LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2020 Grants Challenge

Destination College +

Destination College+ (DC+) is an inspiring, information-packed day-long college conference designed to inspire and empower low-income students to enroll in post-secondary institutions and complete a college degree. Featuring grade-specific workshops and a College Fair for high school students and their parents, as well as a Career Fair and career readiness workshops for post-secondary students, DC+ brings together the full continuum of the pathway to college, post-secondary academic achievement, and career readiness.


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

Central LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Alexander Hamilton High School,Alliance Alice M. Baxter College Ready High School,Alliance Collins College Ready High School Ambassador School of Global Leadership

Boys Academic Leadership Academy

New Open World Academy

School for the Visual Arts and Humanities

UCLA Community School,SoCal CAN

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

We partner with these 8 LAUSD high schools, where we deliver our College Access programs, to help recruit and register students for DC+:

Alexander Hamilton HS, Alliance Alice M. Baxter College-Ready HS, Alliance Collins Family College-Ready HS, Ambassador School of Global Leadership, Boys Academic Leadership Academy, New Open World Academy, School for the Visual Arts and Humanities, and UCLA Community School. We also invite students/families from community-based organizations (e.g., Big Brothers Big Sisters, LA Promise Fund High School, Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas, et al.). Further, as a founding member of Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN), we share best practices, reach out to members to volunteer and facilitate workshops, and invite their constituents to attend.

What is the need you’re responding to?

Across LAUSD, thousands of students lack adequate information, resources and counseling to help them get into and succeed in college. As a result, LAUSD college-readiness rates are low, with just 47% of 2018 graduates having completed the required coursework for college admission. The rates remain even lower for low-income, ethnically diverse, and first-generation college students. Despite the benefits of higher education, only about 67% of students from low-income households enroll in college nationally, and merely 11% earn bachelor’s degrees.

Students from low-income backgrounds, particularly those who are the first in their family, struggle to meet the complex requirements necessary to gain access to college and to persist in earning a college degree. DC+ fosters a college-going and college-succeeding mindset among low-income students by providing them with a multi-faceted view of what to expect at college, how to prepare to get there, and how to succeed in college and career.

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

In its 24th year, DC+’s enhancement and expansion is essential to further bridging the college access and success gap for 600-800 students who will attend. For many high schoolers, it will be the first time they visit a college and the content they learn in workshops along with exposure to 70-80 colleges galvanizes their college-going plans. For college students, the college fair and professional development workshops help them take important steps toward workforce readiness and increase college persistence. Since 1977, we have empowered LA youth to access and succeed in college. Today, more than 2,600 first-generation and lower-income students go through our life-changing college access and success programs each year. We have a long history of demonstrated impact. Last year, 90% of our seniors graduated high school, with 100% of graduates accepted to college; 88% of our college students continued to persist, with our most recent cohort achieving a 75% six-year graduation rate.

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

Direct Impact: 1,500

Indirect Impact: 1,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The impact of DC+ extends far beyond the student and parent attendees, positively affecting the broader community. It aligns with and strengthens county-wide efforts to increase high school graduation rates, 2-and 4-year college matriculation rates, and college persistence and graduation rates, particularly within communities of color. Last year, 78% of student participants were Latino/a, 14% Black/African American, and 10% Asian American. In addition, it engages and connects students, who are the future workforce, with volunteers, mentors, and professionals from a broad cross-section of industries, while providing these individuals with the opportunity to share their skills, expertise and time with the next generation.

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

DC+ is our most important program event aimed at making college going and college graduation a reality for students who are most economically vulnerable. In the short-term we hope to inspire high school students see college as a desirable goal that is within their reach. For college students, we aim to guide them toward persistence, graduation and meaningful career entry. Education is a lever for economic opportunity and our end goal is about creating pathways out of poverty through education.

Our definition of success for DC+ is two-fold. Among high schoolers we aim to empower students to have greater self-advocacy, more positive attitudes towards going to college, and a greater understanding of where to receive help to attend college. Among college students we aim to empower students to have more positive attitudes towards a post-college career, and a greater understanding of where to obtain help to complete college, find employment or go to graduate school.

The success of DC+ is measured through post-event surveys that demonstrate the following outcomes:

Among high school students—90% report a more positive attitude toward going to college; 90% report knowing where and how to get help to go to college and how to get into college.

Among college students—90% report feeling inspired to work towards college-level employment or a graduate degree; 80% report knowing where to get help completing college; and 75% report they are better equipped for the job market.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

College graduates

College matriculation

High school graduation rates

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CONNECT

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

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Capacity, including staff