Looking Back on BLOOM

Smiling young African American male college graduateSince 2012, BLOOM (Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men) has transformed the lives and futures of more than 800 young Black men throughout Los Angeles.

When our children fall between the cracks, we all pay the price. Young Black men are often hardest hit, accounting for nearly a third of L.A. County youth on probation. And once they’re in the system, it’s hard to escape, as punishment restricts opportunity and lack of opportunity fuels re-offense.

That annual cost of incarcerating just one young person is more than $270,000. But the true cost is much higher. Los Angeles is losing out on a generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who can take on our challenges and contribute to our shared prosperity.

Education holds the key. Studies show that attaining a high school diploma reduces the chance of incarceration by 87 percent. That’s why CCF launched BLOOM (Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men).

Since 2012, BLOOM has transformed the lives and futures of more than 800 young Black men throughout Los Angeles. By combining academic support and scholarships with services like mentorship, college readiness, job training and social-emotional support, BLOOM puts young men on positive paths so they can succeed in college, careers and life.

90% of BLOOM youth did not reoffend. 70% maintained a 2.0 GPA or higher. 70% met A-G requirements.The results speak for themselves. Ninety percent of BLOOM youth did not reoffend after entering the program. Of youth enrolled through their senior year, 90 percent graduated from high school or earned their GED. The power and innovation of BLOOM drew recognition across the country, and, in 2014, it was cited by the White House as a model to be emulated.

Today, BLOOM is blossoming into something bigger. BLOOM partners Brotherhood Crusade and the Social Justice Learning Institute will expand its impact through the BLOOM Alliance, a community-based partnership which seeks to continue and grow BLOOM’s work with young men in L.A. County.

And this spring, the Los Angeles County Probation Department announced a multimillion-dollar, public-private partnership with CCF and the Liberty Hill Foundation to support and develop youth programs centered on healing, learning and opportunity in high-need areas. Inspired by BLOOM, Ready to Rise has already made $2.6 million in grants to transform the lives of young men and women throughout Los Angeles County.

To learn more about how BLOOM transformed the lives of young Black men in South L.A., contact Brooke Pinnix at bpinnix@calfund.org or visit calfund.org/bloom

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