Ending the Exploitation of Youth Everywhere
Brave Global, Inc. seeks to expand it's services to at-risk and foster youth in Los Angeles by reviving it's annual Empowerment Conference, facilitating small groups on mental health using our interactive journal curriculum, operating the Brave Leadership Academy that provides mentor opportunities, and investing in training local communities to support youth who are at risk of or are survivors of human trafficking.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
Support for Foster and Systems-Impacted Youth
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
County of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
LA County has over 20,000 children in foster care, second only to New York City. California consistently has the highest rate of human trafficking in the USA. Those most at-risk of being exploited and trafficked are the most vulnerable in LA County, transitional kids in foster care who are approaching 18 and will “age out” of the foster care system. The challenges these youth face are numerous: unstable housing or homelessness, an inability to access post-secondary education or job training, unemployment, a lack of healthcare, and much more. For a transition into adulthood to be successful, these youths need to have well-developed self-esteem and self-efficacy skills to prepare them to manage all the challenges they will face. Brave therefore developed in-person and virtual training programs specifically designed to address the unique needs transitional kids face, addressing issues unique to these young adults (identity, consent, the effects of sexual violence, mentorship).
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Brave seeks to expand into South-Central Los Angeles by hosting a Brave Empowerment Event and hiring an LA County Coordinator. Empowerment Events are in-person opportunities for youth to be inspired by motivational speakers (many of whom were foster youth and/or are sexual abuse survivors), entertainment, activities, food, and giveaways. The events also serve to bring together victims of human trafficking to reinforce the message that “You are seen,” and “You are cared for” by coordinating the caregivers, teachers, and service providers that rally to equip and protect LA’s most vulnerable youth. An LA County Coordinator will support the expansion of programmatic oversight to the LA region, as well as the services initiated at the event. LA youth will be connected to the Brave Leadership Academy (BLA), which gives victims intensive leadership and growth skills through a caring community and one-on-one mentor focused on public speaking, event planning, small group leading, peace making, and collaboration. Another key tool for success is providing the youth with Brave Journals, written by local women who endured and overcame difficult circumstances such as foster care, sexual abuse, and the juvenile justice system. They focus on identity, self-worth, healthy relationships, mental health, and boundaries through reflection activities, exercises, and empowering affirmations. This initiative will also focus on translating these effective journals into Spanish.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Brave envisions an LA County as a place where all youth know their worth and value, and the adults around them journey with them to fight for their future and freedom. Brave seeks to cast a spotlight into society’s shadows, where young people who have become callous to being neglected are cherished and restored to take power over their own futures. If implemented in South Los Angeles, Brave hopes to rally the voices of parents, caregivers, teachers, service providers, and the foster system as a whole to give power back to the youth who have grown up with little say over their day, week, or year ahead and empower them to be Brave for their communities in 2025, 2030, 2040, and 2050… and beyond.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Brave intends to measure the results of this initiative through these outputs: - Brave Empowerment Event attendance #s - BLA enrollment #s post-event - Brave partner #s post-event - Brave journal #s published and distributed - # of internships for Brave Leadership Academy graduates Brave intends to measure the results of this initiative through these outcomes:: - BLA enrollment #s post-event - Post-event surveys measuring impact and learning from both youth and caregivers - Qualitative responses on impact for Brave youth. For example, two quotes are highlighted below: “This message will impact me by giving me more confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and not being afraid of the small changes and being aware of the impact I can make, despite how big or small it might seem to me.” “This Brave message will help me use my voice and speak out on certain things I feel strongly about. I feel like I will also view myself as stronger and more powerful than I currently feel.”
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 420
Indirect Impact: 1,405