2022 Grants Challenge

Wealth Parity Fellows Initiative

"Wealth Parity Initiative"; The project shall address a focused approach on men/women of color (16-22yr old) in STEM related careers that drive higher paying employment/leadership/entrepreneurship opportunities. The resources of Viscount Foundation, Base11 non-profit foundation, corporate & college/university support and networked affinity community-based organizations will partner in providing STEM based resources and support. The Fellows Initiative will drive recruitment/education/retention in required life skills and STEM related careers.


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

Income Inequality

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

San Gabriel Valley

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?

Income Inequality: The latest statistical information from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), dated 28 September 2020, show long-standing and substantial wealth disparities between families in different racial/ethnic groups. The typical White family has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family & five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family. White families have the highest level of both median and mean family wealth $188,200 and $983,400, respectively. Black families' median and mean wealth is less than 15 percent that of White families, at $24,100 and $142,500, respectively. Hispanic families' median and mean wealth is $36,100 and $165,500, respectively. Wealth disparity, most starkly between young Black and young White families shows that median young Black families, under 35, have almost no wealth ($600). In contrast, the median young White family has a wealth of $25,400. White families, 35-54 wealth is $85,000, black family's wealth is $40,100.

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

"Wealth Parity Initiative; There is a small % of Black Americans in STEM related fields, which provides a significant opportunity (easily 6 figures) to address income inequality. The project shall expand/address a focused approach on the under-representation of black men/women and in STEM careers. We plan to use the LA2050 grant to fund our expected cohort of 30-35 Student Fellows. The students will receive 6-8 hours of monthly mentor/leadership group sessions: i.e. 4 hours STEM related career exposure, 2 hours life skills/leadership development (including cultural disfunction) and the path forward, 2 hours health/wellness (including COVID-19). Our logic models address youth engagement and leadership training (corporate/ executive protocol). The grant will fund innovative strategies/fieldtrips/events in our underserved San Gabriel Valley community. The project's progress and success will be driven and measured by how well we recruit and train our marginalized students. The project will take advantage of Viscount mentors/ instructors/advisors (STEM practitioners/volunteer professionals) & subject matter experts. Viscount has an ongoing working relationship with affinity professional fraternities/sororities and Base11 Foundation. Base11, a nonprofit STEM workforce and entrepreneur development company empowering women and minorities with the access and awareness needed to succeed in STEM careers. Base11facilitates and partners with industry, academia and philanthropic entities.

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

Overall impact will be on student, family & community. Our goal is to lead, train, educate, and encourage students to be mature, responsible & productive citizens. Past is not always prologue. The best way to address wealth disparity and break the cycle of poverty & low self-esteem (which drive violence, substance abuse and incarceration) is early self-respect and education. A college education (STEM career) in the short term. The Wealth Parity Fellows Initiative, impacts the lives and fortunes of young folks in the underserved San Gabriel Valley to aspire, obtain and become leaders in STEM related industries. In the long term, they will be at the table to lead next generation technologies and how those technologies may impact social justice. With developing a well-trained STEM workforce, we will have the resources that drive minority career & wealth development. In doing so, these young folks will directly impact income inequality in our local communities and nation for years to come.

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

Success Measurement: How many college cohorts expect to graduate in 4 yrs .vs how many who don't? How many college cohorts expect to graduate with a STEM related degree? How many participants completed their Fellows projects .vs those who didn't? How many participants obtained their Fellows certificate .vs those who didn't? How many participants feel better prepared about math/science .vs those who don't? How many attended all workshops/seminars .vs how many who didn't? How many participants had positive feedback from their enrichment program .vs negative? How many participants had positive feedback from their summer internship .vs negative? How many Fellows had positive feedback from their enrichment program .vs negative? How many Fellows had positive feedback from their summer internship .vs negative? How many achieved academic improvement .vs those who didn't? How many expect to attend graduate/professional schools? How many expect to return to the community (peer mentorship)?

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

Direct Impact: 35

Indirect Impact: 200