Hello Future: World of Impact
Created to address the diversity pipeline problem within the STEAM industries, Hello Future is an interactive experience designed to EXPOSE, EXPLORE, and ENGAGE 1,000 students from middle and high school by bringing them together with entrepreneurs and creators, tech innovators, and decision makers. Hello Future is here today to mobilize tomorrow.
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?
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?
Diversifying the STEAM workforce is imperative from both economic and equity standpoints. Hello Future will address the existing diversity challenge in the pipeline of new talent within STEAM fields by engaging, inspiring and empowering BIPOC middle/high school students to consider careers in the STEAM field. Black and Latinx populations are underrepresented in STEAM and there is a projected gap in qualified STEAM professionals that will need to be filled to keep the California economy robust. Studies show that the California workforce is 80% Black and Latinx,and that STEM is the primary driver of the California economy, but both groups are underrepresented in STEM fields. Nationally, Latinx workers comprise only 8% of STEM workers although they represent 17% of the workforce overall and the STEM workforce is comprised of 9% Black workers compared with 11% in the broader workforce, with only 5% of engineering and architecture jobs held by Black workers (Pew Research Center, 2021).
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
In 2019, LAPF held our inaugural Hello Future event, created to address the STEM pipeline problem by engaging, inspiring and empowering young people from middle school through college by bringing them together with STEM entrepreneurs, tech innovators and brands. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has not allowed us to host this in-person, interactive experience for the past three years. However, we are excited that the public health situation has normalized enough for us to convene the second Hello Future event in Spring 2024. We are still in the early planning stages for Hello Future, which will be held at East Los Angeles College and serve 1,000 primarily BIPOC middle and high students, with outreach targeted to South LA and Southeast LA. Hello Future will include inspiring keynotes, interactive panels, immersive STEAM experiences and a college and career fair, with students exploring the STEAM worlds of Health & Wellness, Engineering & Tech, Arts & Impact, and Science & Biotech. LAPF has an extensive array of STEAM sector corporate partners that we will tap, including Amgen, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Meta, Snap, TikTok, Disney, Paramount, and Nickelodeon. To ensure that the content and activities are relevant and engaging, students will be involved not only as participants, but as event advisors and activity co-facilitators.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
STEM and the creative economy are key to Los Angeles County's economic vitality. 70% of Los Angeles County students are Latinx and nearly 90% are BIPOC, so providing early exposure to STEAM careers can contribute to filling the pipeline with a diverse pool of future STEAM professionals. Opportunities to see their fellow students and BIPOC STEAM professionals in action and learn more about the vast array of jobs that compose the STEAM workforce will open students' eyes to possibilities and help instill a belief in them that they belong in these spaces despite the current lack of representation. Exposure and inspiration are critical steps on students' paths to their 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?
Although this is not a new project, as we implemented the inaugural Hello Future event in 2019, it is not an ongoing initiative for which results are tracked. We will measure the success of Hello Future 2024 through participant surveys that gauge success in meeting the three key Hello Future objectives: - Increase exposure to, and interest in, STEAM careers and pathways - Connect middle and high school students to STEAM industry leaders - Build understanding of the role that STEAM professionals play across industry sectors
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 1,000
Indirect Impact: 5,000