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Youth Empowerment

Youth Empowerment

What Can I Do?

Support these organizations that provide opportunities for our youth.

CCF has several programs that empower youth. Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM) is a multimillion dollar initiative helping redirect the lives of young Black males in South L.A. who have had contact with the juvenile justice system onto positive pathways. Now in its fifth and final year, CCF’s Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow (PAT) initiative seeks to create a brighter future for the youth of South Los Angeles and the South Bay by improving academic achievement, decision-making skills and self-esteem through music, performing arts, sports and recreation. Youth aging out of the foster care system face tremendous obstacles as they start out on their own with limited resources and no family support. CCF’s Transition Aged Youth program helps members of this vulnerable population meet and sustain their basic needs to help them reach their full potential.  

Here’s the Situation

  • Los Angeles is ranked 98th out of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas for youth employment.
  • Only 4 percent of young people aging out of the foster care system will graduate from college. They face high risks of homelessness, physical and mental health issues and incarceration.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has set a goal of finding summer and year-round jobs for 15,500 youth through the 2017 HIRE LA’s Youth initiative. On February 27, 2017, he celebrated reaching the 2016 goal of hiring 15,000 young people. His goal is to add another 5,000 jobs through this program by 2020.
  • Young adults ages 20-24 who have worked at least 13 weeks in the previous year have a 30 percent higher chance of employment than those without any work experience.
  • Of the youth aging out of the foster care system in L.A. County, 25 percent spent time in jail and only 25 percent were consistently employed.

Where Do We Go From Here?

 

To empower young people and get them to be active, employed community members, we must ensure that they have the tools that they need to stay in school and graduate. In Los Angeles where nearly 60 percent of students are at risk of dropping out, it is particularly important that we invest in programs that prepare young people for the challenges they face and keep them engaged.

School to Prison Pipeline

When students do not receive adequate resources in school, like counseling, tutoring and art enrichment programs, it increases the chance that they will drop out. For the most at-risk kids, this could mean ending up in the criminal justice system. L.A. County spends $233,000 per year for each teen in prison. Clearly, this money would be better invested in programs that empower youth and break the cycle of incarceration. Job training, mentoring, counseling and after-school enrichment programs can give kids the tools that they need to stay in school and on track to gainful employment. 

Enrichment Programs

Providing kids with arts and athletics programs not only provides an outlet for self-expression and self-confidence but it also engages them in learning. Art education helps young people become better readers and writers, and sports make us healthier, both physically and emotionally. In addition, enrichment programs help to keep kids busy and out of trouble.