Southern California Program

Grant Abstracts 2016

Abode Communities

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
December 2016

Abode Communities is a Los Angeles-based affordable housing provider who owns and operates 35 residential communities that are home to some 6,200 low-income parents, children, seniors and people with special needs.  To support the long-term success and improve the livelihoods of its residents, the organization provides on-site resident services and, in several of its recent developments, co-locates its affordable housing with subsidized childcare centers, community centers and affordable health clinics.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting the construction of a 6,500-square-foot Federally Qualified Health Center as part of a mixed-use affordable housing development in South Los Angeles.  The development will transform the existing 48-unit Rolland Curtis Gardens apartment complex into 140 affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom units for more than 650 low-income residents.  The complex, located 100 feet from Metro’s Expo/Vermont light rail station, will also include 1,500 square feet of community serving retail space for small business owners as part of an economic development strategy.  St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will operate the on-site health clinic to provide no-/low-cost medical and dental care, behavioral health services, and preventive health education to residents and the neighboring community.  At part-time capacity during the first year of operations, it is estimated the health center will serve 3,300 unduplicated patients.  In subsequent years at full capacity, the numbers of patients served will more than double.

Cathedral High School

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
December 2016

Cathedral High School is an independent, college-preparatory Catholic high school operated by the Christian Brothers in partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  It enrolls 735 primarily low-income Latino and African American male students and 90% of the student body receives need based aid and/or academic scholarships.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting the construction of a visual and performing arts complex to replace an antiquated industrial arts building that is inadequate to support Cathedral’s comprehensive arts curriculum.  The instructional facility will provide classrooms, studios for the creative arts, television production areas, and rooms for music and theatrical arts instruction and practice.  A new 350 seat theater will host student performances and events throughout the year and be available for use by local civic and arts groups.  Weekend and summer arts programming will be offered to middle school students from Catholic schools that lack arts instruction and interested students from nearby girl’s high schools will participate in Cathedral’s dramatic productions.

Centinela Youth Services

Civic and Community
Hawthorne, CA
$250,000
December 2016

Centinela Youth Services (CYS) provides family and victim/offender mediation, restitution and conflict resolution services to prevent youth from becoming involved with Los Angeles County’s juvenile justice system.  In collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), CYS established the Everychild Restorative Justice Center (RJC) in South Los Angeles.  It has been successful in enabling youth to make amends to their victims for the harms their behavior caused and in reducing recidivism.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting the replication of the RJC model in the San Fernando Valley at the request of the LAPD.  Youth and families are referred to the RJC by the courts, law enforcement and schools.  Validated assessments guide individualized case plans based on the severity of the infraction, risk level and needs.  Trained volunteers facilitate mediations that resolve conflicts, increase youths’ recognition of the impact of their actions and motivate accountability.  Case management and evidence-based interventions are provided directly by CYS staff and interns and through partnerships with academic, mental health, and positive youth development providers.  The new Valley RJC will provide pre-arrest and court diversion services for 700 at-risk youth ages nine to seventeen.  Youth who complete RJC services will earn a “second chance” and avoid an arrest or criminal record.

Child Care Resource Center

Early Childhood
Chatsworth, CA
$200,000
December 2016

The Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) provides parents with no-cost referrals to licensed child care, administers subsidies, directly operates Head Start and Early Head Start programs and offers training and technical assistance to providers to improve the quality of care.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting a pilot project to address the lack of accessible child care for abused children, which is a major barrier to securing foster homes.  In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), CCRC will recruit and train family child care providers to provide emergency child care for children under age five entering the foster care system.  The project will start with five providers located in three communities in the San Fernando Valley where nearly 70% of the children who are removed from their homes live.  These providers will be paid to keep one space open for a DCFS referred child.  CCRC will continue to recruit providers as spaces are filled in the targeted communities as well as surrounding areas, including the Antelope Valley.  A child care navigator will work alongside a DCFS eligibility worker and the resource family to transition the child to a permanent, subsidized child care space.  During the pilot, at least 40 young children will be placed in an emergency child care space and many more will access quality child care through an enhanced referral process between DCFS and CCRC.  Lessons learned will be used to inform replication of the project countywide and provide the data needed to make the case for child care funding for foster children through state legislation.

