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

LA2050 Future Entrepreneurs Professional Mentorship Program

Hands for Hope is a Black-founded, Black-led organization with origins rooted in the Founder/CEO's experiences and deep understanding of the educational and wellness disparities that children of color experience guides the organization's commitment to culturally-congruent and affirming experiences. Youth workshops lead by successful professionals and entrepreneurs in a multitude of industries in L.A. will present career opportunities and remove barriers to equal opportunities and advancing racial equity for underserved communities.


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?

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?

Many underserved youth and families experience prohibitive barriers that deny access to innovative creative opportunities for growth and advancement. We aim to facilitate systemic change in a population that has been traditionally ignored and overlooked. H4HLA provides trauma informed care to create interpersonal relationships to allow our participants to develop and explore opportunities in a safe learning environment. At a grass roots level, H4HLA seeks to effect change with positive role models where shared experiences are a foundation for nurturing and trust to promote healing and personal development. By providing career pathways in many unique industries that thrive in L.A., we seek to create access and opportunities where there were once barriers. Increasing the ratio of students that complete school and pursue careers will have a far reaching impact to our community at large. By creating opportunities for professionals to pay it forward to our youth, everyone wins.

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

H4HLA youth and teen mentorship with L.A. Entrepreneurs offer practical and applicable knowledge and step by step tools to educate and unlock potential to explore a future with increased opportunities. Many of H4HLAs leadership, instructors and volunteers are people of color that have shared life experience that our youth and families can identify with. They see themselves reflected in the programs, which have been lead by professionals in various industries, music, arts, food, finance, etc. that are also as diverse as the population we serve. H4HLA provides a FREE after-school program, administering programs that ensure our youth are knowledgeable and are afforded an equal opportunity to succeed in any field they wish to pursue. We uplift and inspire the whole family, thereby enhancing the parent and child's opportunity to rise above their impoverished situation and thrive in their futures. As one young participant said during an End-of-Year Showcase, in referring to becoming a Doctor, "I didn't know someone like me could work in that field." Our youth and teens are exposed to opportunities and community leaders that escalate their dreams of the future and safeguard their futures as successful, community driven adults. By having restauranteurs, muralists, professional musicians, financial planners and doctors mentor our youth programs, we create a clear pathway and access to opportunities that once seemed out of reach to our youth.

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

By leveraging the relationships of our diverse population of professionals working in a myriad of industries here in L.A., we have the unique opportunity to provide not only a window but a doorway leading to future opportunities for the youth we serve. Imagine a world of possibilities opening up for our youth with workshops lead by people that have risked and succeeded at achieving their dreams are willing to share how they did it! Statistically it is proven that communities that provide after-school programs to all youth and teens have a lower dropout rate, lower crime rate, reduced drug abuse community wide, 40% improvement in reading and math, reduced obesity among youth and teens, improved classroom behavior, increased school attendance, increased academic aspirations among youth and teens, and an increase in business productivity nationally by $300 billion annually.

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

Overall program impact - Hands4Hope LA has provided more than 1,000 students a safe place to build self-esteem, develop supportive relationships through academic and creative endeavors, win countless scholarships, build and attain career dreams, and give back to their community. Our participants have achieved a 98% graduation rate over the past 23 years and more than 75% have gone on to receive college degrees and technical certifications that have enabled them to pursue the career path of their choice.

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

Direct Impact: 175

Indirect Impact: 2,000