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

Foster Youth Dual Enrollment Equity

In order to transform the educational equity and career opportunities of foster youth, CYFC is launching a multi-systems effort to provide Dual Enrollment college classes to system-involved foster youth attending schools in seven Greater Los Angeles school districts. Having access to Dual Enrollment is a game-changer for their ability to pursue their college dreams and earn a degree. Dual Enrollment classes will be offered to students at no cost, and CYFC's A.R.I.S.S.E. program will provide the academic supports that will ensure their success.


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

Support for Foster and Systems-Impacted Youth

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

Central LA

San Gabriel Valley

South LA


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?

The foster care system was designed to save the lives of children, but in the process of doing so it often destroys them. We do not believe it is a coincidence that California has the largest foster care and prison systems, with 75% of incarcerated people having lived experience of foster care. An L.A. human trafficking diversion court discovered that 85% of trafficking victims also have lived experience of foster care. It is not surprising then, that just 56% of foster youth earn their high school diploma and only 2% will ever earn a college degree. Despite the systemic failures, CYFC is unapologetically optimistic. We have proven that it is absolutely possible to transform the outcomes of foster youth through education. CYFC has scaled its A.R.I.S.S.E. program model from one school in one district to 65 schools in seven districts. With our synthesis of multiple best practices, 90% of our students receive their diploma and 80% go on to college or vocational training.

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

CYFC is seeking funding to strengthen its educational intervention by launching a Dual Enrollment Equity Initiative. CYFC has identified increasing foster youth access to dual enrollment-the ability to take college courses at no cost while still in high school with academic credit for both-as the single most powerful strategy that can be employed to increase foster youth college persistence and degree completion rates. CYFC has formed a partnership with Cal State Dominguez Hills, Mt. SAC and LA Trade Tech to extend Dual Enrollment to our 1,800 BIPOC foster youth attending schools in the Los Angeles, Pomona, Long Beach, Compton, Lynwood, Santa Monica/Venice, and Pasadena Unified School Districts. Even the most college-ready foster youth encounter formidable barriers in their goal of earning a college degree. For our students, the difference between completing college in two years instead of four increases their ability to persist through to degree completion by several orders of magnitude. To ensure success, CYFC's D-E program will build in significant student supports including: 1) Dual Enrollment Orientation 2) D-E Application Assistance 3) Tutoring 4) Early Warning System for academic struggles 5) Test Prep 6) Educational Case Management All program services are embedded in CYFC's A.R.I.S.S.E. program sites on school campuses and will continue to support students through college.

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

Los Angeles County will be different when foster youth are not predisposed to homelessness, incarceration, human trafficking and lifelong disenfranchisement from the economic mainstream. CYFC provides a concrete and well documented solution that prevents negative outcomes and creates educational equity. When foster youth have equitable access to holistic academic supports, dual enrollment and higher education, foster youth will experience a much greater likelihood of graduating from high school and earning a college degree-their greatest opportunity to earn a living wage and become self-sustaining following emancipation. Emancipation comes at foster youth quickly and unforgivingly. The proposed Dual Enrollment Initiative will leverage multiple systems-level partnerships to share data, promote and facilitate dual enrollment and leverage existing service contracts to implement this effort.

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

CYFC uses and measures data to inform practice, continuously improve and evolve its programs, and assess program efficacy by component and as a whole. CYFC has a Manager of Program Data and Systems who oversees fidelity to the data collection strategy and who generates reports for the Executive Management Team, Board and funders. CYFC tracks a variety of implementation and outcome metrics, including: program dosage, school attendance, program attendance, grades, academic assessments, standardized test scores, enrichment participation, high school graduation rates, completion of the FAFSA, college acceptance, financial aid and scholarships, college matriculation, college retention, college degree completion, and dual enrollment credits. We also college a variety of demographic data on the students served, including race, age, and gender. CYFC has Memoranda of Understanding with all participating school districts to share student data, such as test scores, grades and attendance.

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

Direct Impact: 80

Indirect Impact: 600