The Children's Clinic "Serving Children and Their Families"

Health Care
Long Beach, CA
$300,000
December 2016

The Children’s Clinic, “Serving Children & Their Families” (TCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center system in Long Beach providing preventive, primary and chronic care to almost 40,000 patients annually.  In 2014, TCC developed and piloted the Everychild Bright Beginnings Initiative, which is a trauma-informed approach to primary care that addresses toxic stress and the social determinants of health.  Initial training was provided to staff on how the effects of chronic exposure to trauma, toxic stress and violence can negatively impact normal child development and lifelong health.  Clinicians conducted family well-being screenings during prenatal and pediatric visits and referred at-risk patients to TCC’s home visiting, parent education and support groups as well as to external partners for mental health care and resources for basic needs.  Based on screening data from the pilot, one-third of TCC’s prenatal, pregnant and pediatric patients are living with significant trauma, social isolation and food and housing insecurity.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will enable TCC to transform its primary care practice by integrating trauma-informed care into clinical visits and programs at all 11 of its sites, including a mobile health clinic.  TCC will refine its training and screening tools, implement a new data system to track outcomes and work with community partners to facilitate a city-wide system to address the social determinants of health.  TCC will share lessons learned with its partners and other clinics and health care systems.

Common Sense Media

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$100,000
December 2016

Common Sense Media is a national organization that has been working in Los Angeles since 2011 to provide families and schools with resources and training to promote digital citizenship and the informed use of digital content such as movies, video games and educational software.  In 2015, it launched Common Sense Latino, which provides culturally-relevant resources and tools, including blog posts, advice videos and ratings of media content, on its website.  In an effort to expand and deepen its services for low-income Latino families in Los Angeles, the agency will implement its Latino Outreach Program.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support a bilingual Latino program coordinator who will work with local community organizations and schools to provide Spanish language training workshops for parents and families on topics and issues related to digital media and technology.  Common Sense Media will begin by partnering with Abriendo Puertas, a research-based education program for Latino families with children ages zero to five and the Compton Unified School District’s Parent Center.  The agency will train 300 Abriendo Puertas’ facilitators who in turn will reach 7,000 families at 185 locations throughout Los Angeles.  Common Sense Media will also work with district administrators to develop and co-lead workshops that will reach at least 300 parents of school-age children attending Compton schools.  Additional partnerships will be developed over the course of the project with other school districts and grassroots organizations.

El Nido Family Centers

Civic and Community
Mission Hills, CA
$250,000
December 2016

Founded in 1925, El Nido Family Centers provides educational, youth development, counseling and social services to 10,000 individuals annually to break the cycle of poverty, child abuse, gang violence, academic failure and teen pregnancy.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support an educational and vocational program that combines classroom instruction with hands-on training to provide 240 youth ages 16 to 24 with opportunities to explore career paths, gain marketable skills and transition to post-secondary education.  El Nido will establish a Business Academy at its Family Source Center in Pacoima where youth will learn what it takes to plan, start, and operate a new business through the launch of a community café.  Those in the Tech Center program at El Nido’s Family Source Center in South Los Angeles will learn software programming for web and mobile applications.  An external advisory committee comprised of local industry professionals will assist each academy with curriculum development, serve as classroom speakers and arrange field trips to their companies.  Youth will also have access to tutoring, college planning and paid internships.  An outside evaluator will compare the two programmatic strategies and identify the strengths and the efficacy of each.  Youth participants will predominantly come from low-income families of low educational attainment and will include those attending high school, independent study and dropouts.

