2020 Grants Challenge

Creating Positive Multigenerational Change through LA’s High Schoolers

Idea by Ednovate

Our proven model is transforming the high school experience. We have developed project-learning where students engage with real-world scenarios and roles, discovering their skills, passions, and career opportunities. This culminates in our seniors creating year-long explorations to answer the question, “how will you use your college degree and career to make a Positive Multigenerational Change?” and presenting their plans in powerful community exhibitions. This purpose-exploration is preparing our students for success in college and in life.


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

Central LA

East LA

South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Transcend Education

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Ednovate began working with Transcend in 2017 through the Transcend-NewSchools Venture Fund Collaborative. Together, we reimagined our learning environments based on input from students, teachers and families, research, and future trends. We conducted hundreds of empathy interviews and worked to reimagine what was possible at a school that was already doing great things for students.

Ednovate and Transcend continued working together to create and run an Innovation Team to test and pilot concepts; revise and refine practices; and create a two-year principal fellowship model. We are excited to continue partnering with Transcend to create a high school model that ensures academic readiness and that our graduates are ready to create Positive Multigenerational Change.

What is the need you’re responding to?

A college education remains one of the best ways to positively impact your life trajectory. And yet, in a community as vibrant as LA, only 30% of people have college degrees. And your family’s income level dramatically impacts your likelihood of getting to and through college. We’re here to change that.

We are preparing our students for success in school and life by providing a high-quality college prep education that meets their individual needs and empowering them to discover their purpose and create a plan to make Positive Multigenerational Change. And we are seeing results. Our alumni are persisting through college at unprecedented rates. A longitudinal study by USC Rossier researchers shows that our first two graduating classes from 2016 and 2017 are tracking at 67% and 69% college persistence. This is notably higher than district and charter peers. Our alumni are already on their way to closing the college attainment gap and making LA and our world a better place.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Co-founded by USC Rossier, we intentionally focus on high schools and have built deep expertise in what makes high schools great and effective for students. Our schools provide a best-in-class college-prep education and build a strong community where everyone has a sense of belonging. Students are part of a 4-year advisory cohort, and parents have 16+ 1:1 meetings with advisors. Last year, 100% of our 211 seniors were accepted to college, earning 1,000+ college acceptances and $10.8 million in scholarships.

Innovation is at our core. Every year, we convene a cross-collaborative Innovation Team composed of leaders, teachers, and administrators in our network who pilot and test new and revised practices.

Ednovate students are consistently outperforming their district and statewide peers in state assessments and ACT testing. With 100% of our students taking the ACT, they outperform the district average, with 44% receiving a composite score of 21+, compared to a district average of 32%.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 1,455

Indirect Impact: 3,272

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Across our four LA schools, 96% of students identify as African American or Latinx, and 85% qualify for free/reduced-price lunch. This project impacts 1,455 students and 3,272 family members.

One of our students faced significant challenges with domestic violence, addiction, and homelessness. With the support of his Ednovate community, he is working on his senior Capstone to create a system that produces clean, renewable energy, and he will graduate this spring with honors and attend college this fall. His older brother re-enrolled in high school to earn his degree so they can attend college together and his parents are celebrating their sobriety. When students thrive, their families also thrive. This is Positive Multigenerational Change.

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

We are helping our students discover their purpose and interests and preparing them to close the college attainment gap. We are focused on providing students across LA the opportunity to get to and through college and on stable career paths, where they can then create their Positive Multigenerational Change.

Our innovative, whole-child report card helps students grow in their intellectual curiosity, kindness to self and others, and their happiness and fulfillment. Students, teachers, and parents understand these six Annual College Readiness Indicators (ACRIs) and are aware of what they need to work on to reach proficiency. Our goal is for 70% of students to meet ACRIs:

- Mastery - passing all classes with a C- or above

- College Rigor - minimum annual ACT score targets

- Self-regulation - Caring and Accountable conversations

- PMC Hours - minimum of 10 passion-exploration or volunteer hours

- Critical Thinking - PMC Journeys and performance task scores

- Presence - attendance

Success on this project look like:

- 100% of students graduate from high school

- 100% of students complete a full A-G approved course work making them eligible to apply to any CSU or UC

- 100% of seniors are accepted into a 4-year college or university with a 73% initial Estimated College Completion rate and with those not in college on a stable career path. We define a stable career path as a career that provides long-term support with opportunities for upward mobility and full benefits package.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

College graduates

College matriculation

High school graduation rates

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Office space for meetings, events, or for staff

Capacity, including staff

Strategy assistance and implementation

Social media and marketing training and support