Making LA the Best Place to Learn

Posted May 6, 2020 by Team LA2050

The LEARN goal category received the highest number of submissions in this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, with 82 proposals geared toward offering opportunities for lifelong learning, thereby allowing all residents to contribute their skills, talents, and abilities to society.

In this goal category, you'll find projects grouped by these smaller issue areas: arts and creativity, research, STEM/STEAM, working with educators, technology, college success, and career & personal development, environment, activism, vulnerable populations, and disability inclusion, and literacy.

We'll be featuring the CREATE category next week! Click here to see all the projects from the CONNECT and LIVE goal categories.

Arts and Creativity

The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company aims to mentor, educate, and enrich underserved youth through the creation of collaborative, original theatre. The organization proposes expanding its VAST Enrichment Program for Special Education, ELL, and other marginalized students by partnering with schools to provide a year-long residency based on a nontraditional curriculum of in-class theatre workshops, as well as on-campus professional development.

Fostering Dreams Project is a dance and performing arts program that empowers, educates, and inspires foster and homeless youth. It seeks support in expanding its transformative dance education programs by partnering with elementary, middle, and high schools in Palmdale and Lancaster to help more underserved youth create a pathway for success to college.

Cheshire Moon is dedicated to using the arts as a force for positive change in Southern California. The goal of its proposal is to launch the Crimson Square Writer's Lab, which aims to provide emerging playwrights with education, mentorship, development, and the opportunity to have their work performed on a professional stage.

CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts educates, guides, and inspires creative and critical thinking through artistic experience. The goal of its proposal is to enhance performance opportunities for its students and provide its community with access to free, high-quality performances by purchasing a portable stage solution to set up an outdoor theatre and expand the school's performances to a wide range of venues in Van Nuys and the surrounding city.

Little Kids Rock aims to transform lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in schools. The organization proposes expanding its Modern Band Los Angeles County project, which trains and equips music teachers to connect learning to music that kids already know and love. The goal is to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes, especially for students who do not feel represented by traditional music education offerings.

Believe In Music aims to provide every student in Los Angeles County with access to innovative music education through mobile music technology, education, and storytelling. The organization seeks support to conduct a full school year of music education for up to 250 students, during which students will learn how to use music technology as the vehicle to tell their own stories, create original songs, and have fun.

Get Lit - Words Ignite fuses classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy on the page and in visual media. The organization seeks support for its launch of its common-core aligned Online In-School Curriculum for all students and teachers in LA County. This curriculum combines learning classic literature with the creation of poems by youth, thereby transforming the format of education by improving literacy on a broad scale.

The Dance Arts Foundation aims to provide young, proficient dancers access to educational experiences that prepare them to succeed in a professional dance career. Its proposal aims to provide young, professional-track dancers in Los Angeles with a free one-week, dance-based Workshop Series. The series will offer specialized Master Classes and related educational experiences to bridge the gap between training at a local dance Studio and reaching higher-level education at a pre-professional dance Conservatory/University or professional dance Company.

Fulcrum Arts proposes expanding Big City Lab, its social practice and design education initiative that invests in the potential of urban youth to understand and define their sense of place and community. This project plans to partner with four Camino Nuevo Charter Academy campuses in the greater MacArthur Park area. The goal is to empower middle and high school students enrolled in the Ethnic Studies 4 All program to become active participants and change agents in their communities through a year-long arts education project that builds their critical thinking skills and sense of social responsibility.

Inner-City Arts aims to engage young people in the creative process to shape a society of creative, confident, and collaborative individuals. The organization seeks to close the equity and access gap on arts education for LAUSD. They plan to accomplish this by expanding its in-school program to combine 30 years of experience with new virtual tools, bringing the highest caliber of sequential, curriculum-based arts education to the broadest segment of LAUSD's least resourced classrooms, educators, and communities.

Heart of Los Angeles provides underserved youth with free, exceptional after-school programs in academics, arts, and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities. The organization seeks support in expanding its Visual Arts Department, which will provide over 250 youth with access to free quality arts education programs through offering over 100 classes in 22 different art forms, including remote programming in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Education Through Music-Los Angeles provides high-quality music instruction in disadvantaged schools to promote academic growth and character-building. Through its In-School music education program for low-income schools, ETM aims to provide high-quality, comprehensive music education to students in low-income, high-risk elementary and secondary schools across LA County through offering free weekly music classes as part of every students' school day.

Novus Think Tank is an interdisciplinary, student-led nonprofit devoted to nurturing self-agency in future leaders by providing them a space to foster their passions and goals. The organization proposes working with students to hone in on their passions and develop creative projects around them, thereby exposing students to new ideas, challenges, and opportunities, and promoting their self-agency and project management skills.

The Music Center strives to deepen the cultural life of every resident of LA County and continue creating an increasingly relevant, multidisciplinary performing arts center. In partnership with LAUSD and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the organization plans to engage over 7,000 students with disabilities, family, and community members from across LA County. This project involves in-school arts learning, inclusive arts integration classroom support, and a five-day professional development series for educators, culminating in a two-day public festival that features student performances and artwork, workshops, as well as panels and performances by community partners and artists with disabilities.

Refresh Youth Center aims to foster relationships with students who face challenges that hinder progression by offering structure, dedication, discipline, and motivation, and promoting entrepreneurial molding and community engagement. In collaboration with Dream North Entertainment, the organization proposes serving 500 underprivileged students year-round through cooking classes, a Girls Book Club, “Shady Lashes" entrepreneur classes, a high school internship program, community events, and an “Artisans in Motion" mobile arts stage.

Crayon Collection recycles like new crayons from restaurants and hotels into Title 1 Schools and Head Start centers across Los Angeles to provide art education and promote sustainability in Los Angeles' most underserved schools. The organization seeks to expand its Arts in Education program, which offers free, artist-inspired lesson plans formatted by volunteer educators to teach common core standards, by redeveloping parts of its curriculum and doubling the number of students it serves over the next year.

Global Arts is an after-school program in LA that provides music classes for underserved youth and continual professional development for educators. The organization proposes establishing an accessible, long-term Professional Development program, which will provide educators with free workshops and one 5-day Summer Seminario that brings back the most effective presenters from the year's workshop series.

Ryman Arts transforms lives by creating access and opportunity for a diverse community of young artists through rigorous education in fundamental art skills and mentoring. The organization aims to increase access to its high-quality art education and college and career support by doing community outreach to increase Latinx student participation. Its programming will also introduce students to diverse creative leaders at behind the scenes career tours to guide young artists to have successful futures in the LA creative economy.

Turnaround Arts: California seeks to harness the power of the arts to engage, empower, and transform high-need schools and communities. The goal of the proposal is to support nine high-need elementary and middle schools in LA County by offering financial, strategic planning, and implementation support to principals and teachers, and regularly convening the organization's school and community arts partners to exchange best practices.

The Young Shakespeareans uses the richness of Shakespeare's works to create early, challenging, and formative learning experiences for students in LA's Title 1 elementary and middle schools regardless of ethnicity, origin, or income level. The organization's proposal seeks support in expanding its 12-week after-school programs, which culminate in high-quality theatrical productions of Shakespearean plays, by delivering full Performing Arts and Production Design components to more schools.

ProjectArt empowers youth, artists, and communities through partnerships with public libraries. The organization aims to scale its model to address the lack of art in LA public schools by offering 200 students and teens free after-school visual arts classes taught by local professional artists at public libraries, as well as hosting free and open art exhibitions featuring student and artist works.

Women's Voices Now drives positive social change by raising awareness of the struggles and triumphs of women and girls seeking full access to their rights through producing, promoting, and sharing social-change films. The organization seeks support for its program Girls' Voices Now, which amplifies the voices of 24 young women aged 14-18 from low-income and underrepresented communities in Los Angeles by teaching documentary filmmaking, leadership, collaboration, and critical thinking skills.

Bob Baker Marionette Theater educates, celebrates, and rejuvenates puppetry and the allied arts. The organization intends to establish the Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts, which will provide school-age K-12 groups with lifelong learning by offering musical and literary resources, professional mentorship, as well as programs and classes that explore puppetry through the intersection of art and technology.

Music Forward seeks to transform young lives, inspire careers, and champion a more inclusive music industry. In collaboration with ReLAY, the Economic & Workforce Development Department, and the City of Los Angeles, the organization proposes launching a refreshed and expanded youth development program to serve twice the number of musically talented 14 to 24-year-old residents of Greater Los Angeles and more effectively reach those in low-income, underserved communities.

The Actors' Gang aims to restore the ancient sense of the stage as a shared sacred space, help children find their creative voices through theater, and bring the freedom of self-expression to the incarcerated. In collaboration with WestEd, Boyle Heights Continuation High School, and LAUSD's Arts Education Branch, the organization proposes expanding its impact by conducting a study of the effects of its workshops at Boyle Heights Continuation High School to prove the value of art programming for this high-risk population.

New Directions for Youth is dedicated to providing comprehensive programs and services to at-risk youth and their families. The organization aims to offer its after-school programming for free to at-risk, low-income youth, enabling them to participate in a variety of programs designed specifically for their needs. Programs include tutoring, homework help, GED preparation, STEM programming classes, computer classes, art, music, dance, yoga, fitness, meditation, and music programming instruction.


