The LEARN goal category received the highest number of submissions in this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, with 82 proposals focused on advancing educational opportunities from early education through college and setting a foundation for lifelong learning. You can see a summary of every single LEARN proposal categorized by issue area here.
Below are five trends we noticed in submissions to the LEARN goal category:
- Nearly fifty percent of proposals in the LEARN category are seeking to positively impact high school graduation rates, especially for high-needs groups. Organizations are finding creative ways to encourage students to succeed in their education by providing support outside of the classroom in the form of wraparound services, peer leadership opportunities, arts programming, and more. Submissions in this area include New Earth, Women's Voices Now, United Friends of the Children, Ryman Arts.
- Organizations are not just focused on high school completion, but also increasing the number of young people of all backgrounds who continue to attend college. In this category, 45 percent of proposals seek to improve college matriculation rates in Los Angeles County. Tactics include preparation for the SAT and ACT, providing financial assistance for college, and mentorship programs. Some of these proposals came from Everydae, Operation Jump Start, CostsBeyondTuition.org, College Access Plan, and CollegeSpring.
- As in the past My LA2050 Grants Challenges, we're seeing many proposals focus on preparing students for the workforce of the future. Organizations are intent on providing educational opportunities that expose students to a variety of careers and prepare them for a diverse and technologically advanced workplace. The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, Gladeo, EnCorps, Junior High, MOSTe are all seeking to make advancements in this area.
- There is a particularly noticeable dearth of proposals focused on 'early education enrollment.' This year, only three out of 82 projects are focused on early education enrollment in this year's challenge, making it the least sought-after metric. The three proposals hoping to impact early education enrollment are from the Literacy Club, Pediatric Therapy Network, and Education Through Music.
- Lastly, in response to COVID-19, several organizations are seeking funding to build out digital platforms and opportunities for online learning for home-bound youth, including Write Girl and Heart of Los Angeles. Other organizations are responding to COVID-19 by providing fresh meals for vulnerable students or preparing student activists to respond to the social challenges presented by the pandemic.