2019 Grants Challenge

A Personal Invitation Project

Our proposed API project will directly contribute to our mission of addressing our community’s needs. It’s objectives include: -Create awareness and resources of technological careers to students in High school. -Create a mentorship opportunity with our student organizations and high school students. -Provide a networking resource with technological professionals. -Provide information on various career opportunities within the technological field.


Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

The American Digital Diversity Initiative (ADDI) was founded by its board members with the main objective closing the digital gap. With its own members rooting from underrepresented communities, they themselves saw the benefits and possibilities for others to enter the digital world. The missing piece was finding someone who could bring the message to those individuals in the community.

Within the first few weeks of its establishment, ADDI found its individual that could spread the message. Peter, who would be the Executive director of the nonprofit, decided to take the challenge in structuring the organization. Peter's higher education background made for an easy transition into the nonprofit world. The hard part was deciding in what direction for ADDI to go. As you have seen, underrepresented groups of any age, make up a low percentage in the digital world.

Peter decided to draw from his own experience, the same motivation that led him towards higher education. As a first generation Latino entering college, the transition from high school to college was difficult. Decisions on what path to head towards and not necessarily knowing what to major enroll in, Peter could only rely on his average academic success in high school to support whatever decision to take. Unfortunately, Peter and like many first generation students, the transition into college came at a cost of struggling academically and being suspended for poor academics.

With having no skill set to fall back on, Peter bounced from minimum wage jobs for years. Finally Peter, was able to go back to school and earn his bachelors, and his masters there after. Peter knew from that point his mission was to support and guide youth by preparing them for the obstacles of the real world which could lead them to possibles successes or failures.

ADDI's "A Personal Invitation" Project is Peter's vision of first educating and preparing high school students for a type of career/skill, computer programming, that can pave a successful way of life whether you earn a degree or not. The second being community outreach, where college students support the younger generation towards success in a world where underrepresented groups lack representation.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​​

College matriculation rates

Enrollment in early care and education programs

Student education pipeline

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA

South Bay


How will your project make LA the best place to LEARN?

A Personal Invitation Project (API), will be executed following the academic calendar, this will allow us to offer our program to surrounding high schools & collaborate with student orgs by: 1.Obtain partnerships with various High Schools within the LA area & multicultural orgs throughout universities in CA. Methods (M): Have Staff reach out to high school/university student orgs, attend school career fairs. 2.Immerse HS students into college. (M): Student Org panel to have students ask questions, university Staff can come speak about various topics about transition into college.3. Create a networking opportunity for HS students & tech professionals. (M):Tech Professionals can attend code days & discuss the importance of technology & give advice to students.4. Create awareness & resources of tech careers to HS students. (M): During our weekly ‘code days’ we will allow students to get hands on training of what coders actually do,Staff will provide brochures, Help HS students create coding clubs 5.Put their skills to the test. (M): Host a bi-annual hackathon, HS students can compete for a grand prize.

Our target population will be underrepresented students in the LA area.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2018) employment of computer & information technology is projected to grow “13% from 2016 to 2026”(Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018), this is faster than the average for all occupations. Despite Black, Latinx, American & Native Pacific Islander makeup nearly 50% of the United States student population, in 2015 they only represented just 17% of computer science major (Steinglass, 2017). The reason most of these students are not in computer science is not due to lack of interest but due to the lack of resources & awareness.


July: ADDI will collaborate with Student Orgs and HS personnel to create our CODE days.

Aug.- Nov/Feb- April: CODE Days: Each week we will host code days which will immerse HS students into the university setting while obtaining resources from tech professionals & university staff.

Dec/May: Hackathon: HS students will be able to attend & compete in an all-day event to test their skills.

End of Dec-Jan: ADDI will evaluate the program: restructured if need be & evaluate retention rates.

June: Evaluation & Revision: ADDI will engage in collaborative planning, observations, followed by evaluation & refinement of the year.

API will help make measurable progress towards making LA the best place to LEARN, because it will introduce underrepresented communities to a topic they are completely new to, which will bring in the early education aspects. Bringing in student orgs will also allow HS students to become immersed in college which will help with college matriculation rates.As careers in computer science begin to grow, API teaches students about possible careers within coding & provides an opportunity for them to become immersed in this profession which can help with youth unemployment & underemployment.

In what stage of innovation is this project?​

Pilot project (testing a new idea on a small scale to prove feasibility)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Being able to measure the success of our project will consist of the implementation process, and evaluation process. Each semester we will evaluate how many high schools, student organizations, and overall students attended our 'code days', we will have a pre-assessment and post-assessment at every 'code day', we would ask the high school students questions regarding coding and technology before and after. This is will help us understand if they are taking away key factors for the code day while also providing us feedback so we can see where we have to revaluate our project. If the students can answer most of the questions about technology after our 'code day' then we can say it was successful, because now they are aware of the importance of technology at the same time as given resources to help them achieve their educational goals.