Grants create 94 new AmeriCorps members for LA’s youth
Craig Clough | July 6, 2015
The nonprofit Youth Policy Institute (YPI) and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today the establishment of 94 new AmeriCorps members who will serve LA-area youth. The new positions were made possible by three grants, totaling $4.4 million, enabling the AmeriCorps members to work with youth in low-income schools and community centers all around Los Angeles.
“Los Angeles is at the forefront of a new War on Poverty, and this is the sound of the cavalry coming,” Dixon Slingerland, executive Director of YPI, said in a statement. “Serving in the Promise Zone, the Promise Neighborhood, and throughout LA, these new AmeriCorps members are going to go right to work fulfilling the promise we have made to our young people to break down silos and change lives.”
The grants were awarded by the federal Corporation for National & Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps.
“This is a historic national service moment for Los Angeles,” Garcetti said in a statement. “Those who answer the call to serve will be doing transformative work from neighborhoods stretching from Watts to Pacoima. Their dedication will make a critical difference in the lives of students, families and whole communities.”
LA Unified schools already work closely with AmeriCorps through its affiliated City Year program. A recent report found that schools with City Year volunteers are more likely to see jumps in their students’ standardized math and English scores.
The money for the new AmeriCorps members came from three different grants, and each grant will be put to use in a different way.
One grant, the Promise Zones AmeriCorps grant, will have LA partnering with the city of Philadelphia, the first time a joint grant will be issued for two Promise Zones, which are low-income urban areas the federal government dedicates extra resources to. LA’s Promise Zones are located around the neighborhoods of East Hollywood, Koreatown, Westlake and Pacoima.
The $1.9 million, three-year grant creates 50 AmeriCorps positions, split evenly between the two cities, and creates a partnership to share best practices “in a program designed to help disadvantaged high school students graduate and begin college or careers,” according to a YPI press release.
Through the grant, AmeriCorps members will work as College & Career Ambassadors in struggling LA Unified schools within the Promise Zones.
Through LA Promise Corps grant, which totals $1.7 million, 54 members will work as full-time tutors in 19 elementary, middle, and high schools in Pacoima and Hollywood. And through the $710,811, three-year Operation AmeriCorps grant, 15 members will work at YouthSource and FamilySource centers.