Parent, Family Engagement and Community Services
The Next Steps: Pathway to College and a STEAM Career
Through our interactive and engaging educational workshops, we teach parents "how to" truly help their children plan for higher education. Our goal is to educate parents and how they can help their children achieve their full potential by graduating from college and pursuing a rewarding career in STEAM. Our education program is uniquely positioned to make Los Angeles a better place for all since we focus on teaching parents and students how to make college graduation a reality for students in low-income and underserved communities.
Describe the mission of your organization.
Through our parent/student education program, our mission is to address disparities in student achievement, college readiness, and increase the number of students who graduate from a college or university with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
- Antelope Valley
- LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
Only 30 percent of the Los Angeles County residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Over 31 percent of high school graduates across Los Angeles County do not enroll in college nor pursue a higher education degree. Over 25 plus percent of the students enrolled in college drop out during the first and second year due to the lack of preparation academically and financially. Over 25 percent of the students are not proficient in math and do not meet the math standards in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. 90 percent of parents in Los Angeles County do not have a college fund or are financially prepared to support the high cost of education. Many high schools in Los Angeles County only have one College and Career Counselor per every 3,000 students. Parents and students in low-income and underserved communities in Los Angeles County do not receive the necessary guidance to learn about the many financial aid resources available through scholarships and FAFSA.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
What makes our program different and innovative is that we take a holistic approach to the whole child that also involves the father, the mother, and the child. Our family education program supports and nurtures all areas of children’s development and learning–from social-emotional and cognitive skills to literacy, math, and science understanding. With the support of this grant, we will focus on two key areas that we feel will contribute to a significant increase in the number of residents who would obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher during the period of the grant and beyond: During the grant period of one year, we will present our series of workshops “College Bound and STEAM Career Awareness” to Middle and High Schools in low-income and underserved communities throughout Los Angeles County where there is a high percentage of disengaged youth and high suspension and expulsion rates. During our workshops, we will provide parents and students with the knowledge necessary to support their children to be academically and financially prepared to enroll and graduate from college. The Next Step: Pathway to College and a STEAM Career: A selected number of parents and students in Middle School 8th Grade and High Schools, who participate and complete the series of workshops presented will meet with our College and Career Coaches/Advisors to design a custom-designed a strategic plan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher and a career in STEAM.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Over the one-year grant period, we will present our College Bound and STEAM Career Awareness workshops at Middle and High schools located in low-income and underserved communities of Los Angeles County. Our program will provide parents and students with the knowledge to be better prepared to graduate from high school, enroll in college/university and pursue a higher education career in STEAM. Our interactive workshops use technology to teach parents and students how to research the different colleges and universities options, admission requirements, research careers opportunities, apply for FAFSA and scholarships, and research job compensation opportunities. We will also provide one-on-one college and career planning to a selected group of parents with students in 8th grade and in High School to prepare a written strategic plan “The Next Steps: Pathway to College and a STEAM Career” to help define the path to attend and graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Parents who have attended our workshops appreciate the quality and interactive nature of our workshops. We have consistently received very positive feedback. These are some of the benefits that residents of Los Angeles County are experiencing as a result of participating in our parent workshops: a) Parents and students are better informed as to what is required to be admitted at a university. Furthermore, parents and students are taking the necessary steps to meet the academic challenges and high cost of higher education. b) Parents have learned to use technology effectively to communicate with the school and to be more engaged in the children’s education. c) Parents have observed a significant improvement in their children’s behavior and academic performance. Our innovative program is composed of two key areas that will ensure success: a) Parent and student college and STEAM Career education. b) One-on-one written strategic plan for College and a STEAM Career.
Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.
Yes. PEBSAF and Keep Learning America. Both of these organizations will provide additional project planning and human resources support to make this project a reality. Over the past 14 years, we have worked diligently educating families at schools throughout LAUSD and Los Angeles County. Many thousands of parents and students have benefited from our quality education program resulting in a higher number of students graduating from High School, enrolling, and graduating from Colleges and Universities. Our interactive workshops use technology to teach parents and students how to research the different colleges and universities options, admission requirements, research careers opportunities, apply for FAFSA and scholarships, and research job compensation opportunities.
Which of the learn metrics will you impact?
- College graduates
- College matriculation
- Proficiency in STEM
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
Ready, Set, Go!: An Equitable Pathway to College and Beyond
All young people, regardless of race, ethnicity or zip code, have the right to a high-quality K-12 education--one that builds the skills, knowledge and resilience needed to complete a 4-year college and gain greater economic mobility. The Partnership for Los Angeles Schools College Compass program (high school component) prepares students through initiatives including college-readiness tracking and best-fit advising. With a network of highest-need LA Unified schools, we incubate programs intended for the broader impact of LA Unified adoption.
OLASTEO Virtual Experience Program
Our carefully curated virtual experiences expose students to a world beyond their local communities which motivates them to learn and understand through lived experiences. OLASTEO scholars hear from and engage with speakers and educators who they did not have prior exposure to. Students receive goods and products from BIPOC-owned local businesses where possible. And, true to OLASTEO’s nature, our scholars enjoy meals and snacks representing a variety of cultural heritages and dietary options.