Helping Foster Youth Access the L.A. College Promise

The L.A. College Promise has shown promising outcomes in increasing college enrollment, persistence and completion for first time students at the L.A. Community College District. Yet, few foster youth enroll in the program, and only 46 percent of foster youth in L.A. County overall enroll in college within 12 months of high school graduation. The L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC) is now partnering with LACCD, LAUSD, and the L.A. County Office of Education and Department of Children and Family Services to increase direct college enrollment of foster youth into the L.A. College Promise, utilizing a design-thinking approach. The OYC partners will be conducting a series of interviews and focus groups in the fall with foster youth students as well as education and child welfare stakeholders to better understand the individual and systemic challenges foster youth face in navigating postsecondary enrollment, and to inform youth-centered solutions. Click here for an overview of the project.

The L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative has joined a network of eight community grantees recently selected in the inaugural Building Ecosystems for Youth Opportunity initiative with the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. The network is designed to deepen and scale evidence-based pathways that improve postsecondary and career success of opportunity youth, while at the same time strengthening local systems to support this population more effectively. The Foster Youth College Promise project was launched with the support of a $300,000 grant from a collective of funders, including the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, JPMorgan Chase, Prudential Financial and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The project is being co-convened by UNITE-LA, John Burton Advocates for Youth and the Alliance for Children's Rights.

For more information, contact Carrie Lemmon, Senior Director of Systems Change Strategy, at [email protected].

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