The 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge is here! We're giving away $1 million to make LA the best place to live, learn, play, create, and connect.

Learn more


Announcing the Finalists in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge

Posted May 25, 2020 by Team LA2050

After much consideration and in collaboration with our evaluation partner SVP Los Angeles, we are excited to announce the 25 finalists for the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge!

Below you'll find the five finalists in each of the LA2050 goal categories: learn, create, play, connect, and live. And don't forget – you get to vote which idea receives funding of $100,000. Voting starts on June 8, so stay tuned for more information on how to best support these organizations!

Please note: Our finalists completed their submissions before we had full information about the longer-term trajectory of COVID-19. Accordingly, we are giving them an opportunity to explain how they plan to modify their proposals under the current circumstances. Their responses will be added to submission pages before public voting begins on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Finalists in the LEARN Goal Category

Organization: Central American Resource Center

Project: CARECEN's Parent and Youth Center

CARECEN promotes the human and civil rights of Central Americans and all immigrant communities through educational services, legal services, advocacy, and organizing to transform educational, immigration, and labor policies. The goal of the organization's proposal is to strengthen the capacity of its Parent and Youth Center, which provides leadership and civic engagement skills for immigrant parents and their children through teaching parents to be effective advocates for their children and offering youth academic enrichment services, college admissions assistance, and more.

Organization: Los Angeles Audubon Society

Project: Los Angeles Audubon - Urban Nature Network

Los Angeles Audubon promotes the enjoyment and protection of birds and other wildlife through outdoor education programs, bird-friendly activities, and hands-on conservation initiatives. The goal of its proposal is to expand its Urban Nature Network, which aims to grow the next generation of environmental stewards by engaging students in environmental education activities and providing a pathway for higher learning opportunities, internships, and career development.

Organizations: SoCal College Access Network

Project: Project SOAR: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education

SoCal CAN is a network of 85 organizations working together to increase the rate at which low-income students access and complete college. Its proposal seeks to expand Project SOAR, which turns the college and career dreams of students living in public housing into reality by placing three counselors on five public housing sites in East and South Los Angeles to provide one-on-one college advising to 1100 students and families.

Organization: Pediatric Therapy Network

Project: Best We Can Be Early Education Program

Pediatric Therapy Network leads the way in helping children, families, and communities reach full capabilities through innovative therapy, research, and education programs. The organization seeks support in expanding its "Best We Can Be" Early Education Programs to promote school readiness and enhance functional abilities among children with, and at-risk for, developmental delays and disabilities. This project will enhance its evidence-based educational and therapeutic interventions and provide parents with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to help their children reach their fullest potential.

Organization: Reading Partners

Project: Reading Partners LA: The Path to Fourth Grade Reading Proficiency for 1,000 Children

Reading Partners helps children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results. The organization proposes expanding its core program to reach 1,000 students by 2022 to deepen local impact on 4th grade literacy achievement through data-informed, curriculum-driven, one-on-one volunteer tutoring.

Finalists in the CREATE Goal Category

Organization: Flintridge Center

Project: Apprenticeship Preparation Program

Flintridge Center's mission is to break the cycle of poverty and violence through community planning, innovation, and action. The organization applied for its Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP), which prepares formerly incarcerated individuals for careers in union construction trades. The APP is an evidence-based intervention that integrates workforce development with trauma-informed care to create life-changing opportunities.

Organization: Grid110

Project: Grid110 South LA

Grid 110's mission is to foster a thriving, equitable, and inclusive community for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Grid110 provides free accelerator programs to early-stage founders, connecting them to a growing community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentorship, and critical resources. The organization is expanding its programs to South LA in the hopes of supporting more founders from historically marginalized communities.

Organization: LA Sanitation and the Environment

Project: LA Industry: Circular Textiles

LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) protects public health and the environment through three program areas: Clean Water, Solid Resources, and Watershed Protection. The organization seeks funding for LA Industry (its pollution prevention team). This project aims to create a centralized hub where material byproducts from businesses can be repurposed instead of going to landfills.

Organization: Las Fotos Project

Project: A Girl-Powered Foto Studio by Las Fotos Project

The Las Fotos Project elevates the voices of teenage girls through photography and mentorship, inspiring them to use cameras to explore their identity, advocate for their community, and create their future career. The organization proposes opening a youth-centered photography studio in the heart of Boyle Heights, where teen girls can build up their professional skills and earn an income by providing culturally relevant services for the community.

Organization: Lost Angels Children's Project

Project: Good Life Manufacturing

Lost Angels Children's Project provides low-income and at-risk youth with a safe, educational after-school program that promotes critical thinking and team-building through vocational skills training in Classic Car Restoration and Art opportunities. The organization proposes expanding Good Life Mfg., its 12-week industrial arts vocational training and skills development program that serves opportunity youth ages 18 to 24 in the Antelope Valley.

Finalists in the PLAY Goal Category

Organization: Public Matters

Project: University Park Slow Jams

Public Matters bridges the trust gap between institutions and marginalized communities of color by designing strategies that transform the culture, practice, and experience of civic participation, making it accessible to all. In collaboration with Los Angeles Walks, USC Kid Watch, and individual faculty members at USC, the organization proposes University Park Slow Jams – a multifaceted education, engagement, and leadership development strategy that enables local stakeholders to participate in creative public acts; document safety conditions; and take action to make LA's streets safer for children and people who walk.