The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs is an independent, bipartisan membership organization that brings together leaders from the region's business, labor, academic, and nonprofit communities to advance policy initiatives that responsibly grow the economy and create quality jobs. The goal of the organization's proposal is to create a shared understanding of how well the LA region is delivering programming to K-12 students by conducting a formal analysis of the extent of the gap of workforce readiness programming in schools.

Children Now is on a mission to transform children's advocacy so that all children, especially children of color, children living in low-income households, and children in foster care, have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The organization seeks support in ensuring transparency and accountability in Los Angeles County to ensure foster youth receive the dedicated services they need by analyzing California's Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP) to identify gaps, in addition to educating stakeholders, policymakers, and local educational agencies on the LCAP.


reDiscover develops children's creativity through hands-on making with sustainable materials. The organization aims to establish one of the largest Youth Makerspace facilities in the country that can serve up to 75 “tinkerers" at once, thereby allowing youths to learn practical making and large-scale, highly imaginative creating while reducing LA's carbon footprint.

The Skyhook Foundation seeks to “give kids a shot that can't be blocked by bringing educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities." In collaboration with the LAUSD-Office of Outdoor and Environmental Education, the organization proposes expanding its flagship program Camp Skyhook, which is an immersive, hands-on experience that brings together learning and the outdoors for 4th and 5th graders to inspire them towards a future in STEM fields.

Pueblo Nuevo Education & Development Group supports Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in providing underserved students from Central Los Angeles with a preschool-12th grade college preparatory education, diverse enrichment activities, and whole child care. The goal of its proposal is to increase students' STEM proficiency and school engagement by formalizing a STEM pipeline from elementary through high school that uses culturally relevant project-based learning to foster critical thinking, collaboration, and resilience.

FaithWorks Compton is a nonprofit organization that provides services and support to the City of Compton through strengthening economic development, restoring neighborhoods and fostering opportunities that will enhance the overall quality of life for the community. It aims to expand its Algorithm & Flow program, which seeks to diversify the tech industry by training the next generation of urban computer scientists through teaching game development, web development, and the Java programming language to Black and Latino youth in South Los Angeles.

Two Bit Circus Foundation serves children in all economic situations by creating learning experiences to inspire entrepreneurship, encourage young inventors, and instill environmental stewardship. The organization proposes installing its signature program, STEAM Lab Makerspace, in 20 low/moderate income elementary, middle and high schools in Los Angeles. This program will provide over 13,000 diverse, under-served students with a “student think tank" where they can build STEAM-related skills to understand how things work, experiment, redesign, and invent projects.

9 Dots aims to provide transformative computer science education for every student, especially those from underserved communities. The organization's proposal seeks to expand its Get Coding program by developing and applying more meaningful definitions and measurements for proficiency, including mastery of core coding concepts, difficulty levels, and underlying problem-solving processes.

Girls Academic Leadership Academy provides a rigorous, college-preparatory STEM-focused education in an all-girls environment to foster academic excellence, leadership, and intellectual curiosity. Since expanding its enrollment, the organization seeks support in providing equipment and supplies to its students to level the playing field, in addition to investing in more advanced equipment to broaden students' understanding of real-life engineering and science applications.

Working with Educators

Center for Powerful Public Schools seeks to build the capacity of educators to create and sustain powerful public schools that prepare every student for college, career, and life. The organization proposes working directly with teachers and administrators to improve education for public school students of color and those living in poverty and close the equity gaps that exist for underserved students.

EnCorps works to recruit the best and brightest science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals to teach in California, providing meaningful opportunities to impact disadvantaged students. The organization seeks to expand its fellowship program that trains and supports STEM teachers and teacher candidates to connect students to real-world math and science career and economic opportunities, thereby transforming public education statewide.

CollegeSpring equips schools and their teachers with an SAT, ACT, and college knowledge curriculum to prepare students to succeed on the exam and enter college. The organization aims to provide free school-day SAT preparation to Los Angeles high school juniors from low-income backgrounds by training high school teachers to offer SAT instruction during the school day and managing the logistical work that prevents schools from offering test prep in-house.

The Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Foundation exists for the sole purpose of strengthening the community support and investment that has lifted Alliance schools and scholars since the charter network's inception. The organization plans to expand Social-Emotional Learning strategies and practices across a network of 28 public charter schools to support teachers and school leaders in implementing best practices that contribute to healthy school climates among the network's 13,000 students enrolled in grades 6-12.

Larchmont Charter School provides socio-economically, culturally, and racially diverse communities of students with an exceptional public education. In collaboration with City Charter Schools, the organization's proposed REAL SCHOOL for LA Kids project aims to codify and amplify a consistent, Whole Child approach through building a teacher leadership training program so that teachers can maintain a safe and inclusive classroom culture, among other inclusive community-building practices.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship activates the entrepreneurial mindset. It builds start-up skills in youth from under-resourced communities to ensure their success and to create a more vibrant Los Angeles. With its proposal, the organization aims to deepen its partnership with the LAUSD by working with 12 economics high school teachers to integrate its entrepreneurship curriculum with economics classes, thereby reaching over 2,000 additional LAUSD students within the first year.


Everydae has built a fun and affordable digital tutor to give every student the tools they need to access college. In collaboration with 21PSTEM, the organization proposes partnering with LA Promise Fund, College Spring, and LA high schools to provide over 1,000 low-income students with free access to the Everydae smart digital tutor, in addition to working with teachers to create targeted interventions to increase STEM proficiency and graduation rates.

Gladeo prepares learners for the future of work with its inclusive, next-gen career exploration platform that provides free, online access to high-quality career guidance for upwardly-mobile middle- and high-skill careers. The organization proposes collaborating with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to build out a “Green Careers in Los Angeles" section for Gladeo's platform, which will serve as both a “Virtual Career Day" and a digital information hub for “green career" pathway information, including an educational and training program finder and job recruiting portal.

WriteGirl promotes creativity and self-expression to empower underserved Los Angeles teen girls within a community of women writers. The organization seeks support for its response to COVID-19, WriteGirl Connected, which aims to engage hundreds of home-bound Los Angeles youth through a digital platform that includes interactive programming such as creative writing workshops, one-to-one mentoring, and college entrance guidance.

Emile Cohl Art Academy Tuition-Free Digital Arts Education provides a tuition-free, career-driven education in digital arts. During the 3-year program, the organization works with studios and the creative industry to give onramps to careers in the entertainment industry. The organization plans to use this grant for the inaugural cohort of 40 students who will receive a tuition-free, 3-year education in digital arts. The program also includes wrap-around services to promote retention among low-income or underserved students, including counseling, soft-skills training, transportation, and other assistance.

College Success and Career & Personal Development

The College Moms Project aims to ensure that teen mothers finish high school and graduate from college at the same rates as non-parenting women. The organization has researched and developed a program that engages pregnant and parenting teens through mentorship networks and seeks to expand its program to reach hundreds of teen moms.

Think Together partners with schools throughout Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, and the San Gabriel Valley to change the odds for kids. The organization seeks support to transition 47 sites and create a system of public/private partnerships to sustain a robust K-12 continuum of programs leading to college and career opportunities for students.

After-School All-Stars Los Angeles aims to educate, enlighten, and inspire young people by providing exciting and dynamic opportunities for their success while cultivating students' self-esteem, leadership, and respect for one another to help build healthier communities. The organization seeks to expand CampUS, its innovative summer program that prepares incoming 9th graders for a successful college experience by offering them courses on how to succeed in high school, as well as a week-long, hands-on experience on a local college campus.

Junior High is dedicated to showcasing the artistic pursuits of marginalized voices via community space, a publication, a podcast, and other ventures. It proposes creating “Money Makers," a 10-month program that will prepare artists aged 15-25 for a creative career through workshops and accessible programming with career artists, tax professionals, and legal experts featuring topics such as budgeting, invoicing, and paying taxes.

New Village Girls Academy aims to provide a high-quality, engaging educational opportunity with integrated support services for young women, especially those for whom the challenging circumstances of their lives have led to previous school failure and alienation. The goal of its proposal is to help 100 high-need girls of color from underserved neighborhoods in LA County pursue a better future through interest-driven education and internships, in addition to supporting their social-emotional needs with intensive, personalized services.

MOSTe aims to mentor and empower girls from underserved areas of Los Angeles County to become the next generation of college-educated women. The organization seeks support for its career exposure programs, including its annual career fair and three outings to workplaces in LA, where students will learn from inspiring women leaders and businesses in the community.

Operation Jump Start aims to help low-resourced, high-potential first-generation students get in, stay in, and graduate from a four-year college by providing academic support, mentoring, and exposure to a broader world. It proposes expanding its College Success program, which provides enhanced support to high school upperclassmen and college students by following students as they navigate college admission and attendance, stewarding them through to degree attainment.

Ednovate prepares and empowers high school students to use their college degrees and careers to make a Positive Multigenerational Change. In collaboration with Transcend Education, the organization seeks support for its high school model, which prepares students for success in college and life through project-learning, year-long explorations, and community exhibitions where students engage with real-world scenarios and roles to discover their skills, passions, and career opportunities.

The West Valley Boys & Girls Club seeks to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible adults. The organization seeks support for its Future Ready program, which aims to ensure that students receive the support needed to graduate high school on time and have a plan for the future upon graduation. The program bridges knowledge and skills gaps through integrating career exploration, college pathway support, and other Club programming.

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.

