2022 Grants Challenge

Supporting our Leaders through Career Crews

Throughout high school and continuing throughout college, C5LA students and alumni receive the skills and knowledge necessary to enter into their chosen career trajectories. While academic expertise, networking, and experience influence their professional goals, studies show that mentorship is one of the main factors that lead to positive performance and behaviors within personal and professional development.


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

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by Funding Partner, TBA)

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

Central LA

East LA

San Fernando Valley

South LA

County of Los Angeles

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

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?

California is projected to fall 1.1 million bachelor’s degrees short of economic demand by 2030. C5LA’s programs guide low-income students through high school and ensure they stay on track to graduate college and get into the careers of their choice. This is especially important to us because according to a report from the Los Angeles Scholars Invest Fund, 50% of Los Angeles County 9th graders don’t graduate high school. This number is frightening when one takes into consider that students from wealthier families have higher completion rates compared to students from low-income families. Economic barriers, lack of academic and emotional support and challenges with fitting in make it difficult for low-income, first-generation students to graduate high school, get into college, graduate, and get into their careers.

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

We support students engaging in diverse career development-related activities to help them discover potential career paths that capitalize on their unique passions, talents, and interests. We view each student’s career development journey as a progression composed of experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, which enable them to decide who they are, who they want to be, and what careers might best suit their personal needs. Step 1: Self-Assessment (9th)- the first step in the process. This involves students identifying their values, interests, skills, and personality. Step 2: Exploration (10th)-involves conducting research, such as using career library resources, to discover potential careers of interest. Informational interviews are a great way to start building a network of people in jobs and industries they are considering. Step 3: Reality Testing (11th) -provides an opportunity for students to job shadow, find an internship, or volunteer to “test the waters.” It is also an opportunity to conduct more informational interviews with professionals at work. During this very important stage, students start understanding how their preferences and skills relate to certain career paths, work environments, etc, and begin making realistic decisions on next potential steps in their career journeys. Step 4: Implementation (12 & Alumni)-This can include preparation for a job interview or completing applications to graduate school.

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

As an organization, we provide equity beyond checking GPAs. Our cohort-based model builds long-term, supportive relationships throughout high school and college and we deliver five unique summer adventures that provide students an opportunity to flex and build the self-confidence skills they will need to succeed in school, college, career and life. Our programs were designed as a multi-program and multi-year approach to ensure that every C5 student had the necessary skills and resources needed to break down systemic barriers as they pursue their college dream and ultimatly, get into their careers. These programs serve 500 future Leaders of Los Angeles, ages 13-24 who live in households with an income at or below the poverty level, attend Title 1 schools and are the first in their family to attend college.

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

C5LA evaluates every activity with modifications implemented based on evaluations. Each class has a dedicated case manager and our Leaders check in monthly. We track: • Students’ year over year grades • Year over year program participation/retention • High school graduation and final GPA • College applications, acceptance, enrollment, year over year retention/completion via C5 case management outreach • Participation in school leadership groups and on-campus programs • Attendance/participation in Pathway events • Participation in College Boot Camp • Completion of community service hours • Participation in summer internship programs • Job placements

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

Direct Impact: 500

Indirect Impact: 1,400