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

Representation Matters: If I can SEE it, I can BE it!

Representation Matters: If I can SEE it I can BE it is a college and career readiness program. It will provide exposure and preparation for BIPOC, under-served youth to gain greater understanding and access to STEM educational and career opportunities, through intentional programming to maximize student entry and success. The program will provide an opportunity for a better future by providing tools and resources to enter higher paying career fields that will allow greater educational and professional success for future generations.


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?

South LA

West LA

South Bay

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 BIPOC students and adults do not consider nor enter STEM career fields because they do not know how to access them. They do not have proper guidance and support to help them navigate entrance into those fields. Many well qualified students do not consider STEAM careers because they often do not know or have never met anyone operating in those fields. This leads to a lack of motivation to challenge themselves to taking and excelling in STEAM courses in middle and high school. Additionally, we have observed that most inner-city, low-income and BIPOC students are not aware of the myriad of interests, careers and jobs that fall within the STEAM umbrella, and we believe it imperative that we educate them with that knowledge. We also understand the importance of exposing this demographic to these fields at an early age, therefore we will be working with middle students as well through this project.

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

The project will provide exposure, knowledge and support of entry into STEAM educational opportunities and careers. We partner with schools and community organizations to provide workshops, field trips and one on one interactions with industry professionals to provide information and knowledge to students. We conduct orientations and solicit input from all stakeholders (participants, program staff, school staff, family). We will determine student's beginning base of knowledge and experiences of college, career pathways and STEAM options at the beginning of the program via a pre-assessment and then evaluate the success of the program via a post program assessment. We will use quantitative data for evaluation, as well as qualitative data, as a reflection of participant expectation, experience, perceived and actual outcomes. As is a part of our mission, we work collaboratively with schools that we partner with to provide quality experiences for participants. Their input will be vital to the success of our program. A key factor to success of this program is linkages to community based resources, visiting higher education settings, careers and professionals in STEAM fields. We will provide parent education, have parent participation and train school staff to work with and support youth, especially first generation college youth as they investigate and explore post-secondary educational and career opportunities. We will also provide student stipends and scholarships to students too

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

With the success of this project, it will position residents to become and remain self sufficient while providing a more educated and engaged community who will incorporate civic responsibility in their academic aspirations and professional endeavors. The success of this program will elevate the skill set of Los Angelenos which will allow for a more highly skilled, more highly educated workforce. The success of participants in these fields will increase their overall earning potential as well as through our program we will support participants in achieving professional certificates in a faster manner as they work toward their ultimate goals, they will be able to start earning higher wages sooner because they will have vocational skills to use as those who choose will complete their more advances degrees, education and training. Participants will participate in skill acquisition at a variety of levels which will allow them to begin working in STEAM fields in a short amount of time.

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

The impact is measured by increased k-12 school daily attendance, fewer discipline referrals, increase in participation and success of college prep and STEAM courses in middle and high school, increased parent participation, increased community service/volunteerism for students and families, increased documented exposure to a variety of uncommon college majors, college locations and college visits. Success also looks like increased college/career pathway readiness. Participants will develop a plan for success (via portfolio) for completion of high school, enrollment in college or vocational program, leading to an identified career pathway that they have investigated. Students will share overall plans including goals and how they will participate in the activities that will help them achieve those goals through this program. Participants will work with program staff, school staff and their families to research, develop and implement a plan for their academic and college bound success.

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

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 300