College Access Plan believes a postsecondary education is achievable for all students, and its mission is to prepare students who attend Pasadena Unified (PUSD) schools for college success. The organization seeks support in expanding its existing programs at six traditional and alternative high schools in PUSD to increase the college-going rate from 72% to 90% over the next decade by offering application support, test prep, financial aid guidance, and more.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica aims to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The organization seeks to expand its high-quality after-school and summer programming that fosters resiliency in youth aged 6-18 and helps them build the necessary skills to achieve self-sufficiency through activities such as academic support, leadership, financial awareness, career exploration, and more.

FA-MLI, Inc. aims to provide dynamic educational and artistic projects for inner-city youth aged 11 to 24 through mentoring during school accredited courses, and after-school programs. In collaboration with One Voice, the organization proposes expanding its See A Man Be A Man program, which surrounds students with mentors and role models to guide them in growing holistically, to include young women and improve its curriculum to cover college goals, career, health, culture, spirituality, and more.

Careers in Entertainment creates access, introduces opportunity, and promotes inclusion for under-represented young people and their families who want to work in entertainment. In collaboration with the Peggy Beatrice Foundation, the organization seeks to create and launch a mobile classroom housed in a customized vehicle that will bring industry experts to guide homeless and foster youth in gaining the skills they need to become working professionals in the field of entertainment.

Social and Emotional Wellness Initiative aims to enhance the quality of life for youth and families by educating, motivating, and providing prevention programs through social and emotional wellness services. The goal of the organization's proposal is to improve the implementation of its MSW intern program that places master's level social work interns in schools and after-school programs to provide mental health services, crisis intervention, group counseling, staff training, and a social and emotional learning curriculum. envisions an educational system that instills emotional literacy and helps youth examine their purpose and relevance in life. In collaboration with Convergence Creative Solutions and Freeborn Productions, the organization seeks support in scaling its HeArt curriculum. This program targets youth through a digital series and on-campus workshops, by making it available to all Angelenos digitally through Zoom conferences, neighborhood workshops, on-campus assemblies, and community performances.

Fulfillment Fund aims to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities. In partnership with 8 LAUSD high schools, the organization seeks support for its Destination College+ program, a day-long college conference featuring grade-specific workshops, a College Fair for high school students and their parents, and Career Fair and career readiness workshops for postsecondary students.

CARECEN aims to promote 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. aims to connect college students to micro philanthropists aspiring to make a direct impact on college student's needs with the goal of closing the inequality gap. The organization seeks support in scaling its operations through enhancing its website, fulfillment model, and marketing efforts, in addition to incentivizing micro philanthropists with a matching grant.


Los Angeles Audubon works to promote 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.

The Saving the West Foundation is an education-based nonprofit that highlights the importance of academic excellence, workforce development, and environmental sustainability. In collaboration with Crop Swap LA, the organization proposes creating a series of “Green Thumb" classes that allow people of all ages to learn to grow their produce and plants that are native to Los Angeles, bringing people together in some of LA's most underutilized spaces to build a stronger society.


The Los Angeles Service Academy equips high school juniors to become problem solvers and visionaries of both the LA of today and tomorrow. In collaboration with the University of Southern California, the Huntington Library, and the Los Angeles Public Library, the organization seeks support in expanding its foundational skills training of student activists by creating additional partnerships and introducing new modules on fire, opportunities and infrastructural work around the 2028 Olympics, as well as responses to COVID-19.

City Year Los Angeles aims to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership, and social entrepreneurship. In partnership with the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD), the organization seeks support in expanding its Whole School Whole Child program to two IUSD pilot schools to help further the district's mission of nurturing, educating, and graduating students who are self-responsible and self-disciplined.

Kids Coalition translates “kids first" from a soundbite into a civil right for the children of Los Angeles and California by empowering public school parents and students to challenge laws or policies that systemically don't put kids first. The organization seeks support in legal drafting, public opinion testing, coalition building, and community organization to create a legal right to high-quality public education by either passing an LAUSD policy in 2021 or establishing a constitutional right via a 2022 ballot initiative.

Rise is a student-led nonprofit organization advocating for policies that make public higher education free and accessible to all. The organization's proposal aims to prepare 40 student organizing fellows to train 25 students each in advocating for solutions to campus hunger and homelessness through an online training program that will enable students to lead campaigns even if their campuses do not reopen during the grant period because of the coronavirus.

Vulnerable Populations and Disability Inclusion

Santa Monica College proposes working with Everytable, Westside Food Bank, CalFresh, the Department of Social Services, and Venice Family Clinic via Food Forward to expand its Meal Project program in response to COVID-19 by providing fresh and nutritious meals free to vulnerable students.

L.O.V.E. Foundation transforms the lives of homeless and vulnerable youth, adolescents, and young adults in Los Angeles through educational mentorship and support services to heal the mind, body, and spirit, empowering youth to be self-sufficient and innovative leaders. The organization seeks support for its Our Sanctuary of Love Resource and Referral Center to continue its self-empowerment workshops, homeless community outreach, resource and referral events, and community awareness and education efforts.

Pediatric Therapy Network seeks to lead 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 by improving its evidence-based educational and therapeutic interventions, as well as providing parents with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to help their children reach their fullest potential.

Freedom and Fashion uses the arts of fashion and beauty to create empowering mentorship programs for youth overcoming sex trafficking, domestic violence, and other injustices. In partnership with The Hoving Home and CAST LA, the organization seeks support for its Freedom and Fashion program that provides vital job skills, training, and professional and personal coaching to survivors of various injustices to help them heal from the trauma of past abuse.

Circle of Friends promotes inclusion for students with disabilities and those living with adversity. In collaboration with LAUSD, the organization seeks to expand its School Inclusion Program, which aims to provide strategies and support for K-12 educators who work with students experiencing social isolation due to disability or other challenges so that they can model leadership as they become allies and advocates for marginalized students, increasing school safety and reducing bullying.

United Friends of the Children empowers current and former foster youth on their journey to self-sufficiency through service-enriched education and housing programs, advocacy, and consistent relationships with a community of people who care. The plans to expand the impact of its Scholars Program, which helps LA foster youth bridge the gap between them and their non-foster peers by providing a suite of services, including educational case management and advocacy, college-readiness workshops, college tours, enrichment activities, youth development, and peer-led leadership opportunities, academic support, and financial aid.

New Earth provides mentor-based arts, educational, and vocational programs that empower juvenile justice and system-involved youth aged 13-25 to transform their lives, move toward positive, healthier life choices, and realize their full potential as contributing members of the community. The goal of its proposal is to enable system-impacted youth to earn their high school diploma while accessing reentry services by providing a fully accredited charter high school diploma program that integrates trauma-informed wrap-around services with high school education.


The Literacy Club aims to provide children access to free books through its Seeding Book Deserts™ One Book, One Child & One Community Book Box initiative. The goal of its proposal is to get books into the hands of children by designing and crafting Community Book Boxes for the LA County communities deemed as “Book Deserts," as well as distributing 40,000 books through LAUSD schools or neighborhood community organizations.

America SCORES LA seeks to inspire Los Angeles youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. Its proposal aims to expand its Literacy in Action program, which addresses the prevalence of low literacy and rising obesity rates that disproportionately affect youth in low-income communities by providing students with over 100 hours of structured physical activity and English Language Arts support.

Reading Partners aims to help 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.

Access Books aims to provide high-interest reading material to underserved children in Los Angeles by providing low-income neighborhoods with a warm and welcoming school or community library. The organization seeks support for its work in transforming dilapidated school libraries in LA, painting literacy-themed murals for each school, as well as donating books, reading furniture, and rugs.

Book Club for Kids is a free, 20-minute podcast for elementary and middle school kids designed to turn reluctant readers into lifelong book lovers. The organization proposes expanding its impact by developing curriculum around podcast episodes to be made available for free and taking its shows to 3-5 public schools or libraries every month where local authors, public officials, and influencers can read and do book signings in front of live audiences.

Join the Census "9 for 9" Challenge!

Posted May 1, 2020 by LeAnn Kelch

Are you ready to be counted? The 2020 Census determines our representation in Congress and influences how billions of dollars are spent every year on schools, healthcare, housing, transportation, and other vital programs in our communities. But we won't get an accurate count in 2020 unless everyone participates. That's why LA2050 and the Los Angeles Mayor's Office created the Census “9 for 9" Challenge!

The Census “9 for 9" Challenge encourages census participation through a chain of social media tags challenging friends and family members to answer their nine census questions and be counted! (Nine questions x nine friends = Census “9 for 9"!)

Here's how you can join:

  • STEP 1: Complete the census for your household at using the unique Census ID sent to you in the mail. (Don't have an ID? You can still fill it out using your address)
  • STEP 2: Take a photo or video as you complete the nine questions, obscuring any personal information, to share on social media.
  • STEP 3: Publish your post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag nine friends to challenge them to participate, using #CensusChallenge and #Census9for9.
  • STEP 4: Engage with the other #CensusChallenge and #Census9for9 posts by commenting, liking, and resharing!

Thanks for doing your part to ensure LA is counted!

Trends in the CONNECT Goal Category

Posted April 29, 2020 by Megan Loughman

In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 67 submissions to the CONNECT goal category. This goal category depicts a future where every resident in our region is empowered to engage and interact with their fellow Angelenos, move around our city efficiently, and contribute meaningfully to the civic process. You can see a summary of every single CONNECT proposal categorized by issue area here.

