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


There is a compelling need in our community to address the unmet needs of youth in grades 9-12 who have not found adequate support in schools. FIN CTE Prep has been designed to fill this void and provide a transformative educational experience for underserved students. Our project recognizes the unique challenges faced by systems-impacted youth. By focusing on the specific needs of foster and justice-involved youth, we strive to create an environment that nurtures their growth, development, and pursuit of successful futures.


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

K-12 STEAM Education

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

Central LA

South LA


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?

We seek to address the significant needs of resilient foster and justice-involved youth in grades 9-12. There is a need for resources that specifically cater to the unique challenges faced by these students. Through personalized attention, nurturing learning environments, comprehensive support, and tailored programming, FIN CTE Prep offers a transformative educational experience. The urgency to address these gaps is evident in the disparities faced by foster and justice-involved youth, including academic underachievement and limited career prospects. Through the integration of specialized services, comprehensive support, and a focus on S.T.E.A.M. education aligned with industry needs, FIN CTE Prep bridges the gaps, ensuring that foster and justice-involved youth receive the resources to thrive academically, professionally, and personally. We can unlock the potential of these young individuals, create lasting change, and contribute to a more equitable and prosperous society.

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

The grant will support the project, program, or initiative of FIN CTE Prep, a groundbreaking school committed to addressing the opportunity gaps that disproportionately impact Black, Latinx, foster, unhoused, LGBTQIA+, and immigrant students in the community. Data from LAUSD Open Data reveals significant disparities in academic performance, with Black and Latinx students having lower percentages of students meeting or exceeding standards in English Language Arts and Math compared to Asian and White students. Foster and unhoused students also face barriers to academic success, including higher rates of absenteeism and lower graduation rates. To address these disparities, FIN CTE Prep will provide a rigorous, standards-based instructional program with a particular emphasis on career technical education and innovative teaching methods. The curriculum will be culturally responsive and inclusive. By prioritizing the whole-child well-being, FIN CTE Prep will create a safe and supportive learning environment that promotes social and emotional development. The school will offer extracurricular activities and opportunities for community involvement. This holistic approach aims to empower students to succeed in all aspects of their lives. By intentionally addressing the opportunity gaps, FIN CTE Prep is dedicated to providing equitable educational opportunities and breaking down barriers that hinder the academic success and overall well-being of marginalized students.

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

The impact of our project is to transform the trajectory of foster and justice-involved youth, breaking the cycle of limited opportunities and opening doors to brighter futures. By empowering these youth to thrive, we will create a more inclusive and prosperous Los Angeles County, where everyone has access to quality education, equitable career opportunities, and the chance to contribute meaningfully to their communities. We envision a future where these youth break free from the cycle of limited opportunities and low-wage work. By providing them with a nurturing learning environment, individualized attention, and access to cutting-edge resources, we will empower them to become future leaders and contributors to the S.T.E.A.M. workforce. In the long term, our plan includes scaling and expansion to maximize our impact. This expansion will allow us to reach even more resilient youth, providing them with the tools, skills, and opportunities to overcome barriers and succeed in life.

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

To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, FIN CTE Prep will implement a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment process and utilize standardized forms and prompts to gather data on students' needs. Each student will undergo a thorough assessment across domains, including basic needs, health/medical needs, psycho-social needs (including trauma screening), academic needs, and supplemental services. FIN CTE Prep will track the progress of students, measure the effectiveness of interventions and support services, and make data-driven decisions to ensure student success. Regular assessments and reviews will be conducted to monitor and adjust the plans as needed, ensuring that the program is meeting its objectives in promoting positive youth development, stabilization, and permanency. This evaluation process will enable the program to measure outcomes, improve services, and provide the necessary support to maximize students' well-being and academic achievement.

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

Direct Impact: 125

Indirect Impact: 500

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

We will collaborate with IBEW Local 11 to identify employers, workforce demands, and challenges. This partnership will serve as a model for future partnerships across five industry sectors, guiding the development of comprehensive solutions, sharing resources, and facilitating ongoing stakeholder communication. Our collaboration with our partners will guide the development of curriculum and training programs to equip students with skills and knowledge acquisition. Centinela Youth Services is the County's longest-running diversion program keeping young people out of the justice system through restorative justice programming. Our partnership with CYS accelerates our support structures and guides the development and implementation of wraparound support services for our students.