Extraordinary Families

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
December 2016

Extraordinary Families (EF) is a foster family, adoption and advocacy agency founded over two decades ago.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting a project to build EF’s capacity to recruit, support and retain a greater number of resource families committed to caring for children and youth, and especially teenagers, sibling sets and those with mental and behavioral health needs.  The project responds to a severe shortage of resource families to provide safe, nurturing, temporary or permanent homes to children removed from their families due to neglect or abuse.  Because every child deserves to grow up in a home environment, California recently enacted “Continuum of Care Reform” legislation (CCR), limiting the use of group homes, which currently house over 1,000 youth in Los Angeles County.  To address CCR and the growing need for more resource families to care for these youth, EF will hire a dedicated recruitment specialist, supplement its case management services with more intensive clinical support for resource families and apply for national accreditation.  The goal is to increase the pool of resource families willing and prepared to care for a high need youth to 25% of EF’s total pool of resource families.

Long Beach Education Foudation

Early Childhood
Long Beach, CA
$500,000
December 2016

A public-private partnership spearheaded by the Long Beach Unified School District is establishing Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach to provide holistic education and family support services to low-income infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their parents on the campus of the Clara Barton Elementary School.  The Educare model is a research-based, high quality approach to early childhood education that promotes children’s social, emotional and cognitive development while also focusing on parent development of job and life skill competencies.  The model’s core features include data utilization, embedded professional development, high quality teaching practices and intensive family engagement.  The education component is a full-day program that is provided year round.  Nationwide, there are 21 Educare Centers in 13 states and the District of Columbia serving 3,000 children and their families.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting construction of the Educare Center, which will operate under a partnership agreement with the national Educare Learning Network, and enroll nearly 200 low-income children, including 72 infants and toddlers, each year.  The Center will also serve as a regional training hub and can be a catalyst for greater investments in young children’s education by demonstrating quality.

P. S. Arts

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
December 2016

P. S. ARTS was established in 1991 to bring arts education to underserved public schools.  It recruits and trains professional artists to develop curriculum and teach classes during the school day and trains classroom teachers to integrate creative expression and the arts into core academic subjects.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting P. S. ARTS’ new partnership with the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) to deepen student engagement in learning at three schools.  Over the next 30 months, P. S. Arts will expand its existing dance residency to serve 510 second through fifth graders at Warren Lane and La Tijera Elementary Schools.  A curriculum that thematically integrates science lessons with dance instruction will be co designed by teachers and instructors from P. S. ARTS and P. S. Science and piloted with 90 third grade students at Warren Lane and La Tijera Elementary Schools.  A theater elective will be offered to 60 students at La Tijera and Crozier Middle Schools and semiannual opportunities will be provided for parents and community members to participate in the arts.

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Education
Carson, CA
$300,000
June 2016

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) serves a student body that is 75% Latino and African-American and is one of the CSU System’s largest producers of secondary math and science teachers.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is funding the pilot of the first in a fleet of five Mobile Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) deployed by the university to advance understanding of the engineering design process among teachers in training, classroom teachers and underserved middle and high school students attending high-needs schools.  Originally developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms as a small outreach program, today there are 200 Fab Labs in the United States and the one proposed by CSUDH will be the first in Los Angeles.  The Fab Labs will provide teachers and students with access to new content and project-based, hands-on STEM activities for learning and innovation utilizing technology and digital fabrication tools.  Learning will happen in an authentic, engaging, personal context in which teachers guide students through a cycle of imagination, design, prototyping, reflection, and iteration as they find solutions to challenges or bring their ideas to life.  Throughout the process, they learn to apply math and science concepts.  In the first year of the project, faculty from CSUDH’s Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) will collaborate with the Fab Lab Foundation and the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) to design and build the first Fab Lab and train teachers to use the equipment and develop projects that incorporate the new Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.  In the following academic year, the program will be piloted at two CSUDH STEM Lab schools operated on the campuses of nearby LAUSD schools.  A minimum of 50 math and science teachers and 100 teacher candidates will be trained in the new content and teaching strategies and at least 400 middle and high school students will participate in Fab Lab activities.

