Mayor Garcetti and Youth Policy Institute Announce Major AmeriCorps Grant

119 New Positions Include Exchange with Philadelphia's Promise Zone.

Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that Los Angeles had been awarded three major grants from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service. The grants, totaling $4.4 million, would recruit 119 AmeriCorps members, 94 to be stationed throughout Los Angeles, and over half in the Promise Zone established by President Obama in 2014.

“This is a historic national service moment for Los Angeles," said Mayor Garcetti. "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.”

The first of the three programs, Operation AmeriCorps, would recruit 15 AmeriCorps members through the Mayor’s Office, to be stationed at FamilySource and YouthSource centers throughout Los Angeles.

Those centers, operated by community-serving non-profits such as the Youth Policy Institute, El Centro de Ayuda, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, and Watts Labor Community Action Committee, will support a total of 336 students by hosting AmeriCorps members as College & Career Ambassadors. The recruits will also help build capacity at partner agencies. The Operation AmeriCorps grant to Los Angeles is $710,811 over three years.

The second program, the LA Promise Corps, will integrate 54 AmeriCorps members into the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood initiative, led by the Youth Policy Institute. Promise Corps AmeriCorps members will be placed in the 19 Promise Neighborhood schools in Pacoima and Hollywood, serving as full-time English and math tutors in 19 elementary, middle, and high schools. The grant to YPI totals $1,749,210.

“Los Angeles is at the forefront of a new War on Poverty, and this is the sound of the cavalry coming,” said Dixon Slingerland, Executive Director of YPI. “Serving in the Promise Zone, the Promise Neighborhood, and throughout L.A., 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.”

Lastly, the Promise Zones AmeriCorps program will establish a partnership between Los Angeles, directed by the Youth Policy Institute, and the City of Philadelphia. It is the first joint grant between two federal Promise Zones. 50 full-time AmeriCorps members will be placed in struggling schools in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia Promise Zones (based in the Mantua neighborhood) to serve as College & Career Ambassadors and help prepare students for post-secondary options after high school. Each year, AmeriCorps members will support 1,440 students in their pursuit of post-secondary education, and members will exchange best practices between the two cities in a program designed to help disadvantaged high school students graduate and begin college or careers. The grant totals $1,930,671 over three years.

This marks the first partnership between two Promise Zones since President Obama designated both Los Angeles and Philadelphia among the first Promise Zones in January of 2014. The goal of the Promise Zone initiative is to significantly reduce poverty through job creation, increased economic activity, improved educational opportunities, improved public safety, leveraged private capital, preserving and expanding housing affordability, and through smart growth policies.

About LA's YouthSource and FamilySource Centers
FamilySource centers offer a one-stop service location for a variety of educational and family programming ranging from tax assistance to ESL classes to food distribution and cultural programming, based on community needs. YouthSource centers provide a similar range of benefits focused on students and youth, including education and tutoring services, youth employment and counseling, especially targeted for youth who have left school and who have graduated but not found employment.
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