2022 Grants Challenge

MENTOR: Meeting Each Need To Optimize Results

M.E.N.T.O.R.-Meeting Each Need To Optimize Results uses a holistic approach to keep youth safe and healthy maximizing their physical, emotional, social, and academic potential. The focus is not just to steer youth from harm and unsafe influences, but to empower them to discover their passions and define their purpose by providing resources they need to develop their minds, build healthy relationships & support system, create an action plan for their future, advocate for their needs, learn coping skills, become self-confident & self-sufficient.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Saving Our Daughters FASE, Foundation for Advancement in Science and Education

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Community Safety

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

East LA

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?

The community meets the definition of a “distressed community” due to the high percentage of high-risk youth. For example, local child protective services revealed that 8,660 child abuse referrals were received; Local law enforcement serves a 15-square mile area where crime is a norm in this densely populated community. The Hollenbeck police monitor the violent activities of 20 of the 37 LA County gangs. According to health studies, a child’s self-esteem levels by the end of the 3rd grade forecasts their future success. Delaying mentoring to address bullying and social emotional learning can disrupt future educational attainments and career success, which statistically can lead to dating violence, depression and a likelihood of falling victim to unhealthy habits. The target population also faces numerous chronic academic difficulties. Statistics reveal that many local middle and high schools are receiving Title I funding because they are under School Improvement programs.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

MENTOR, introduces a new perspective on how youth can see their life—a life in which they have control and in which they can attach relevance. MENTOR reinforces the value of education, finishing high school and pursuing their goals. Mentors work closely with their charges on basic needs, wellness, motivation and persistence. When a child has a plan for their future, they stop to think before succumbing to the negative influences. They understand their future is at risk with every decision they make. When in doubt, they have a strong support system they can reach out to for guidance. MENTOR is a well rounded approach to self-sufficiency. To ensure safety, impact and the ability for our community's parents to be employed and efficient knowing their children are safe, our Transporation program offers safe passage from school to site for more than 180 youth. Proven programs address healthy lifestyle choices and a plan towards self-sufficiency. MENTOR's A-G: A-Academic enrichment with a focus on STEAM, Anti-Bullying and Acknowledgement through merit rewards; B-Buddies and mentors at four levels, peer, staff, college and corporate; C-Character building, Cultural appropriateness and Community Service; D-Diversity/Inclusion and Dealing With Your Feelings coursework; E-Electives within core tenets: The Arts, Athletics, Health and Life Skills; Leadership and Career/Job Readiness; F-Family, Finance, Field Trips, Food & Fitness; G-Goals for Graduation and Gender specific programs

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

Our vision is to see generations of youth be productive, reach their potential and create a community where it's safe, vibrant, peaceful and offers opportunities. There will be a mindset of abundance, resources to assist residents without long waits, pride in their surroundings, the ability to thrive without leaving home and a stop to generational poverty. There will be respect between the community and law enforcement, gains in academic achievements and a reduction in crime, gangs, teenage pregnancy and East LA will no longer be labeled a "distressed" community.

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

Since 2005, our teens have achieved a 100% graduation rate in a community where only 34% of adults have a high school diploma. 85% of club alum since 2005 are currently in college or have received a Bachelor's Degree and 15% have pursued a Masters. Due to the influence of our organization, 20 alum since 2005 have pursued the profession of social worker or therapist. 90% of our alum are pursuing their career or are gainfully employed and self-sufficient. Many are helping to support their families and have started their own family. We measure impact through surveys, participation, student records and case management notes.

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

Direct Impact: 350

Indirect Impact: 1,600

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

SOD’s key program is the Keke Palmer Saving Our Cinderellas Program. Within the scope of this program, participants build positive peer relationships, while strengthening self-esteem through: The Theater and Acting Program, storytime Sessions Project, Entrepreneurship Program, and Culiry Arts. Each program provides unique programming that combats bullying and instills self-esteem. FASE for STEM as a clear pathway to income equality in this century: Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE) has a long history in STEAM education having been recognized for their award winning educatiol programs. Their current project creates content and builds STEAM education resources and an ecosystem that INSPIRES ENGAGES and CONNECTS underserved youth with STEAM opportunities.