Coalition to Abolish Slavery

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
$250,000
June 2016

In Los Angeles County, three-quarters of commercially sexually exploited children have been or are currently in the foster care system.  Current approaches involving arrests and mandatory diversion programs have been ineffective in extracting these young victims from their pimps, leading to high rates of recidivism.  As a pioneer in the field of human trafficking, Coalition to Abolish Slavery (CAST) is working with law enforcement to collectively address the needs of victims who when well supported through the healing process can serve as effective witnesses in the prosecution of their perpetrators.  CAST’s training of frontline police officers, social workers and service providers has heightened awareness about this population and calls to its hotline from victims seeking help have quadrupled in the past year.  In response, CAST is piloting a community-based approach to identify, refer and serve exploited youth up to age 24 before they become “system-involved” or face criminal charges.  In partnership with nine service providers, different approaches will be tried to build the trust necessary to engage youth in their own healing process and gain a deeper understanding of what works in order for youth to leave their traffickers.  Youth who have been trafficked and are ready to engage in services will receive comprehensive, coordinated care by a CAST case manager.  Data will be collected on the origination of the referral and if prior youth participation in services was voluntary or mandated; survivor’s age when first trafficked, socio-economic status, education level, number of arrests; and number and type of service interventions.  The resulting data will be correlated with survivor outcomes to establish a baseline and determine the optimal combination of interventions that reduces recidivism and improves long-term outcomes for young victims.  CAST anticipates serving 100 exploited children in South Los Angeles and will refine and expand the pilot to 20 more youth in the San Fernando Valley.  Both communities are locations where sex trafficking is prevalent.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support a program manager to train and coordinate services among the partners and oversee data collection and the evaluation.

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)

Education - Great Public Schools Now Initiative
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
June 2016

Heart of Los Angeles Youth (HOLA) provides at-risk youth with a structured continuum of afterschool programs designed to counteract the effects of living in poverty, deter them from gang involvement and encourage their academic achievement, high school graduation and college attendance.  HOLA has experienced a significant increase in demand for its programming and has 350 students on its waiting list due to a pressing need for more space.  A grant will go toward the construction of HOLA’s new, approximately 25,000-square-foot Arts, Enrichment, and Recreation Center in Lafayette Park and will replace 10,000 square feet of overcrowded, short-term leased space.  Incorporating shipping containers and traditional modular construction, this vibrant new facility has a cost-efficient and flexible design that allows for adding containers if more space is needed in the future.  As currently configured, the Center will enable HOLA to double the number of youth served daily to 600 and reach a total of 4,000 people annually.  It will house HOLA’s music, tutoring, science enrichment and college access and success programs.  Youth counseling and intervention services will also be available.  As part of HOLA’s 50-year land lease agreement with the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, the Center will host adult programs and services during the school day for parents and community residents through shared programming with partner agencies.

The Help Group

Education
Sherman Oaks, CA
$300,000
June 2016

The Help Group’s STEM3Academy is pioneering a new approach to educating students with high-functioning autism and other special needs who have excellent pattern recognition and concentration abilities along with an affinity for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  With some 85% of special needs young adults being underemployed or unemployed, the goal of the STEM3 Academy is to pave the way to more independent lives.  In 2013, the STEM3Academy high school program was piloted and a middle school program was subsequently added.  Early results from the first high school class indicate lower absenteeism, higher enthusiasm and accelerated class participation.  Students also benefit from partnerships with business and industry, job skills development, and links to college and career to forge pathways to future employment.  Parents saw their children succeeding in school projects for the first time and described the program’s impact as “life-changing.”  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will provide four new staff to expand the program to elementary school students, more fully develop the curriculum, incorporating Common Core, project-based, and 21st Century skills, integrate the Innovation Lab and Maker Space across all grades and disciplines, secure more mentorships and internships and provide additional teacher training and leadership development.  Planned enrollment will grow from 63 to 115 students by 2018.

