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Grantee Updates

Posted November 6, 2018 by Team LA2050

Through the My LA2050 Grants Challenges, we have gotten to be a part of some truly amazing work here in LA. Over the past few months, we've taken the time to highlight some of this work and some of the winners in our newsletter. Our grantees shared some of their highs and lows since their big My LA2050 wins, and they were just too good not to share twice.

CicLAvia, 2013 Winner

CicLAvia closes streets to cars for a day, and opens them to the community to gather together and bike, skateboard, run, dance, or simply wander. Their latest event on September 30th, Celebrate LA!: LA Phil 100 x CicLAvia, marked the 27th CicLAvia since 2010. In that time, more than 1.6 million people have participated in CicLAvia, which has covered more than 180 miles of LA's streets. CicLAvia is fueling a transformation across the region by inspiring more people to reimagine urban life without a car, and improving personal health and quality of life. More than 50 percent of participants in a recent survey said that they would be inactive if not for CicLAvia. On event days, local air quality improves by 50 percent and Metro ridership increases by 30 percent. As a result, the region has become increasingly connected by public transportation, bike lanes, and pedestrian centers.

MoveLA, 2014 Winner

After winning the 2014 My LA2050 Grants Challenge, Move LA was instrumental in the passing of Measure M. (If you don't know, Measure M provides $140 billion over 40 years to build out LA County's transit system.) The My LA2050 grant helped build Move LA's social media and communications capacity, which was integral to the Measure M victory. Now, Move LA is gearing up to electrify the Metrolink commuter rail system, which serves four major counties in SoCal. Move LA is also working to modernize its goods movement system so as to #dumpdiesel and conquer climate change, while collaborating with the South Coast Air Quality Management District to accelerate the deployment of clean cars and trucks in SoCal. Follow @MoveLA on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated and get involved!

Homeboy Industries, 2013 Winner and 2018 Honorable Mention

This year, Homeboy Industries is celebrating 30 years of serving the city through radical kinship and by breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence. From the beginning, Homeboy Industries dared to discard the prevailing “tough on crime" approach to be “smart on crime“ - that is, investing in the humanity of healing. Winning the My LA2050 grant in 2013 has allowed Homeboy to serve approximately 8,000 individuals each year, including employing at least 250 previously incarcerated and formerly gang-involved men and women annually in their core paid re-entry program. Last year Homeboy provided more than 700 GED tutoring sessions and 11,800 tattoo removal treatments, saw 76 solar panel program graduates and 118 records expunged, and announced the grand opening of Homeboy Electronics Recycling! (S/o to entrepreneur Kabira Stokes!)

LA Bioscience Hub, 2015 Winner

LA Bioscience Hub just graduated its third cohort of Biotech Leaders Academy students. Biotech Leaders Academy fosters future generations of diverse bioscience entrepreneurs for Los Angeles through its two key components: 1) providing community college students in LA's Eastside with entrepreneurship training; and 2) connecting them to paid industry internships. Almost all program participants are students of color, most of whom are first-generation college students.

Now, LA Bioscience Hub is expanding its programming to work more closely with biotech start-ups, helping them grow in LA and create more opportunities for students from LA community colleges to gain hands-on experience and access new employment opportunities. This October, LA Bioscience Hub brought start-ups together for a workshop to develop their internal capacity for hosting student interns. To learn more or to get involved, head to their website.

826LA, 2013 Winner

During the 2016-2017 school year, 826LA helped 9,263 students improve their creative and expository writing skills, showcasing their work in publications like When the Moon is Up and numerous chapbooks. Volunteers donated more than 22,000 hours of their time to make it happen. This summer, students in the Write On! summer camp spent four weeks exploring themes such as Arts and Culture, Nature, STEAM, and Visiting the Future. In the process, they learned to express themselves and describe the world in which they live. As one student wrote, “Not everyone is blinded by the beauty of our city. I won't say it's my cup of Starbucks, but it's the still image I call my life."

City Year LA, 2014 Winner

This year, City Year Los Angeles embarked on its second decade of service to the students of Watts, South L.A., Boyle Heights, Pico Union, and Westlake. Over the last 11 years, City Year Los Angeles has called on nearly 2,800 diverse AmeriCorps members to help thousands of students stay in school and on track to graduate, college and career ready. City Year AmeriCorps members work side-by-side with teachers and develop transformational relationships with students to help them succeed.

Since winning the My LA2050 Grants Challenge in 2014, City Year Los Angeles has deployed 1,140 AmeriCorps members to serve nearly 2 million hours as full-time tutors, mentors, and role models in Los Angeles Unified schools. City Year Los Angeles graduates continue to strengthen the city's workforce by entering various fields including social work, medicine, education, and non-profit work.

AltaSea, 2016 Winner

AltaSea is transforming 35 acres in the oldest part of the Los Angeles harbor into a center for ocean-focused research, STEM education, and sustainable business incubation. Their LA2050 grant helped form the L.A. Waterfront STEM Network, which provides ocean-focused education to middle school students, inspiring them to champion sustainable uses of our oceans.

Alta Sea has had an eventful year:

  • Hosting the crew of "The Swim" as they prepared for Ben Lecomte's audacious attempt to swim 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean. Ben's swim from Tokyo to San Francisco through the Great Garbage Patch of the North Pacific is designed to raise awareness about plastics pollution. He and his crew also raised money for AltaSea, while conducting thousands of tests for NASA and NOAA research projects.
  • Launching a six-week pilot program with the Boys and Girls Clubs of LA Harbor to educate students on sustainable aquaculture and underwater robotics.

We're so proud of the work our grantees have done to make LA the best place to connect, live, create, learn, and play. This is just the beginning. Subscribe to our newsletter here to catch more updates as the year progresses, and let's get to work!