2021 Grants Challenge

Improving Math Scores, Improving Lives

Idea by Impact 6

A year of distance learning and pandemic living has left LA students struggling with school. Socioeconomically disadvantaged youth are particularly likely to fall behind, specifically in STEM subjects. Impact 6’s virtual tutoring program is designed to not only increase math scores for high school students in underserved communities, but to also help foster a passion and love for the subject, resulting in more engaged students who are better prepared to pursue careers in STEM.


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

City of Los Angeles

Other:: Inglewood

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Only 4 in 10 LA high school students are proficient in math. In 2019, only 30% of socioeconomically disadvantaged students met the standard on the SBAC for math. Underserved communities lack the resources and opportunity for supplemental education, a factor of greater academic success, outside of school. Students who fall behind in school are less likely to graduate, find gainful employment, or become civically engaged. With studies showing that students who excel in STEM subjects are more likely to attend and graduate from college, improving their economic status, keeping students engaged with math is essential to keeping them in school. As schools struggle to keep students’ test scores afloat, especially during a pandemic, never have they been more at risk of falling graduate rates. Students unengaged and underperforming in math are less likely to pursue careers in STEM areas, and are less likely to feel adequately prepared for college or higher education.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

This 1:1 virtual tutoring program for socioeconomically disadvantaged youth in LA communities aims to not only raise their math scores, but instill a passion for the subject while providing study habits and critical thinking skills to last a lifetime. We will partner with 1 - 2 charter high schools who suffer from the lowest math rates in the city, identifying and assessing at risk youth in need. Tutors will be paid or volunteer for free and either college students or young professionals from STEM professions. After a two week training program created and led by the program’s part time director, they will dedicate at least a full semester of tutoring 1 to 3 students each. The tutor brings their expertise and passion for math, connecting with the student on a level their teacher is unable to. Each student can expect 1 to 2 sessions a week based on need, as well as an optional weekend small group session. Tutors will give progress reports to parents every few weeks and report directly to the program director, who will oversee all tutors. What makes this tutoring program unique is the tutor’s passion for math and their focus on building lifelong studying habits and real world skills. Students will be taught effective study habits, proper testing techniques, and how to apply what’s learned to real world solutions. Most importantly, students who cannot get the help they need in class will be given the attention and mentorship they deserve.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 400

Indirect Impact: 2,000

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Students who enroll in our program will leave with higher scores, increasing the city’s SBAC’s scores. They’ll also leave with a genuine interest in math, confidence in an academic environment, and be equipped with better study habits. They’ll be mentored by young professionals who are familiar with or from their area, forming a connection with someone who models reachable success. Students who otherwise would’ve never pursued careers in math will be eager to do so, resulting in an increase in STEM employment. Uplifting them in turn uplifts their communities, helping families and neighborhoods be exposed to greater opportunities. The tutors walk away either paid for their time or with credits in service to their name, and a strong sense of fulfillment. Their positive experience will be shared with friends, who we hope in turn also sign up, increasing volunteerism in the city. The program helps to foster a culture that values education, volunteerism, and the pursuit of STEM subjects.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Impact 6 has researched this program and built a solid foundation for it, already having dedicated, passionate tutors from all areas of LA ready to begin. A 15% rise in test scores among program students is the quantitative goal, but we’re hoping for much more. Success will be achieved when the program also shows an increase in high school graduates from underserved areas, an increase in college bound students majoring in mathematics or another STEM subject, and students who better understand math. At the beginning and end of each semester, students will receive a survey asking them about their attitudes towards math, with hope for a positive increase. Parents will also receive a survey to gauge their satisfaction with the program overall, with the goal of 80 - 100% of parents satisfied with it. Tutors will have end of program interviews with the program director for feedback, adjusting as needed. We’re hoping they express satisfaction as well and see a retention rate above 75%.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

College matriculation

High school graduation rates

Proficiency in STEM

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to CONNECT