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

Tools for Fuel Youth Mentorship Program

The Cease For Peace Tools for Fuel Youth Mentorship Program is an invaluable intervention that will make Los Angeles a safer, healthier, and more connected city. With your support, we will expand our program to serve two cohorts of girls and young ladies during the 2023-24 academic year. Our 15-week program will work with system- and justice-involved girls aged 8-18 to build their self-esteem, connect them with positive role models and mentors, strengthen their core life and coping skills, and empower them to be the best version of themselves.


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?

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?

The youth we serve have been directly affected by systemic inequities and marginalization that contribute to long-term negative social, health, and economic outcomes. They lack access to positive social and recreational activities, safe spaces to socialize and explore, and experience poverty and housing insecurity. Our primary population are Black and Latino system-involved youth ages 8 to 18 who have been identified as at-risk, have a history of disruptive or violent behavior, have been unsuccessful academically, and/or have already started to explore life on the streets (e.g., gang affiliation). Often, they have little guidance in the home, are missing one or both parents, and/or are in the foster care system. Cease For Peace's Tools for Fuel mentorship program and community engagement activities serve as valuable interventions that can help our youth become successful, healthy, and thriving members of the community and create safer, more connected, and resilient neighborhoods.

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

With the support of LA2050, Cease For Peace will expand our Tools for Fuel youth mentorship program to serve two cohorts of girls during the 2023-2024 school year. Tools for Fuel supports the unique needs of system- and justice-impacted youth in Los Angeles. It is a 15-week intervention and prevention program that addresses social-emotional, mental health, and vocational topics, as well as gender-specific lesson plans tailored to the issues and challenges that our youth may face in their daily lives. Other topics include self-confidence, self-care, hygiene, etiquette, and other basic social skills that are important for their holistic development. We lead sessions on breaking down trauma and generational trauma, positive role models, issues impacting the LGBTQ+ population, guidance on engaging with law enforcement, and more. We offer mental health support with a specialist who shares common experiences and backgrounds so our youth can identify with them, feel understood, and be comfortable opening up. We also take youth on excursions and field trips to post-secondary educational institutions, local government offices and meetings, networking and engagement events, recreational activities, and more. Our aim is to challenge youth's perceptions of their reality by illuminating the opportunities that exist outside of their built environments and exposing them to social, civic, and cultural experiences that differ from their norms while strengthening core life and coping skills.

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

Tools for Fuel will make Los Angeles County a better place to live by supporting the growth of healthy, healed, and whole young men and women in historically underserved communities through the following outcomes: -Reducing crime: Positive role models promote values and habits that deter youth from joining gangs and participating in adverse behaviors, ultimately improving community safety. -Building connections: Youth build relationships with peers and mentors, fostering a sense of community and reducing isolation. -Academic and economic success: Academic support, skills development, and training lead to improved education and long-term economic outcomes. -Pro-social behavior: We reinforce positive values, responsibility, accountability, and goal-setting skills, empowering youth to understand their emotions and make better choices. Together, these efforts create opportunities for Angelenos to thrive, nurture inclusivity, and promote positive outcomes for youth.

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

Cease For Peace will continue to leverage data as evidence of our efficiency for the proposed program. Our preliminary evaluation plan includes three steps to collect and evaluate baseline and outcome data: - Pre-testing the participants knowledge once entered their respective programs to determine the baseline. - Analyzing data to determine the services needed to achieve the program's goal. - Checking for pre-requisite skills for job placement, to ensure basic educational requirements are met prior to proceeding. Data is stored confidentially and reviewed and updated by case managers regularly. Records are reviewed by program managers and leadership to ensure progress toward established goals and to course correct as needed. Additionally, Cease For Peace collects testimonials and qualitative feedback from participants and staff to assess the impact and effectiveness of our work.

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

Direct Impact: 50

Indirect Impact: 1,500