Exploring Careers to Drive Girls' College Success

This grant will support career exposure programs that are integral to MOSTe’s overall college readiness and success work. Specifically, a grant will fully fund our annual career fair and three outings to workplaces in LA, where students will learn from inspiring women leaders and businesses in the community. These career readiness and exposure programs help motivate students to set college-going goals and give them high aspirations to work toward, improving college graduation outcomes and giving students a pathway to success.


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

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Our programming begins in 7th grade and continues through college graduation with mentoring, scholarship, and college success intervention aimed at getting 100% of participants to and through college with financial support. Career exposure can be a powerful tool in conjunction with our college preparation work, motivating students and giving them agency to design their own pathways to success.

MOSTe is distinct in our work to empower women to be the next generation of leaders in LA communities. The young women in our programs are largely first-generation women of color and they are poised to lead change. We envision a future where those who have historically been left out of decision-making can usher in a new era of a more inclusive LA that serves us all. The young women in our programs win scholarships and graduate from elite schools, earn advanced degrees, mentor and lead as professional women in the community—and exposure to inspiring career opportunities helps them get there.

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

Our approach is based on 30 years of experience, academic data on intervention effectiveness, and ongoing program effectiveness monitoring. We’re proud to have 100% of our 2019 high school graduates enrolled in college with substantial financial aid. Since the class of 2009, over 75% of our students completed a degree within 4-6 years, with 21% still persisting. For comparable groups, analysis of Pell Institute’s 6-year graduation rates for low-income students found just 21.4% finished a degree within six years, and only 11% if they were also first-generation students like ours.

Over 30 years of serving our girls in close integration with the LA community, we have developed a network to offer inspiring career exposure programming tailored to our students. We have built strong relationships with major entertainment, law, business, and social change organizations, and with grant support we can leverage these valuable connections to benefit the promising young leaders in our programs.

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

Direct Impact: 175

Indirect Impact: 750

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

From a MOSTe graduate: “My older sister had been in the program since she was in middle school and I saw the amazing results she was getting, including being the first our family to graduate from high school and college. I knew I wanted to follow in her footsteps and have MOSTe guide me through high school and college. From workshops to colleges visits, I am grateful for what this organization has given to me. It is because of the tips MOSTe leaders and mentors gave me that I was accepted to UC Davis. Not only was I accepted but I was prepared. Once my first year of college was coming to an end, MOSTe gave me a variety of options I could do during summer. I landed an interview with Warner Bros and began my internship when I returned to LA!”

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

Our career readiness projects are part of our comprehensive program to support students through college graduation and put them on an upward trajectory that carries on throughout their lives. All our programs are designed to support the long-term goals of MOSTe: to ensure that each of the young women we serve earns a college degree. Our organization’s overall target long-term outcome is to have 100% of our college-aged program participants enrolled in college. Shorter-term outcomes related to this grant are 80% program participation among eligible students, an increase in career awareness among participants to 60%, and that 30% participants report enthusiasm for at least one college-to-career pathway.

Career exposure in a supportive environment helps students draft a roadmap toward college graduation, inspiring them to discover new interests, pursue valuable summer internships, fine-tune their college choices, and direct their efforts toward desired academic programs. In career fairs and workplace visits students meet inspiring women who are leaders in our community, ask questions, practice self-advocacy, and build relationships while developing professional behavior skills—all things that help them to grow confidence in themselves and motivate them to put in the hard work necessary to achieve their educational goals.

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

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support