Organization: Urban Warehouse

Project: Skate-4-Education

The Urban Warehouse educates inner-city youth to value education through its after-school program, which incorporates art activities and treats skateboarding as an academic incentive. In collaboration with Allstate, the organization proposes expanding its Skate-4-Education program, which uses skateboarding as an academic incentive for inner-city youth by exchanging skateboarding gear and skate ramp time when they meet specific educational goals.

Organization: City of LA Dept. of Recreation & Parks

Project: Mobile Recreation Program

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, in collaboration with LAUSD, proposes launching a Mobile Recreation Program to bring a variety of outdoor activities to communities in need. It envisions providing a safe and accessible park system for all residents by using Mobile Recreation vans to provide themed programs, ranging from Olympic and Paralympic sports to skateboarding and creative activities, thereby enhancing the lives of the youth and adults that participate.

Organization: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Project: Bigger than Baseball

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation proposes collaborating with Kershaw's Challenge, the City of Compton, the Annenberg Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the LA84 Foundation, Security Benefit, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, the Office of Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas, and the Water Buffalo Club to unveil three Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park. With these Dreamfields, the organization aims to revive baseball and softball play in the area in addition to including features such as Fitness and Training Zones, solar elements on scoreboards, PV carports and EV charging stations, and the Science of Baseball curriculum for grades 3-8.

Organization: Los Angeles Maritime Institute

Project: Ocean Adventure Together!

The Los Angeles Maritime Institute empowers youth to discover their greater potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard educational sailing vessels built to train and equip young people with 21st-century leadership skills and inspire maritime and STEM career paths. The organization proposes launching its Ocean Adventure Together Program to break the barriers that keep some people from enjoying LA's coasts and ocean. Through this program, middle school-aged participants discover the life-changing experience of a 5-day and night summer voyage at sea, and their parents are invited to witness and share in their new skills and positive transformation.

Finalists in the CONNECT Goal Category

Organization: Creative Acts

Project: Art Attacks

Creative Acts heals trauma, build community, raise power, and amplify the voices of the most marginalized through art. The organization proposes expanding its 'Art Attacks' program to increase voter turnout among incarcerated and formerly incarcerated young people by engaging and inspiring them through community art, spoken word, and poetry, as well as connecting them with both program alumni and organizations whose work directly affects their communities.

Organization: Boyle Heights Beat / Radio Pulso

Project: Voices/Voces

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community news project produced by youth. Voices, its story-sharing project, aims to build and strengthen relationships between youth and the elderly by training youth to be community reporters and tell the stories of both young and old.

Organization: LA Forward

Project: The LA 101 Guide to Local Government and Civic Engagement

LA Forward provides Angelenos with the resources and training they need to take constructive action and organize to make LA a better place. The LA 101 campaign, a collaboration between LA Forward and Inclusive Action, aims to transform LA into one of the nation's most civically engaged places by providing resources that lower the barriers to entry for individuals who want to take their first steps into local activism and advocacy.

Organization: Ready to Succeed

Project: Creating Connection & Community for Youth in Foster Care

Ready to Succeed supports and empowers youth impacted by foster care with the resources, relationships, and opportunities they need to launch successful careers and lead meaningful lives. The organization proposes establishing a sustainable and effective partnership with Stepping Forward LA to provide youth aging out of foster care with dedicated social and emotional support in addition to connecting them with the people and networks they need to advance in the modern workplace.

Organization: Union Station Homeless Services

Project: Union Station Homeless Services Community Allies Program

Union Station Homeless Services helps individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness across the San Gabriel Valley. The organization proposes expanding its Community Allies Program, which aims to increase housing retention rates, improve community connection, and foster community integration between homeless individuals in bridge housing and formerly homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing by pairing individuals with a supportive community volunteer ally in addition to providing social and recreational activities.

Finalists in the LIVE Goal Category

Organization: Clínica Msr. Oscar Romero

Project: Telehealth for Medically Underserved LA Neighborhoods

The project from Clinica Romero aims to address the current health crisis by utilizing technology (telehealth) to provide quality, affordable, and culturally-sensitive health care and other services to the underserved communities of Greater Los Angeles regardless of their ability to pay.

Organization: Crop Swap LA

Project: Create a Residential Garden District in Los Angeles

Crop Swap LA plans to select 15 homes on a residential street to install professional gardens and rainwater harvesting systems on their front yards, back yards, and available rooftops, in addition to training and hiring a green team of gardeners to become a fleet of hyper-localized specialists.

Organization: Jenesse Center, Inc.

Project: Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program

Jenesse Center aims to restore families impacted by domestic and sexual violence through holistic, trauma-informed, culturally responsive services, and advance prevention initiatives that foster and sustain healthy, violence-free communities.

Organization: Safe Parking LA

Project: Neighbors for Home

Safe Parking LA's Neighbors for Home is a grassroots initiative that aims to mobilize local residents to act around the problem of vehicular homelessness in their own neighborhoods. This proposal proposes working with Neighborhood Councils to change the landscape for people living in their vehicles by pairing specialized case management with community support otherwise unavailable to safe parking clients.

Organization: Strategic Actions for a Just Economy

Project: Eviction Prevention Tool, During Coronavirus and Beyond

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy and JustFix propose creating an “Eviction Prevention Tool" to connect eligible tenants with newly available eviction prevention resources and conduct an outreach/education campaign informing tenants. This proposal aims to increase tenants' ability to remain in their current homes and reduce homelessness.