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.
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.
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.