a butterfly only
wings to fly because a
caterpillar found shelter
a butterfly only
spreads its wings
to fly because
“We are breaking the school to prison pipeline. By changing their life trajectories, they can contribute to society & transform their communities & the world.” – D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, Social Justice Learning Institute
In a South L.A. community garden, teen Marcus Coulter plants the seeds for success. He credits the mentorship, education and community involvement provided by the Social Justice Learning Institute, a partner in California Community Foundation’s BLOOM (Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men), for helping him onto the right path. “We all want to get more out of life, but we often don’t know how,” Marcus says. “BLOOM guides you to get you there.” This year, CCF dedicated more than $3.1 million to programs that empower young people like Marcus to realize their potential and develop the skills they need to flourish.
Black men who drop out of high school can face a 90 percent probability of incarceration. But a diploma can reduce that number by 85 percent. This year, BLOOM granted $500,000 to ensure that young Black South L.A. men who are or have been on probation are able to excel academically and start meaningful careers. To date, 88 percent of participants have successfully upheld the terms of their probation, and, this year, 119 current BLOOMers were accepted or enrolled in college.
In South L.A., the average household income is nearly half the county average of $56,000, and fewer than 10 percent of residents have a college diploma. Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow, the result of a generous gift by an anonymous donor, granted more than $2.2 million this year to improve the academic achievement, decision-making skills and self-esteem of South L.A. and South Bay youth through diverse music, sports and recreation programs – from songwriting to sailing.
Half of all young people aging out of the foster care system are homeless within 18 months of emancipation, and as few as 1 percent graduate from college. This year, CCF’s Transition Aged Youth portfolio gave $485,000 to organizations that help former foster youth meet their basic needs and successfully establish independence.
Through BLOOM, Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow and our commitment to foster youth, we hope to plant the seeds that will blossom into a better future for Los Angeles County.
2014-2015 VISION: Create improved academic and career outcomes for young Black men involved with the probation system, improve academic and social-emotional outcomes for South L.A. youth using music, sports and recreation, and help youth successfully transition out of the foster care system. Awarded 56 grants totaling $3.14 million.