The Urban Warehouse
Our program is tailored to provide alternatives to vulnerable inner-city youth in East LA. Many of our participants come from low-income families or children in the foster system with minimum guidance. The Skate-4-Education after school program offers skateboarding as an academic incentive by exchanging skateboarding gear & skate ramp time when they meet specific education goals (i.e., 3.0+ GPAs). By keeping them off the streets & engaged in developing their educational goals, they can redirect their energy towards more positive endeavors.
Please note: Our finalists completed their submissions before we had full information about the longer-term trajectory of COVID-19. Accordingly, we are giving them an opportunity to explain how they plan to modify their proposals under the current circumstances. Their responses will be added to submission pages before public voting begins on Monday, June 8, 2020.
Please describe the mission of your organization.
Educating inner-city youth to value education through our after-school program; treating skateboarding as an academic incentive, & incorporating art activities. We exchange skateboarding gear when they meet specific education goals; using an active lifestyle as a backbone to success in education.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
What is the need you’re responding to?
Our immediate goal is to provide an after school program that is an alternative to being on the streets. The long-term goal is to place an emphasis on the importance of focusing on their education by providing them with mentors, who are currently enrolled in college, and exchanging skateboarding gear and activities for reaching their academic goals (i.e, A’s on test scores). The extracurricular activities also include an indoor skate park, DJ room, and silk screening studio at no cost. In addition to focusing on their education, we provide them with an entrepreneurial program that teaches them how to develop a brand, create the merchandise via the silk screening studio and marketing the sale of the items they create. Because so many of these kids come from an underserved community, we also expect them to give back by taking part in graffiti clean-ups, food drives and community clean-up projects. Our goal is to develop well-rounded individuals.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
The majority of the boys go from failing grades to straight As, with many of them pursuing college educations after completing our program. Our goal of “breaking the cycle” is realized when they return to the program to help mentor the younger boys. We are providing them with the opportunity to remove themselves from negative influences and, instead channel their energy towards more productive activities and their education. We create a family environment, where there has been none before. Over the last 13 years, we have provided the guidance and inspiration for our youth to see an alternative to the cycle of poverty and hopelessness in which many of them live.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
Many of our participants’ sibling and schoolmates join our program once they see the improvement in grades and reading level proficiency. The participants host different educational events at the local grammar and middle schools in the community to share their personal experiences and present skateboard safety training. We work with different organizations including the Rotary Club of East LA and job development programs to help promote our program benefits.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We developed a point system that we have employed at the shop since the beginning of the program. They are rewarded for completed homework and reading assignments, scoring A’s on their tests and report cards with 3.0+ GPAs. There are no limits to the number of rewards they can earn. When they initially join our program, they have failing grades and lower level reading proficiency. Measuring their success is at the base of our program. Over the last 3 years, the program has reached over 2,000 registered students. 72% of our participants achieve GPAs of 3.0 or better. Of those that complete the program through high school, 60% move on to a community college or four-year college. We have had participants that have earned engineering, graphic design, social work and law degrees to just name a few.
Ideally, we would like to expand the program to other underserved communities in the Los Angeles area. We have a program that has proven effective and we can help replicate it in other areas.
Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?
- Youth sports participation
- Easy access to a safe park
- Students' sense of safety at and on the way to school
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Capacity, including staff
The Healing Power of Coaches
LA2050 will make possible “The Healing Power of Coaches”, a citywide effort to support and train coaches who will inspire the health and wellbeing of Los Angeles youth through PLAY. Our two-pronged approach will involve leveraging LA2050 support to increase the number of coaches working with youth in LA’s most underserved communities and to provide training citywide to all youth sports coaches who want to use play to impact the physical, social-emotional and academic health of young people.
University Park Slow Jams
Every year LA’s streets are becoming less safe for people who walk, especially children. University Park Slow Jams is a creative call to action for safer streets. The project builds a network of local advocates—groups, schools, parents, youth—to draw attention to traffic violence, build capacity, and propose solutions. Slow Jams are a multifaceted education, engagement, and leadership development strategy that enable local stakeholders to participate in creative public acts; document safety conditions; and take action to achieve street safety.