Here are four trends we noticed in submissions to the CONNECT goal category:

  1. While COVID-19 means we're safer home, Angelenos are working to stay connected by any means possible, giving this category new meaning. We saw a trend in proposals aspiring to revive our connections to the city and each other post-pandemic. Proposals like Inspiring Service, InsightLA, Union Rescue Mission, CHIRLA, and more give us so much hope for the future of our region! On issues like homelessness and immigrant rights, these organizations want to inspire and encourage people to get active and be part of the solutions to some of LA's most intractable problems.
  2. Along those lines, 67% of submissions to the CONNECT category were targeting the 'social and emotional support' metric. From mental health services and trauma response to an educational video game for children with autism, there are many creative ways in which organizations are looking to ensure that Angelenos have sufficient support. It's clear to us that people are yearning for deeper social and emotional connection during this period of physical distancing. Among the organizations focused on impacting social and emotional support in Los Angeles are Citizens of Culture, Social Cipher, the Indigenous Circle of Wellness, and more.
  3. We also noticed a desire to utilize and activate volunteers across all issue areas. Volunteering is one of the most important ways we can engage with our local communities, so it's no surprise that organizations like LA Works, 826LA, and PLUS ME Project are hoping to increase 'rates of volunteerism' in the region.
  4. More than one-third of the CONNECT proposals focused on the transformative power of public art to inspire civic engagement and bring people together. Public music performances from the Neighborhood Music School, a puppet festival from the Skirball Cultural Center, and a pop-up “dancemobile” from Heidi Duckler Dance are just a few of the creative arts-based events that groups are looking forward to once we can all gather again.

​Amplifying Impact with SVPLA

Posted April 29, 2020 by Amanda Liaw

One of the changes to this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge is that Social Venture Partners Los Angeles (SVPLA) is reviewing and evaluating all proposals submitted. The evaluation process began in the beginning of April and will end when 25 finalist organizations are selected at the end of May. (See the challenge timeline here).

According to Christine Margiotta, Executive Director of SVPLA, “It feels particularly meaningful in this moment of crisis to be able to help amplify powerful and impactful work happening in LA through the My LA2050 Grants Challenge."


The Evaluation Process

For the My LA2050 Grants Challenge, 38 SVP members will serve as reviewers. They received training from SVP and Goldhirsh Foundation teams to familiarize themselves with the LA2050 goals, metrics, and review process. After being screened for conflicts of interest, members were then assigned to review proposals for one of five goal categories.

Each evaluation team will take into consideration a range of factors to support the diversity of lived and learned expertise in addition to racial, age, and gender diversity. All proposals are read by at least two reviewers, who each have two weeks to score proposals. From there, SVPLA will meet with each evaluation team to further review and discuss the applicants in their category. The five strongest applicants will be submitted to the Goldhirsh Foundation as SVP's top tier recommendations.

Excited to Review and Spread the Word

Margiotta says SVPLA members look forward to the process, “Our SVP Partners are excited to have the opportunity to learn about so many great organizations working on a variety of pressing issues within our communities. They are curious, passionate, and engaged in a range of initiatives throughout the region, so they can also help spread the word about the great work of these organizations."

Similarly the LA2050 team is excited to work with SVPLA, whose team and members have many years of experience reviewing grant applications and pitches for funding. They bring a thoughtful eye to the proposal review process as they embody a wide range of experiences, coming from professional fields spanning nonprofit and philanthropy, government, business, and more.

About SVP

Social Venture Partners is an international network with over 3,500 engaged members in 40 cities. Its mission is to catalyze long-term social change in Los Angeles by connecting engaged philanthropists with innovative nonprofits.

Members of SVP LA are individuals committed to creating a more equitable, just, and thriving Los Angeles. They learn from nonprofit leaders while donating their money, time, skills, and networks, thereby cultivating meaningful relationships and amplifying impact.

If you're interested in getting involved with SVP and supporting early-stage, innovative initiatives in LA County, you can learn more about joining them as an SVP member here.

Making LA the Best Place to Connect

Posted April 27, 2020 by Team LA2050

In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 67 submissions in the CONNECT goal category. This category represents the goal that every resident in our region has the opportunity to engage and interact with fellow Angelenos and feels empowered to contribute meaningfully in the civic process.

Within this goal category you'll find projects that address civic engagement, arts and culture, volunteerism, community-building, technology, access and inclusion, health, wellness, and trauma response, hunger and homelessness, immigrant rights, foster youth, and the environment.

Stay tuned as we'll be featuring the LEARN goal category next week!

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.

Changeist immerses young people in 6-month civic action experiences that empower them to make the world a better place. As the only AmeriCorps State program model that uses service as a strategy to grow civic engagement among youth, its proposal aims to expand the program to bring on 15 additional AmeriCorps members over the next year and to engage an additional 300 youth across Los Angeles.

SameSide is a peer-to-peer web-based events platform that encourages grassroots political engagement by allowing activists to connect their gathering to a cause. The goal of its proposal is to empower 1,000 unique hosts in Los Angeles between July and November 2020 to hold events that promote voting and political engagement.

Students Run LA aims to challenge underserved secondary students to experience goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring, and improved health by training for and completing the Los Angeles Marathon. In collaboration with the Civics Center, its proposal seeks to build an active, civically-minded electorate among the greater Latinx community in historically underrepresented neighborhoods through student-led voter registration drives in majority Latinx schools.

Novelly aims to spark activism in young people through relatable and engaging young adult fiction. The organization seeks to expand on its Novelly Leadership Academy, an 8-week online training program using the Novelly app, to empower students to facilitate and moderate high-quality civic discussions with their peers.

Facing History and Ourselves aims to create the next generation of caring and informed citizens by using lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. The organization proposes expanding its social-emotional learning program, Facing History, to support over 9,000 teachers in creating a strong cohort of civically-engaged youth in LA.

Venice Family Clinic, which provides quality and comprehensive healthcare to underserved families and individuals, proposes launching the non-partisan civic engagement initiative, West L.A. Votes! Through this project, the Clinic would mobilize West L.A. residents to vote by training volunteers to connect residents with voting resources and educating Angelenos about national, state, and local government via video shorts, a 'Lunch & Learn' series, and more.

Arts and Culture

National Association of Latino Independent Producers is one of the leading organizations prioritizing a Latinx pipeline in the entertainment industry. Its Emerging Content Creators Inclusion Initiative would provide emerging artists from underrepresented communities with valuable knowledge, resources and an accessible point of entry into entertainment via workshops and mentorship.

Free Arts is a nonprofit that uses art to restore hope, resiliency, and self-esteem in children ages 5-18 who have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness. The goal of the proposal is to serve over 22,000 low-income youth in Los Angeles by making the organization's four core programs – Free Arts Mentoring, Free Arts Days, Free Arts for Families, and the Free Arts Court Program – free of charge.

Heidi Duckler Dance creates place-based dance performances that transform vacant and non-traditional spaces. Its project, Los Angeles Street, seeks to transform the LA Fashion District, improve its livability, and preserve its unique “maker" culture by establishing an artist residency with a pop-up performance venue, discovery space for exhibits, performances, workshops, and more.

Arts Bridging the Gap highlights the voices, experiences, and self-expression of LA's youth through immersive arts programs. The 100 Murals for Peace project encourages artistic expression in under-resourced communities by encouraging thousands of kids to engage in painting murals, thereby developing a true creative connection to their communal spaces.

Creative Acts seeks to heal 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.

Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore provides a positive space for people to create, imagine, and express themselves through ancestral knowledge, arts, literacy, and creative engagement. In collaboration with Pukúu Cultural Community Services, its project, the Indigenous In Us: Embracing Ancestral Knowledge and Sharing the Beauty of Practice, aims to engage Northeast San Fernando residents in learning, reflecting, and sharing indigenous-based history, lessons, skills, and practices via workshops and ceremonies.

The Neighborhood Music School serves students from Boyle Heights and the communities of East Los Angeles, where public art is rarely experienced. The goal of its Community Performance Series is to foster community pride in neighborhoods across East LA by providing free, high-quality, public musical performances.

The Skirball Cultural Center proposes organizing the Skirball Puppet Festival, a daylong profusion of puppet theatre including interactive performances, roaming marionettes, pageant puppets, live music, and puppet-making workshops. The aim of the festival is to engage multiple generations through puppetry arts and immersive storytelling and to create a shared experience around universally accessible stories.

Build A Better World Foundation supports the empowerment of youth and other charitable organizations by sponsoring concerts, musicals, and events. The organization proposes hosting the Build A Better World Foundation Concert to create awareness of and fundraise for existing nonprofits already working within the community, and to provide a platform for community and spiritual leaders to speak about the importance of coming together.

Good Trouble Makers is a practice-driven collaborative that investigates what anti-racist, queer dance making, teaching, and performing looks like. The group proposes collaborating with Downtown Dance & Movement to expand its social and concert dance and movement program, In Progress, to serve the disabled, queer, and POC communities in Los Angeles and showcase accessible dance.

Citizens of Culture uses arts to develop critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and to combat resource inequality. The organization proposes expanding Community Practice, an art-based and donation-based social emotional learning and mental health program that attempts to combat loneliness and develop emotional literacy via weekly community engagements, webinars, and online training.

International Eye LA transforms communities through arts, culture, and the humanities. In collaboration with Black Arts Los Angeles, Ideal Chalk, Belize Caye Fest, and more, the organization proposes curating the Leimert Park Village Festival Series and producing a Los Angeles Carnival to support, market, and re-imagine Leimert Park as a culturally-rich community and destination rooted in African-derived culture and traditions.

The Music Center proposes relaunching Dance DTLA, a series of diverse dance engagements featuring live music, DJ sets, and dance instruction, to help Angelenos from all demographic and economic backgrounds recover from social isolation. The project envisions transitioning from virtual dance parties to both online and in-person dance engagements through which the Music Center will collaborate with the League of Women Voters and the Los Angeles County Registrar to support voter registration.


Inspiring Service develops the technology and tools to enable volunteerism and social activism; the organization has been focused on rebuilding the volunteer ecosystem in Los Angeles for more than three years. Inspiring Service aims to work closely with the Mayor of LA and local nonprofit partners to transform its platform into a COVID-19 Assessment and Response system that shows the impact of COVID-19 on the county's social sector and recruits volunteers to help the sector recover.

L.A. Works, in collaboration with Everyone In–United Way, Audubon Society at Debs Park, and Councilmember Ryu, proposes expanding its Take Action Initiative by launching monthly bootcamps around three different issue areas – climate change, homelessness, and equity in education. The collaborative aims to mobilize over 1,000 volunteer advocates to address the root causes of these issues.

826LA supports students ages 6-18 with creative and expository writing skills and helps teachers inspire students to write. Through its Changing the Story project, the organization aims to grow its volunteer program by developing new outreach strategies and improving its training systems.

Dressember is a nonprofit that empowers communities to advocate for the dignity of all people and to fight human trafficking. The organization seeks to grow its community in LA by recruiting new volunteers to provide survivors of human trafficking with case management as well as education and job readiness services.


Kid City Hope Place aims to increase access to opportunities for young people to explore their intellectual curiosity and capacity, claim their education, and advocate for themselves and their communities. In collaboration with the Museum for Social Justice, Kid City Hope Place proposes creating a new LA Story by having young leaders facilitate story circles around museum exhibits to connect resident artists and curators with a new audience and build a deeper sense of community among young and marginalized individuals.

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.

Southern California Curling Center is the only facility dedicated to the sport of curling in Southern California. In partnership with Hollywood Curling, Triumph Foundation, Angel City Sports, and others, its Connect With Curling program aims to foster social connection by bringing different community groups together through curling sessions and a tournament.

Trauma Informed LA is an all-volunteer grassroots organization that aims to foster resilient communities that promote healing and well-being through collaboration, education, and community engagement. Its podcast Our Stories LA is a narrative-building project centering around the lived experiences of activists and healers. The goal of its proposal is to bolster intergenerational social and emotional connection through expanding on its podcast to include healing stories, events, and workshops.

Shared_Studios brings communities together in immersive spaces called Portals to talk, collaborate, and provide a source of creativity, positive, and strength for each other. Shared Studios aims to work with local organizations to co-create the LA_Portal, a pop-up community space where people can gather in small groups and explore ways to create a more vibrant and resilient city.

Camp Lost Boys is a nonprofit that offers retreats and immersive experiences for transgender men. It proposes collaborating with the Intentional Man Project to engage transgender and cisgender men of all experience in transforming the culture of masculinity and creating a shared brotherhood.

Center for Council delivers programs and trainings that promote communication, build community, enhance well-being, and foster compassion. It proposes launching the Circle Up Los Angeles project to offer every resident the opportunity to engage, interact, and come together by hosting weekly Councils that gather and connect a diverse cross-section of local communities to listen and share their stories.

LiteraTea is a website where individuals can write, share, and discuss stories aided by interactive courses and tools, live video, and communal support. The goal of the organization's proposal is to expand its services by creating tailored programs, such as specific courses, ancillary content, and instructional videos for underserved Angelenos, especially seniors, recent immigrants, and the homebound.

The Altadena Library District proposes implementing Curiosity Connection: Altadena Library on Wheels, an outreach initiative and mobile library program that aims to provide volunteer opportunities, WiFi access in areas of need, educational materials through mobile check-outs, events for community members to build cohesion, and more.

PLUS ME Project is dedicated to empowering middle and high school youth to increase their confidence for college, career, and community advancement by teaching the art of storytelling. In collaboration with GEAR UP 4 LA, the organization seeks to expand its project by hosting monthly story building training sessions for its volunteers and organizing quarterly storytelling mixers where volunteers, students, and the public can interact with, inspire, and listen to each other's stories.

Mighty Companions produces events, projects, and experiences to help shift an individual's worldview from one based on self-interest to caring for another. The organization proposes launching its project Making L.A. a Friendlier City, which aims to get people to connect with each other and come together as one city.


Startups in the Sky proposes launching an InTECHrity podcast and conference series to provide a critical platform for social justice advocates, software engineers, internet philosophers, and the startup community to reimagine and create a digital future that is safe, equitable, and just for all digital citizens.

EveryoneOn connects low-income families with affordable internet service and computers, and offers digital skills training. Its Connected and Empowered Communities virtual digital skills training program seeks to engage those who are most affected by the digital divide to ensure they develop the digital literacy skills required to access critical services, employment opportunities, and educational resources found online.

human-I-T provides low-income individuals and nonprofits with technology, internet, and digital literacy training. The organization proposes expanding its Include program, a self-paced, student-centered digital literacy class designed to help students, parents, and older family members harness all of the opportunity that lives online.

Halt is a company dedicated to empowering the city through long-term sustainable and dynamic infrastructural technologies. The organization aims to complete its operating system haltOS, which has analytics and metrics to assist in reducing congestion in cities, offering city WiFi to residents, increasing sources of revenue for cities, and more, with the goal of helping cities be ahead of the curve.

Civy is a cloud-based mobile platform that seeks to enable direct and productive conversation between city officials and residents. The goal of its proposal is to improve civic engagement in Los Angeles County by implementing its public outreach platform so that the LA government can efficiently share civic projects with residents and residents can thereby provide feedback in confidence or vote on these projects.

Access and Inclusion for People with Disabilities

Friendship Foundation supports families who have children with special needs through programs like Friendship Clubs, which are school-sanctioned clubs located in elementary, middle, and high schools across South Bay that bring special needs and general education children together to build a community of support and encouragement. This project focuses on impacting two populations in the South Bay and surrounding communities: children with special needs and students with a willingness and desire to volunteer.

Special Olympics Southern California provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Its Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program works closely with the LAUSD Adapted Physical Education Department to increase the social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities on LAUSD campuses through providing inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and engaging entire school communities.

Inclusion Matters by Shane's Inspiration aims to create social inclusion for children with disabilities through inclusive playgrounds and programs. In collaboration with LAUSD's Division of Special Education, its proposal, “Connect LA Families" aims to partner with five nonprofits in diverse, low-income communities to replicate its My PlayClub program, which provides families with fully integrated play events and online resources.

Social Cipher creates role-playing games that give autistic and other neuro-divergent youth a safe and accessible place to understand and apply social-emotional skills. Its proposal seeks support to finish developing and running subsidized pilots of its premier game series Ava, a space pirate-themed adventure game that breaks down social interactions through interactive dialogue and emotional systems, and encourages self-advocacy.

New Horizons aims to empower individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. The goal of the organization's proposal is to develop and implement a coordinated transportation system using agency vehicles, public transportation, and other mobility options and expand opportunities for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to connect with the community through volunteerism, employment, social interaction, and more.

Health, Wellness, and Trauma Response

Walk With Sally provides individualized mentoring and community support services to empower children experiencing trauma through a loved one's cancer journey. Walk With Sally aims to expand its services by opening a satellite office in downtown Los Angeles to provide more families with temporary financial support and more children with Friendship Activities programming to help them cope with traumatic situations.

The Foundation for Living Beauty empowers women to increase their physical wellness and emotional stability while coping with cancer and chemotherapy. The organization proposes creating virtual programming to serve more women, especially those in disenfranchised populations, through wellness and holistic healing, which is a critical part of the cancer journey.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles helps youth achieve their full potential by offering programs that facilitate and support positive youth development. Its free mobile app Teen Talk allows teens to anonymously seek social and emotional support from trained teen advisors. The goal of its proposal is to increase capacity and develop a local community of teens who will recreate this community in real life through increasing recruitment and training efforts.

Indigenous Circle of Wellness provides mental wellness services grounded in culturally inclusive holistic healing to build healthy relationships, families, and communities. Through its So'oh-Shinálí Sister Project, they aim to have a 40% increase in community members who receive social and emotional support. Its plan proposes hosting two large events to celebrate tribal culture, diversity, and resilience through visual and performing arts, as well as developing a toolkit on hosting such Indigenous community-focused arts events.

InsightLA is a meditation center in Los Angeles that serves more than 10,000 individuals annually. Its proposal seeks to expand its Insight in Action program by offering meditation teachings and community-building activities to individuals and organizations recovering from the effects of COVID-19.

Conscious Kids Project partners with schools in Los Angeles to teach students evidence-based yoga and meditation tools that improve physical and emotional health, academic potential, and overall well-being. The organization proposes empowering special education students through the Conscious Connections project, which aims to research, implement, assess, and design a yoga curriculum to reach 100 special education students across public schools in Los Angeles.

LASTing Impressions Center seeks to ensure that more people, particularly victims of violence and abuse, can recover from trauma through art therapy. The organization proposes providing individuals affected by violence and abuse with access to creative arts therapy, including art, music, writing, and dance, to help them undertake the healing process and connect with other individuals in a safe environment.