Hillsides

Civic and Community
Pasadena, CA
$350,000
June 2016

Hillsides’ main campus in Pasadena houses the agency’s Residential Treatment Services and the Hillsides Education Center.  Providing comprehensive, rehabilitative services to the entire family, these programs help children ages 6-18, who have suffered significant trauma, mental illnesses, behavioral disturbances, learning disorders and multiple failed placements.  These two programs serve 600 unduplicated children and family members each year.  In direct response to California’s Continuum of Care reform, Hillsides is working to reduce foster youths’ average length of stay in its residential programs and improve their day-to-day functioning so they can be successfully placed in the community with a birth or adoptive family, a relative, or in a lower level of care.  Through its Creating Lasting Change campaign, Hillsides is reconfiguring its main campus in Pasadena to provide the additional space needed for intensive therapeutic interventions and the active involvement of families in the treatment plan.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support construction of a new Student Center, which will replace a woefully inadequate kitchen and outgrown dining facilities and provide expanded space for the arts and recreational therapy programs that are integral to the treatment model.  Additional campus enhancements include a new swimming pool and an expanded playing field.  Improved exterior signage, a new service road, entrance kiosk and additional parking will reduce traffic hazards and improve campus security.  Staff anticipates that the length of stay will continue to decrease from 18 months to between six and 12 months for 85% of the children in its Residential Treatment Service program.  Once youth are discharged, Hillsides will provide families with wrap-around community-based services.  While the project is intended to improve the quality of care and not directly increase the numbers served, the reduction in the length of stay will allow Hillsides to serve an additional 75 children each year in their two on-campus programs.

Los Angeles Universal Preschool

Early Childhood
Los Angeles, CA
$100,000
June 2016

Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) is undertaking a study in partnership with the Utah Policy Innovation Lab and the Pomona Unified School District (PUSD) to determine the feasibility of Pay for Success, an innovative funding mechanism whereby private investors lend up-front capital to support proven programs.  Repayment of principal plus an investment return is made with savings realized by the public sector, in this case the school district.  Only half of PUSD’s entering kindergartners have attended preschool.  The goal of the project is to provide an ongoing, stable source of funding for early education programs for low-income children that will lead to higher rates of literacy, graduation and college readiness.  The study’s first phase is underway to assess the developmental milestones and kindergarten readiness outcomes achieved by LAUP supported programs.  A preliminary analysis verified that children who attended LAUP programs outperformed those that did not in the areas of literacy, math and social/emotional skills.  The next phase of the feasibility study will identify both the optimal target population and a control group and quantify the value of increased school readiness and a reduction in special education and remediation services based on the district’s administrative data.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting the cost-savings analysis of LAUP’s programs to determine the viability of structuring an outcomes-oriented contract that would be attractive to PUSD as the payor.  If the pilot of Pay for Success in Pomona proves successful, there is potential to scale the funding model in other high need school districts in Los Angeles County.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
$500,000
June 2016

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLK) is a privately operated, 131-bed inpatient facility that opened in July 2015.  Hospital medical leadership includes physicians who maintain UCLA faculty appointments.  An Advanced Care Clinic (ACC) will be established by the hospital to address the multiple healthcare needs of patients with complex chronic conditions who are discharged from inpatient care, and referred from community clinics and the hospital’s emergency department.  The MLK emergency department is providing over 60,000 patient visits on an annualized basis, double the number anticipated.  Many of these patients have not seen a doctor in years due to a severe shortage of physicians in South Los Angeles.  Currently, the hospital’s high-risk patients must often either be kept for observation for conditions that could otherwise be managed in an outpatient setting, or remain in the hospital longer due to the lack of a medical home with the resources to provide appropriate follow-up care.  Some of these patients might be socially isolated, disabled and/or elderly.  All have a history of heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia.  They also tend to have high blood pressure, poorly managed diabetes and/or end-stage emphysema, account for 36% of the hospital’s inpatient stays, and are responsible for 60% or more of inpatient costs.  The Advanced Care Clinic will open in the second half of 2016 with multi-disciplinary provider teams serving between 350-700 patients per provider depending on the severity of their health conditions.  The ACC teams will work closely with the hospital’s specialists and care coordinators to expedite discharges from the hospital and implement follow-up care plans for patients at high risk for readmission.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the ACC’s start-up, including allied health staff to identify and address social and behavioral health issues that can cause patients to be readmitted to the hospital, including poor medication compliance and lack of access to financial assistance, food and transportation.

