Neighborhood Youth Association (NYA)

In June of 2012 for the fifth year in a row, 100% of NYA’s seniors graduated high school on time and went on to college! Most are among the first in their families to attend college! In addition to California State Universities and Universities of California campuses, NYA Alumni currently attend Macalester, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mount Holyoke, and many other prestigious colleges in California and throughout the country. Three of NYA’s students have been recognized by the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, including one winner and two finalists. Each year, NYA awards college scholarship funds of between $500 to $2,500 to its best performing students and Alumni based on their academic achievements, participation in extra-curricular activities, communication skills and demonstrated ability to overcome personal challenges. At the most recent annual Scholarship and Community Service Awards Dinner in March of 2013, NYA awarded scholarships to 23 students — more than in any other year! Over the last thirty years, NYA has awarded over 175 college scholarships to its students. Additionally, as many as half of NYA’s alumni who remain in the Los Angeles area after high school, return to the program as volunteers. Alumni volunteers set an example for younger students and help guide the way for the next generation of youth to graduate from high school, succeed in college and transition into meaningful careers.


1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Educating LAs Youth for a Better Future

    “By furthering my education, I will be able to give back to the community I grew up in.” –NYA Alumna now attending Marymount College Neighborhood Youth Association (NYA) believes that education has the power to transform lives, families and communities; that when we invest in educating our youth, we are investing in a better future for all of us. NYA is building that better future, one life at a time. One in four LAUSD students will not graduate from high school; only 48% score as proficient in English on standardized tests; and only 46% score as proficient in math. At NYA, 80% of NYA students significantly improve their math and English skills each year and 100% of high school seniors graduate on time and go on to college! Most are the first in their families to go to college. NYA’s Personal Best program picks up where schools leave off, providing low income and at-risk youth with rigorous, individualized academic and social support during the afterschool hours. Beyond high school, NYA provides a range of support services designed to ensure that disadvantaged and first generation college students complete their degrees. Youth can start with NYA as early as first grade and continue all the way through college. Of the nearly 200 young people currently served by NYA, 99% are Latino, 1% are African American, 92% do not speak English at home, 98% are being raised by a parent or parents who did not attend college, and all are low income. Despite these challenges, NYA’s students and alumni remain committed to their education. Some travel as many as three hours each way by bus to attend a university. These young people know that they are building a better future for themselves and for their families. “I have to set the example and by going to college I can show my siblings that it is possible to accomplish their goals if they strive towards them and put in the effort.” – NYA high school senior NYA has developed, tested and tracked a highly successful proprietary curriculum. NYA’s Personal Best curriculum stresses the development of strong math and English skills, STEM literacy, college planning and preparation, critical thinking, and leadership. Each student undergoes an extensive academic and social assessment. Targeted interventions such as one-on-one tutoring or counseling are integrated into each student’s “afterschool day” along with activities such as project-based learning, group activities, competitions, peer mentoring and learning games. Students’ progress toward academic goals is evaluated as often as every week and adjustments are made as needed to ensure that each student receives the support they need to achieve success. “Whether it may be academically or personally, NYA is a place where knowledge is cultivated and encouraged to flourish. Being a part of the program has been very impactful to me, and I will take everything I learned at NYA with me, because it has shaped me into a better person”. – NYA high school senior