LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Career Launch: Connecting LA Talent to

The College Match community is a powerful and active one with representation across all career stages. The program has a strong 20 year record of success with 95% admitted to top 50 universities, Ivy and Ivy equivalent schools leading to a 95% college completion rate. College Match is formalizing community partnerships in order to systematize the support networks that have helped students through college graduation in order to launch Los Angeles youth into gainful employment opportunities that ensure upward economic mobility.


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

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation)

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

Central LA

East LA

South LA

Other:: Inglewood

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

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

College Match has focused on getting students into "best fit" colleges. Typically these best fit institutions provide students more individualized support, better financial aid packages, and offer more student services to support them to college graduation. A 95% college completion rate amongst CM alumni demonstrates that "best fit" college matching works. We understand that the transition to college is challenging to our students because they do not have the support and knowledge to navigate these spaces. Most of our support has come in the form of peer to peer networks that offer social connection and advice, and by always being responsive to our students needs. In 2017 we noticed an increasing trend amongst our scholars. Many were reaching out to us for support with resume writing, asking for connections to possible jobs, and help with interview preparation. The four year institutions were not connecting our graduates to meaningful opportunities in Los Angeles.

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

At the beginning of the summer of 2020, in a response to an official College Match survey asking students what they need most, 30 college scholars responded that they needed a summer internship. As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, College Match activated our resources and creativity to help our scholars access internships, emergency funds, and general support. We piloted a few programs: Project Match, Career Thursdays, and the Virtual Career Fair. The pilot programs proved successful. The expectation of using a virtual format as the main means of program delivery expanded our network and enabled us to match all students to meaningful paid work experience. This pilot program led us to formalize a partnership with Capital Group in 2021. In addition to placing our students in these prominent internships, Capital Group hired 4 of our scholars in 2022- with a starting salary of $80k for a recent college graduate. We are ecstatic to be able to grow this pilot program and support an additional 10 students with Capital Group support. The pilot programs taught us that our students need guidance through the internship application process. Our students bring a wealth of experiences, but often do not have the skills to access the professional world. Even before our students submitted applications, these candidates received industry specific guidance from Capital Group associates.

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

Our goal is to transform the lives of thousands of young people from low-income communities in Los Angeles through college access and success. Our students come from communities with high poverty, little social mobility and limited access to professional networks which are additional barriers to finding gainful employment and internship opportunities. Career Launch will help our students find employment that offers them career growth, fair pay and benefits. If we are successful in this endeavor, our students will have more financial security and not only improve their living conditions but the living conditions of their families as well. Career Launch will prepare the future leaders of Los Angeles and ensure that employers, companies and organizations have diverse talent that reflect the city of Los Angeles. When they become professionals in their fields, they will be role models for other young people of color and uplift their communities

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

Objective #1 Students will graduate with at least 2 meaningful internship opportunities during their college career. Six months post college graduation, we will survey all college graduates to measure career satisfaction. Objective #2: Within the first year we will double the amount of corporate sponsors providing students summer internships and post-graduation jobs. Our corporate partners will provide us a network of Los Angeles based opportunities providing our students the chance to return to Los Angeles with a meaningful way to contribute to our county. Objective #3: We will measure engagement of students at every workshop and presentation delivered by College Match or in partnership with College Match. The goal will be 60% participation.

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

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 800