Olive Crest Treatment Centers

Civic and Community
Santa Ana, CA
$150,000
June 2016

The goal of Olive Crest’s Safe Families for Children program (Safe Families) is to prevent at risk children from entering the foster care system by providing parents in crisis with a network of support from specially trained host families.  Parents safely and voluntarily place their children temporarily with host families while they seek help and the volunteer host families take in a child or siblings with no compensation or expectation of adoption since they are not foster families.  The parents served through the program are often socially isolated single moms, frequently the victims of a destructive cycle of domestic violence, substance abuse and even homelessness, or experiencing other crises such as the loss of a job or an unexpected medical emergency.  The help the parents receive allows them to address the issues causing the crisis, stabilize, and ultimately keep their families together.  In 2015, Safe Families placed more than 640 children with 272 host families primarily in Long Beach and Orange County.  Ninety-five percent of families were reunited and 85% of reunified families stay connected with their host families that provide them with a long-term support network.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support the program’s expansion in Los Angeles.  Over the next three years, Safe Families will serve an additional 320 families in crisis and 960 children.  Sixty more host families will be recruited through new partnerships with churches that have already expressed interest in providing volunteers for the program.  Olive Crest screens and interviews each host family and sets expectations for the family regarding the temporary nature of the placements.  Each host family is required to participate in six hours of training on topics such as connecting with birth parents, disciplining someone else’s child and managing the impact on their own family.  A group of eight to ten volunteers helps each host family with errands, meals, transportation, babysitting and tutoring.  Olive Crest’s staff, volunteer family coaches at each church and the host families will work with the biological parents to help them set goals, take practical steps toward meeting them and link them to services.  The parents can reunite with their children at any time.

Penny Lane

Civic and Community
North Hills, CA
$250,000
June 2016

Penny Lane is renovating its North Hollywood Family Center to create a one-stop hub for multiple services.  Once completed in August 2016, the Center will house the Foster Family and Adoption Agency, which has outgrown its current site in North Hills, the Mental Health Clinic, and the Parent Training Academy, which will provide training to more than 200 parents each year, impacting approximately 400 foster and adopted children and youth, ages 0-21 in the Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley.  Outpatient and school-based mental health clinicians will have designated work areas to serve over 125 clients receiving mental health services from this location.  Additionally, Department of Rehabilitation (Vocational Education) service staff will continue to provide services to over 70 transitional age youth.  Renovations will include more child and family friendly outdoor and indoor areas, visitation rooms, therapy rooms, program offices, a computer lab, the training center, and child waiting areas that will be conducive to providing after-school child care services and tutoring.  A grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation is supporting renovation of the main buildings, the adjacent training center, and surrounding outdoor areas.  Over time, the Parent Training Academy will offer training not only to those receiving Penny Lane services, but also to other parents in need of parenting and supportive services.

United Friends of the Children

Education
Los Angeles, CA
$300,000
June 2016

The College Readiness Program of the United Friends of the Children (UFC) creates a college bound culture for foster youth who would not traditionally find academic success.  Serving more than 500 foster youth throughout Los Angeles County each year, the program’s overall goals are to help participants graduate high school eligible for a four-year-college, apply to and go on to attend college.  Among students who have been involved in the program for four years or more: 100% have earned a high school diploma, 67% graduated four-year college eligible, and 97% matriculated to either a four-year institution (51%) or a community college.  At the core of each of UFC’s programs is the belief that the best way to make a measurable impact in the lives of foster youth is to develop trusting relationships.  Central to the program design is the assignment of each program participant to a College Readiness Counselor who will follow them throughout their tenure in the program, providing educational advocacy, counseling and support through regular individual meetings, often in the student’s home.  Other key program elements include group workshops on topics from career awareness to college and financial aid applications, an annual college fair, group visits to local colleges, as well as tutoring and test preparation.  Caregiver trainings and family-focused events are offered to promote a college-going atmosphere at home.  UFC’s College Sponsorship Program supports youth through graduation via frequent contact with their assigned Counselor, connections to paid summer internships and study abroad programs, and financial assistance.  A three-year grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will support a cohort of high school students as they advance through the College Readiness Program beginning in tenth grade.

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