and skills). Outcomes from this partnership may include paid internships, mentorships & educational opportunities; access to career assessment and job matching technologies; workforce skills development and private sector job opportunities; and/or a 2-year free college experience.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

LA2050 goals: Each resident engages with others & civic processes; LA will be the most civically engaged region in the U.S. with abundant platforms to voice opinions and influence decision-makers. Metrics: 1) 95% of LA County adults receive sufficient and emotional support; & 2) 90% of Youth will use a digital platform to voice their opinions; Proj. Metrics:100% of OY will receive group counseling; & 80% of OY w/severe mental challenges will receive, up to, 4 intensive individual therapy sessions. At least 90% of OY will receive: 1) culturally responsive social & emotional learning skills; 2) connections to online job searching/skills/platforms (& to voice civic opinions); 3) access to college & career opportunities; 4) Dream metrics: increase local social media friends & connections by 10 friends; & 5) enroll in school or be assigned to work. Success will be measured, ongoing, formally and informally, soliciting feedback from all stakeholders, adjusting services as needed.

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

Tree of Life Child and Family Services: Individual and Group Therapy Services; Berina Denogean - Certified Trainer, Regional Partnership Developer - PD Workshop - professional networking, resume building, and practical tools for career development and advancement Sudduth, Cablayan, & Younkins Public Relations & Outreach - creating professional mentoring opportunities and exposing OY to various career possibilities Pastor William Smart Jr. - The Southern Christain Leadership Conference of Southern California - identifying youth seeking healing and/or academic or professional advancement. Other Partnerships (pursued & declined): LA Opportunity Youth Collaborative-No response; LA RISE-New Earth (declined; applying themselves); Mayor’s Fund for LA-YouthSource Brotherhood Crusade (declined)

Which of the connect metrics will you impact?​

  • Social and emotional support

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE