2015 Grants Challenge

Ensuring Boyle Heights 12th Graders Graduate From College

A $100,000 LA2050 grant will provide college scholarship funds to up to 46 i.am College Track Boyle Heights 12th graders graduating from Roosevelt High School this June. Almost all of these students will be the first in their family to graduate from college, and most come from families that are living at or below the federal poverty level. Funding from LA2050 will help make college a reality for these students, and support our efforts to make college an expectation for all students across LA.


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

East LA

Roosevelt High School; Boyle Heights

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following LEARN metrics?​

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher ed

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to LEARN.

i.am College Track Boyle Heights is a collaboration between College Track and the i.am.angel foundation. College Track is a national nonprofit that empowers students from low-income communities to reach their dreams of a college degree. Our 10-year program removes the barriers that prevent students from earning their college degree by providing them with comprehensive academic support, leadership training, financial and college advising, and scholarships. will.i.am created the i.am.angel foundation to TRANS4M lives through education, inspiration and opportunity, especially in his hometown of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. Boyle Heights is a predominantly low-income, working class, immigrant community that is rich in culture and potential, but struggling with a lack of resources and opportunities.

i.am College Track is a comprehensive program that provides social and academic support to over 260 Boyle Heights students from Roosevelt High School each year. 98% of students will be the first in their families to apply to college, and 94% come from low-income families that are living at or below the federal poverty level. College Track removes the barriers that prevent students from earning their college degree through a four-part model, which includes Academic Affairs supports through tutoring, academic workshops and SAT and ACT prep; Student Life opportunities to explore workshops that cultivate students’ creativity, passions, leadership and socio-emotional skills; College Completion advisory workshops and scholarship guidance; and College Success mentoring, academic and emotional support during college. Each student spends approximately 5 hours per week at our center, receiving support in math and English, attending a college advisory course and participating in a student life activity.

College Track supports the whole student and offers student life activities that are similar to what students in more affluent schools enjoy. College Track also provides significant financial aid to our college students, as most of our students would not be able to afford college without it. In addition to training students to write and apply for scholarships, we provide both merit-based and need-based financial aid. With our Bank Book for Success, students can earn up to $5,600 in financial support from i.am College Track by meeting specific academic, community service and attendance goals. These funds provide both upfront funding and help minimize student loan debt

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

College Track measures our effectiveness by the number of students served and the impact we have in helping them earn a college degree. Nationally, College Track aims to reach 75% four-year high school program retention, 100% high school graduation, 90% college matriculation, and a 60% college graduation rate.

As the i.am College Track Boyle Heights center prepares to graduate its first cohort of students, the site’s 2015-16 school year goals include enrolling 260 students (4 cohorts), 85% student attendance rate, 90% one-year retention rate, 85% of 12th graders Cal State (CSU) eligible (2.5+ GPA), 70% of 12th graders University of California (UC) eligible (3.0+ GPA), 100% of 12th graders graduate high school, and 85% of 12th graders matriculate into a four-year college. We measure progress on an ongoing basis against various indicators, including enrollment, retention, attendance, college readiness and academic performance, in order to adjust our strategies accordingly.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support