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

Filling the Gaps through Youth Employment

The StreetLeader Program is a multi-year leadership program designed to empower youth in lower income communities through community engagement, college access, and part-time employment. The heart of the StreetLeader Program is challenging teens to use their influence to make positive changes in the lives of these children, in their own lives, and throughout their communities. UrbanPromise Los Angeles provides StreetLeaders with extensive training, college preparation, and mentoring to help them succeed in and outside of the program.


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?

San Fernando Valley

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?

Youth economic advancement in Los Angeles County has been a persistent issue over the years. Despite the county's robust economy, many young people find themselves struggling to secure meaningful employment, particularly those from low-income or marginalized communities. Additionally, larger societal factors such as discrimination, immigration status and unequal access to resources have contributed to this issue. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds often face significant barriers to accessing the resources and opportunities necessary for economic advancement, whether it's due to their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other factors. To address these issues, UrbanPromise Los Angeles started the StreetLeader Program - bringing paid job training, hands on leadership experience and college access programs that provide students with the necessary tools and support to achieve their goals.

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

UrbanPromise Los Angeles first launched its StreetLeader program in 2019 as a way to support youth growing up in lower income communities. The purpose of the StreetLeader program is to equip the teens in the Canoga Park neighborhood with the skills and character they need to enact the 'Cycle of Restoration' - eventually serving as the leaders who transform their own communities from the inside out. We are seeking to address the issues of educational inequality, youth unemployment and access to higher education for Black and Brown students. Teens are financially compensated for their leadership at the after school and summer camp programs offered year round by UrbanPromise Los Angeles. This unique approach to economic advancement allows teens to learn in a "mistake making environment" where they can implement their leadership skills and receive guidance for further growth. The StreetLeader program is hands-on job training and experiential learning which positions teens as empowered program leaders. "Youth who are invested in are more invested," says Michelle Obama. The teens who join the StreetLeader program gain valuable skills that will equip them to be the next generation of leaders while also solving a critical economic issue today.

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

If UrbanPromise Los Angeles' StreetLeader Program is successful in our work, we would see significant changes in Los Angeles County. The program would empower and employ low-income high school students, especially those from Black and Brown communities, as counselors, tutors, and mentors for children who attend UrbanPromise's AfterSchool Programs and Summer Camps. The program's focus on educational inequality, youth unemployment, and access to higher education for Black and Brown students would help students to stay academically engaged and motivated. It would reduce the number of high school dropouts and increase college-bound students, leading to a more educated and skilled workforce in Los Angeles. Overall, the StreetLeader Program's success would lead to a more educated, motivated, and empowered youth population in Los Angeles County, reducing the gap of social and economic inequality and paving the way for a better future.

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

At UrbanPromise Los Angeles, we measure the success of the StreetLeader program by tracking college acceptance. We believe that higher education and economic mobility are directly correlated. To date, 100% of our StreetLeaders have been accepted to college.

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

Direct Impact: 25

Indirect Impact: 150