Creative Healing for Youth in Pain is a nonprofit that provides youth with chronic pain and their parents/caregivers with online resources that encourage creative healing and social support. The organization's proposal seeks to launch PhotoVoice, a pilot program that will empower participants to document their lives using cameras, thereby fostering individual and community change through social connections.

Voices Beyond Assault is dedicated to providing aid, resources, and innovative therapy for survivors of sexual assault. The goal of its proposal is to implement a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to ensure every survivor has access to support by launching its Beauty of Survival Project, which seeks to create safe environments where survivors can heal and celebrate through therapy, meditation, yoga, conversation sessions, writing experiences, and more.

Hunger and Homelessness

The Giving Spirit assembles and distributes survival kits to homeless men, women, children, and families living in greater Los Angeles. The goal of its proposal is to build stronger community support for programs that aid the homeless by expanding on its outreach and educational programs that promote shared dialogue between housed and homeless individuals.

resisterhoodLA partners with nonprofits to curate impactful, accessible, and inclusive volunteer opportunities for Angelenos. Its goal is to host four events over the next year to build and distribute 1,000 FLOWVEMBER menstrual hygiene kits to benefit individuals experiencing homelessness and combine hands-on volunteering with homelessness advocacy education.

Union Rescue Mission provides life-transforming programs to end homelessness for men, women, children, and families throughout Los Angeles County. Its project aims to provide critical services, medical care, support, and housing for families experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis, in addition to inspiring Angelenos to end homelessness once and for all with its #LoveLikeaHero campaign.

The Living Through Giving Foundation proposes expanding #HashtagLunchbag, its humanitarian movement that motivates people to prepare and distribute meals for people experiencing homelessness. The organization aims to extend its geographical outreach, increase the number of meals provided, and build greater awareness among a diverse group of volunteers around solutions to address food insecurity and homelessness.

Union Station Homeless Services aims to help individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness across the San Gabriel Valley. The organization proposes expanding its Community Allies Program, which seeks 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.

Immigrant Rights

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights educates, legally protects, and advocates for immigrants to build their own power. As a coalition builder and national leader in immigrant rights, CHIRLA seeks support in expanding its work during the COVID-19 crisis to be a lifeline for immigrants through providing them with information, legally protecting them, and advocacy.

OneJustice connects underserved Californians in need of legal help with those who can provide it to ensure justice for all people living in California. In partnership with Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and Central American Resource Center, this collaborative proposes implementing quarterly Asylum Legal Clinics and Resource Fairs to support asylum seekers in navigating immigration court cases and connect them with legal, mental health, medical, and community services and resources.

Miry's List provides a network for Americans to directly help their resettling refugee neighbors get what they need to start their new lives. The goal of the organization's proposal is to expand on its Welcome, Neighbor program to further engage 5,000 Angelenos in sustained, tangible service through organizing large-scale events, smaller-scale convenings, and other activations, such as Welcome, Neighbor days at schools.

Foster Youth

Korean American Family Services is a family resource center dedicated to empowering underserved Korean American and Asian Pacific Islander (API) families. The goal of its proposal is to change the trajectory of high risk youth in need by expanding community outreach, offering ongoing support groups for API foster parents, and providing emergency needs to API foster youth and their families.

Ready to Succeed is a nonprofit that 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.


Climate Resolve is a nonprofit dedicated to combating climate change and helping vulnerable communities adapt to its impacts. Its One Day campaign aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging Angelenos to bike, walk, or take public transit once a week instead of driving to their destination, thereby changing how Los Angeles views transportation.

BREATHE California of Los Angeles County promotes clean air and healthy lungs through research, education, advocacy, and technology. The organization aims to collaborate with California State University, Northridge and Climate Cents on its proposed Blue Sky LA project, an air quality improvement program that seeks to engage residents through monthly volunteer opportunities, “citizen-driven" projects, community-based educational sessions, and more.

Investing in Place uses research, advocacy, and capacity-building to align policies and public dollars to support transportation investments that strengthen the Los Angeles region. In collaboration with ACT-LA, CicLAvia, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and Move LA, this group of organizations aims to create a new mobility movement that prioritizes equity, climate change, bikeable and walkable streets, and access to high-quality transit by building power together as an engaged and inclusive constituency.

Making LA the Best Place to Live

Posted April 24, 2020 by Team LA2050

This year, we received 65 submissions in the LIVE goal category during the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. At LA2050, the LIVE goal category represents our goal that our region's residents have the economic means and cultural capital to lead active, healthy lives, and everyone benefits from a sustainable environment.

There are many fantastic ideas to look through, so we made summaries of all the proposals in this category grouped by smaller issue area: housing, health and wellness, economic empowerment, food, environment, crisis and trauma response, community-building, youth development, senior services, veteran services, journalism, and violence prevention.

Next week we'll feature the Connect Goal Category, so keep an eye out!


ONEgeneration's Shared Housing project expands critical current housing support efforts aimed at reducing the number of people facing housing insecurity by matching older adults with intergenerational groups and individuals who are seeking companionship, independence, support, and affordability. Their proposal will partner with LA Family Housing, CSUN, and Pierce College to support and implement this intergenerational Shared Housing project.

Move LA's “Boulevards of Opportunity for Affordable Housing" project will promote policies enabling affordable multifamily housing in mixed-use developments with robust urban greening and bike/pedestrian improvements along commercial boulevards served by zero-emission bus rapid transit. Partnering with UrbanFootprint, this proposal seeks to provide graphic GIS mapping and evaluative services to address LA County's needs for affordable housing near mass transit routes.

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.

The Midnight Mission aims to help people move from homelessness to self-sufficiency by expanding their successful Health Living Program, a no-cost 12- to 18-month structured process for homeless male adults who want help to overcome their addiction.

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.

The project from Back on My Feet Los Angeles supports people experiencing homelessness by reconnecting them with their community and guiding them in obtaining sustainable employment by creating running teams. This running-based program aims to restore confidence, strength, and self-esteem so that individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move toward jobs, homes, and new lives.

211 LA proposes the development of an online Homeless Resource Portal, where homeless service providers and community-based partners in LA County can share and request needed items for homeless families they serve. The proposed portal will serve as a coordination and communication tool that will allow service providers to request and share resources needed for homeless individuals and families they serve.

Los Angeles Room & Board's Open Spaces project fosters partnerships with college student housing programs to reimagine the use of their vacant dorm rooms to provide stability to community college students experiencing housing insecurity, in addition to providing supportive programs such as academic mentorship, tutoring, and job readiness.

Renovation Planners' Urban $marts LA aims to help homeowners take charge of their finances by building a backyard home to rent out, while making their dreams of entrepreneurship and wealth-building a reality, reducing their housing costs and providing safe and affordable housing.

Safe Place For Youth's Safe Pods for Youth proposes working with PodShare to offer a low-cost and immediate solution to the youth homelessness crisis by galvanizing community sponsors to fund short-term pods for $28 a night while supporting youth in finding employment, enrolling in school, and locating permanent housing.

Abundant Housing LA is committed to education and advocacy on the affordability, livability, and sustainability benefits of more housing. The organization proposes doing outreach and education on LA's housing element update by creating a FAIR Plan that aims to recommend allocating housing in a way that equitably achieves LA's housing production target.

Health & Wellness

Saban Community Clinic (SCC) plans to open a new Family Health Center to provide medical, dental, and behavioral health services to more than 1,400 patients by July 2021. The SCC hopes to provide valuable, quality healthcare to thousands of families regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, including those who are living below the poverty line.

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.

Heart Touch proposes trainings at four sites for new caregiver groups in Los Angeles for 520 RNs and CNAs over a period of two years. This project strives to train healthcare providers in non-pharmacological treatment strategies for those dealing with chronic pain and aims to use compassionate touch therapy in filling this unmet need.

Young Invincibles aims to expand the scope of its proven Barbershops campaign to better connect young people from the Black and Latinx communities in Los Angeles County to the health and nutritional benefits for which they are eligible. These efforts will ensure that a generation of young people who might otherwise see their goals deferred or denied due to food and health insecurity will be connected with the resources they need.

Esperanza Community Housing Corporations hopes to expand its Promotores de Salud program to increase access to health services and decrease preventable ER use for asthma patients in low-income communities of color. This proposal aims to train 25 community participants and serve 350 families.

The project from The Wellness Arts Collective takes on the gap in access to mental health services for those who identify as LGBTQ+, BIPOC, (im)migrant, and/or low income. This project hopes to expand existing pro-bono psychotherapy and wellness services for folks in the community that are unable to pay, in addition to providing free venue space to health and wellness educators and practitioners.

The project from My Friends House addresses the question, “how well matched is the food to the true nutritional needs of food pantry clients?" By searching medical records, emergency room visits, and doing blood tests, the goal of this project is to identify true nutritional deficiencies and work to meet that specific need. This proposal aims to make changes in the foods which are emphasized by the Food Bank and local Food Pantries.

Alzheimer's Los Angeles, in partnership with SAGE, proposes producing five educational videos and a facilitator guide, profiling LGBTQ+ adults with dementia and their family caregivers, to reach an under-served and stigmatized population with information to improve their access to quality dementia healthcare.

The project from Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services aims to provide online therapy resources for the more than 80% of their clients from low-income households who do not have the means to travel for face-to-face therapy. The goal is to provide online therapy services remotely to 1,000 clients in Los Angeles.

A Place Called Home will help improve mental health and wellness outcomes for 1,000 youth in South Central LA with a wraparound approach encompassing physical and socioemotional health, nutrition, family dynamic and function, and educational support. This project will provide 20,000 hours of free individualized mental health and family services in Spanish and English, serve 34,000 meals on-site and distribute 3,000 bags of groceries to food-insecure families, and serve 1,000 youth.

Find Your Anchor seeks to expand its program distributing “mental health first aid kit" boxes, each packed materials designed to inspire, soothe, and offer support, including a “52+ Reasons to Live" deck of cards, an infographic on depression, a list of resources, posters, stickers, a bracelet, and a letter. With this proposal, 6,750 citizens of LA would receive FYA boxes.

Economic Empowerment

Golden State Opportunity plans to help hard-working Angelenos access the resources they need to take care of their families and improve their financial resiliency by leveraging their outreach and education model to provide the information and support Angelenos need to claim the millions of dollars available via tax credits, stimulus checks, and public benefit programs.

Bread Head's Community Ambassador program, working with Safe Place for Youth and Venice Community Housing, intends to inspire hired ambassadors to strengthen job readiness skills in a workforce they are passionate about while addressing issues of social isolation and bringing awareness to systemic challenges impacting housing insecurity, including malnourishment, mental illness, generational poverty, and stigmatization.

LIFT's Family Goal Fund is designed to help 400 families build a small financial buffer both in times of crisis like COVID-19 and to withstand the daily stressors that come with living in poverty and accelerate their progress towards long-term goals.

teamtaub aims to create a website and app to educate the public on how to pay household worker/nanny tax, as well as set up a "LA Tour" of live educational sessions at local schools to reach those who are currently not adhering to the law or are thinking of hiring a household worker.

urban possibilities plans to offer people sheltering at LA Mission with a digital 12-week empowerment program using writing and theater. Students perform original pieces for online graduation, followed by live talk-back and e-book.


The Dream Center Foundation aims to distribute food and programming to meet the basic needs of the surrounding community and support vulnerable families in their transition toward a more sustainable lifestyle, in addition to actively responding to the need caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

ZipMarket increases access to healthy food by enabling delivery services for local farmers' markets. This project would create and launch the ZipMarket app.

Meals on Wheels of San Pedro provides nutritious, affordable meals to those who are unable to supply it for themselves and to offer caring, personal interaction. This project aims to increase the number of clients served from 40 per day to 200 per day by replacing old equipment and increasing volunteers.

The Hollywood Food Coalition has been addressing food insecurity for 33 years by providing hot, nutritious meals to the hungry and homeless every night of the year and hopes to expand by building LA's first “Food Hub", designed to better connect excess food with hungry Angelenos in need.

United Parents And Students will partner with the American Heart Association and California FreshWorks to improve access to high-quality, fresh and affordable foods in underserved communities across Los Angeles.

LA Compost's programs aim to serve individuals with home composting opportunities, communities with education and access to a decentralized network of composting infrastructure, and the broader Los Angeles County area through regional sites for organics processing, compost creation, and continued education.

Huarache Farms plans to dramatically expand its current growing capacity by building a transparently run cooperative of backyard farms that provide sustainable and local food while keeping the majority of the money in the local economy.

elePlate aims to end commercial food waste at the source, save thousands, and unlock financially sustainable food recovery growth across LA. This project plans to work with companies to turn their kitchens into zero food waste operations.

Global Green aims to expand its Food Recovery Program, a comprehensive food rescue system that provides a sustainable solution to both hunger and environmental challenges. At least 5000 people will be fed by the food donated from the restaurants to the food banks, which will indirectly impact the population of Los Angeles due to the greenhouse gases (GHG) reduced by diverting food from the landfill.

Sprouts of Promise Foundation proposes establishing a Los Angeles Farmers' Market Coalition that will unite farmers' markets across LA, both affluent markets and those serving in food deserts, facilitating the sharing of information and resources.

Crop Swap LA will 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.

The Urban Homestead is an established, successful, and highly productive working urban farm that has developed itself as a media authority for sustainable urban agricultural living. This project plans to improve its Urban Homestead Podcast to be a deeper, richer production; and a more reliable, frequent, and interactive show.

Share Our Strength is seeking to expand its No Kid Hungry program, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America to ensure kids have access to meals where they live, learn, and play. The goal of its proposed "Breakfast After The Bell" project is to partner with schools in LA County to expand access and participation for breakfast by making breakfast a part of the school day.


The SeaChange Agency's project “Stand Up for The Ocean" plans to reduce LA's water pollution by increasing the amount of trash removed from the Santa Monica Bay this year by 400% and educates and empowers hundreds of underserved youth to prevent future water pollution.

U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles is launching a Healthy Building Alliance for the LA region to create a commitment that building owners, tenants, and individuals can make to provide healthy, resilient space to live, work, and play. The goal of the project is to create commitment, generate valuable data, and provide resources to support the journey for all Angelenos to experience healthy environments.

Environmental Health Coalition's Regenerate Los Angeles campaign aims to equitably phase out fossil fuel power plants by training 160 activists from frontline LA communities in the organizing and campaign skills needed to phase out LA's fossil fuel power plants.

Heal the Bay's River Report Card project plans to protect the health of Angelenos who enjoy freshwater swimming and recreation areas by providing water quality information during the hot summer months. This project will train community college students in bacterial water quality monitoring, the development of state-of-the-art public notification tools, and a targeted outreach campaign for communities living near these sites.

The Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance plans to conduct outreach throughout the neighborhood council (NC) system, educating people about the parallels between this crisis and the climate crisis, and provide NCs with the tools to identify and implement the changes we can and must make in order to be more resilient and sustainable.

Habits Of Waste's DrinkTap will be a multilingual communications campaign to inform and reassure Angeleno's that their tap water is accessible, clean and safe to drink. The #DrinkTap campaign plans to work with LADWP to tackle the massive bottled water problem.

SoCal 350 seeks to put an end to neighborhood drilling throughout LA county, support the rights of indigenous groups, find renewable energy solutions to fight climate change, put pressure on Chase Bank to #stopthemoneypipeline that's destroying the Amazon, and educate/inform Angelenos about climate change via their podcast EcoJustice Radio.

Crisis & Trauma Response

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.

LA Forward's COVID-19 crisis response work includes crisis response guides, policy development, digital mobilization, and helping to launch and coordinate the Healthy LA Coalition of over 250+ local organizations proposing concrete solutions to the many hardships caused by the pandemic.

CleanSlate's WECARE Trauma-Informed Training program plans to provide 700 people with assessment, training, and care via ten community partner organizations that work with people experiencing trauma but who are not themselves trained in trauma-informed care.

HOMEplace plans to mobilize and sustain survivors of childhood sexual assault as Liberation Arts Community Health Strategists to innovate replicable interventions for internal, interpersonal, and collective freedom from internalized and enforced systemic oppression.


The Sustainable Communities Initiative utilizes a place-based, collective-impact approach to comprehensive community development to provide a wide array of services and resources that help mitigate social, economic, and health and environmental stressors that have historically caused barriers for LMI community members to fully thrive in their communities.

The Neighborhood Resiliency Gardens project from Unycyn plans to provide opportunities for STEAM education and a canvas for public art and connect programs and projects to foster healthy civic environments with public art and urban gardens through their platform “"

Novus Think Tank's Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) project is a community-based living and food insecurity project where visitors are encouraged to bring their own mugs to enjoy a coffee, and volunteer in BYOM's community garden in exchange for discounted produce or rent subsidization.

Cooperative Resources and Services Project's LA Eco-Village Community Hub plans to extend its outreach capacity at its community venue and urban farm (transformed from a former auto repair shop) This project aims to be a welcoming and vibrant place for LA residents to learn how to live healthier, more resilient, and less environmentally impactful lives.

Kingdom Causes Bellflower's “Strong Neighbors" program for homeless and low-income neighbors will empower people through workshops with topics like money management, life transitions, outdoor survival, self-defense, waste management, employment, and increasing income, authority interaction, organization of belongings, and property law.

Youth Development

Harvest All Resource Center's Nia Intentional Living Opportunity Youth project seeks to support youth living in South LA aged 16-24 in attaining access to mental health services, social and emotional well-being & life skills, enhanced social connections, and college and/or career engagement.

Providence Saint John's Child and Family Development Center's Nurture in Nature project aims to assess the impact of wilderness outings on mental health and well-being of two low-income groups and aims to provide opportunities to experience respite from daily stress and connect with other families in a supportive environment.

Peer Health Exchange will train nearly 315 college student volunteers to teach a 14-week skills-based health program to over 3,350 9th grade students in under-resourced communities across LA.

Root & Wings Institute of Social and Emotional Learning's Good Life Academy plans to expand its existing program, Good Life Academy, a virtual platform that will provide free online psychological support for teens and parents throughout LAUSD.

Senior Services

Valley InterCommunity Council plans to help seniors thrive by providing nutritionally balanced meals, socialization (post-COVID19), case management, transportation, and more.

Veteran Services

Community Veteran Justice Project plans to expand assistance to LA area Veterans and their families by ensuring clients receive the maximum benefit from the California Veteran alternative sentencing statutes.


LAist aims to take the traditions and trust they've built to transform their “How To LA" guide into a “How To New LA" guide, serving a critical need as Los Angeles recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Report for America plans to field four full-time 'corps members' – emerging journalists – who will report on under-covered communities and topics in the greater Los Angeles area: environment and sustainability; homelessness, affordable housing, and development; education and young people; transportation; and minority communities.

Mother Jones plans to expand their coverage and reporting resources in Los Angeles, going deep on the biggest stories of the moment that impact Angelenos, including affordable housing, homelessness, access to healthy food, immigration, and other important issues.

Violence Prevention

International Association for Human Values proposes training 100 former gang members from across all neighborhoods of LA as Ambassadors of Nonviolence, empowering them to train community members in nonviolence practices and host a Peace Innovation Summit in 2021 to promote entrepreneurial solutions to the socio-economic challenges in their communities.

Trends in the LIVE Goal Category

Posted April 22, 2020 by Megan Loughman

We received 66 submissions in the LIVE goal category for this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge. At LA2050, the LIVE goal category represents our vision for a happy, healthy, and sustainable region in which residents have the economic means and cultural capital to lead active lives and benefit from a thriving environment. You can see a summary of every single LIVE proposal categorized by issue area here.

Here are four trends we noticed in submissions to the LIVE goal category:

  1. Unsurprisingly, a common theme among the proposals was COVID-19: its impact on our region and how we might best approach recovery. Having our grants challenge amid the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipated at least a few proposals aimed at helping those impacted by job loss, the inadequacies of our social safety nets, and other complications resulting from the “Safer at Home" orders. We are glad to see organizations being responsive to this need and adapting their current offerings and services to benefit Angelenos that are particularly vulnerable. Some of the organizations that focused their proposals on responding to COVID-19 include LIFT, The Dream Center Foundation, LA Forward, Valley InterCommunity Council, and LAist.
  2. Not surprisingly then, the #1 metric targeted by submissions in the LIVE category was 'resilient communities.' The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed inequities and vulnerabilities that exist in our ability to respond to poverty and crisis. More than 25 proposals are seeking to build community resilience through the provision of trauma-informed mental health services, improving food systems and sustainability, and innovating to house people experiencing homelessness.
  3. 65% of the LIVE submissions intended to impact either the 'food insecurity' metric or the 'access to healthy food' metric. Organizations like The Hollywood Food Coalition, United Parents And Students, Meals on Wheels of San Pedro, Sprouts of Promise Foundation, and many more proposed providing healthy, fresh groceries and meals to thousands of vulnerable families, students, and older adults.
  4. We also noticed a trend in repurposing existing space in creative, new ways to be used for housing. For example, Los Angeles Room & Board's Open Spaces project fosters partnerships with college student housing programs to reimagine the use of their vacant dorm rooms to provide stability to community college students experiencing housing insecurity. Safe Place For Youth's Safe Pods for Youth proposes working with PodShare to use its pods as a temporary housing solution for people experiencing homelessness, and Renovation Planners' Urban $marts LA will help local residents build additional dwelling units.

​9 Dots: A Classroom of the Future

Posted April 20, 2020 by Amanda Liaw

“What are the coordinates of where we're moving to?”

The teacher's question is met with a flurry of raised hands. He picks a student to answer, she gets it right, and the class moves into independent working time. One student is levels ahead, already unlocking the tougher coding challenges beyond the first five “training wheels” exercises. Another two students point out mistakes in each other's coding and move forward together. The sound of furious typing is punctuated by the occasional “Ohh” and “Yes!” as things click into place.

These students are 5th graders and already learning how to write code.

Coding is complex work, so the design of 9 Dots' Computer Science (CS) pathway prepares students for the difficulty of simplifying their work – an easily under-estimated process that requires high-level analytical and problem-solving skills. From the way 9 Dots plans their curriculum to work like building blocks to the gamified interface they created to support both students and teachers, their focus on cultivating a truly engaging classroom environment is what makes their impact on the next generation so significant.

3rd and 4th graders begin their coding journey by navigating a graphical interface that familiarizes them with the structure and syntax of programming. By the time they enter a 5th grade classroom, many become quickly proficient in typing out their own code, with several even applying and broadening this knowledge on their own through an after-school robotics club.

While being fluent in programming languages is undeniably a useful skill for the future, a 9 Dots classroom emphasizes the multiple useful skills one picks up when learning how to code. The classroom is quiet as students troubleshoot their own work, double-checking their code for spelling errors. With all their focus and attention to detail, it was impossible to tell that they had just come back from recess.

Much of this environment is carefully cultivated by the teacher who hands laptops out ten minutes before recess so students can play with the 9 Dots interface. Details like adding a robot icon to the instruction page and using shapes and colors to visualize the functions they're coding keeps the interface intuitive for students. It also eases their transition into a math class where they might recognize why coordinates are necessary to plot a graph. On the back-end, teachers are able to track the progress of students in real-time and assist those stuck on an easier level who are hesitant to ask for help.

As you leave the classroom you notice a poster hangs on the wall reminding students that they can use CS as a superpower for art, sustainability, social justice, and more, it's not at all difficult to feel hopeful at our glimpse of the future.

How LA2050 Grantees Are Responding to COVID-19

Posted April 6, 2020 by Team LA2050

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We continue to be inspired by our grantees who are adapting, innovating, and championing their missions more than ever during this time.

Defy Ventures has paused its in-prison programs due to the California Department of Corrections restrictions on visitors at this time, but Defy's staff hasn't skipped a beat. The team has been able to connect with participants to continue with the EIT (“Entrepreneur-in-Training") curriculum, and has shifted to virtual meetings for post-release and community programs. In addition, they're starting virtual book clubs and launching a letter-writing campaign so that volunteers and post-release EITs can send words of encouragement to in-prison EITs.

Rise reallocated a small portion of its project budget to provide immediate shelter to 40 local college students living in their car or on the streets. The goal: to use the time in a temporary facility to find permanent housing for these students. Rise has also continued its work with local college student organizers, shifting from in-person to digital advocacy methods.

Rock the Vote moved its Census “Create-a-thon" to an innovative digital gathering. Fortunately, the “Create-a-thon" was all about expressing creativity through the use of digital tools and platforms. The kick-off and award ceremonies were conducted virtually while a Slack workspace was created so that participants and event organizers could share resources, announcements, and questions about the Census in real time.

The Street Vendor Coalition responded swiftly to alleviate the negative economic impact of COVID-19 on local micro-businesses and their workers. The coalition created the Street Vendor Emergency Fund to raise the money needed to provide $400 in direct cash assistance to vendors who are unable to access government assistance.

The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's coordinated an alternative to its in-home caregiving model given concerns around older adults and COVID-19. The program, “E-Meal," will combat isolation by setting up virtual dinner meetings via phone or video to connect YMAA's volunteers with older adults. Not only does E-Meal encourage social interaction, but it also gives older adults a venue to express their need for resources.

The Natural History Museum has closed its local museums and paused all in-person programming. But NHM's Community Science team is accustomed to using creative, mobile methods to encourage Angelenos to explore nature on their own. One example: the upcoming 2020 City Nature Challenge, an international effort to mobilize people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe using their own smartphones and cameras.

826LA is continuing to provide its free tutoring, writing workshops, and support services to students, teachers, and families both online and over the phone. 826LA was motivated to make the shift to virtual methods in part because of the team's belief that storytelling can be a powerful tool in difficult times. See 826LA's digital resource hub for families here.

Harlem Lacrosse adapted proactively to the challenges faced by students, families, and teachers due to COVID-19. Program Directors served as “Resource Catalysts" to disseminate information from schools about virtual learning, meal distribution, and more. Meanwhile, the Leadership Team created virtual platforms and streamlined curricula to continue delivering academic support, athletic training, and social-emotional learning virtually. Some activities: live workouts, lacrosse jeopardy games, and an age-appropriate discussion on the coronavirus.

9 Dots has designed new remote learning options for its Get Coding and Academy students and will be offering webinar lessons to a full grade level at a time. 9 Dots is also launching this year's CS Education Heroes awards as a virtual campaign by soliciting videos from the community about why CS education and teachers are so important.

Food and Nutrition Resources in Los Angeles

Posted March 31, 2020 by Team LA2050

General Resources:

  • LA County's "Let's Feed LA" portal connects those in need of food to those who can help.
  • For the closest food pantry/bank to you, visit the Los Angeles Food Bank Pantry Locator
  • Community Services Unlimited is assisting people in applying for Calfresh (aka food stamps) by phone. If you or anyone you know is recently unemployed, experiencing shortened hours, is a student, or experiencing other issues that impact your ability to buy food, call to make an appointment at (213) 746-1216 or email [email protected]
  • Every Table is offering free delivery and food distribution for seniors who need food brought to their homes, students, and food distribution centers. If you need 10-10,000 meals, reach out to Everytable at (323) 458-6487. For more info, click here!
  • Hollywood Food Coalition is providing nightly, packaged takeaway meals. Location: 5939 Hollywood Blvd, LA CA 90028. Phone number: (323) 462-2032. Hours: Monday through Sunday 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm.
  • WIC clinics under South Los Angeles Health Projects will remain open and will be remotely issuing participants food benefits onto their WIC cards to avoid families from going out given our COVID19 pandemic. For those families that have not yet gotten the new WIC card and wish to locate the nearest WIC clinic to them, please visit:
  • Check out this list of restaurants that are offering markets to buy groceries at this time.

Children and Youth Specific (0-17):

Adults 65+:

Click here to return to the full directory of Los Angeles area COVID-19 resources, services, and opportunities to make a difference.

Keep up with LA2050