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City Year Los Angeles

The Problem

Nearly 60% of students in Los Angeles are at risk for dropping out of high school. Students who drop out are eight times more likely to become incarcerated and three times more likely to be unemployed. When a student drops out of school, it has a lasting effect on our communities and society as a whole.

The Effects

Students who drop out earn roughly $1 million less than high school graduates do. Furthermore, out-of-school and out-of-work youth collectively cost Americans about $1.6 trillion in increased social services, lost earnings and taxes over the course of their lifetimes. However, there is a solution. City Year uses local mentors in Los Angeles' most underserved schools to address specific areas that lead to students dropping out. City Year helps close the gap between what students need to succeed and what schools are designed to provide.

The Barriers

Just 70% of eighth grade students at City Year partner schools in Boyle Heights, Pico Union/Central City, South Los Angeles and Watts are passing English, putting far too many at a high risk of dropping out without the interventional support.

The Solution

Attendance monitoring and engagement: The lack of transportation and family challenges make it hard for some students to get to school. To help monitor and improve attendance, City Year staff spend time talking to students about their challenges and practice simple gestures such as greeting students on their way into school.

Socio-Emotional support: If students are having a difficult time, corps members pull them aside and address their concerns, transforming their experience into a positive one by acting as role models through both example and positive coaching.

Support in math and english: By working closely with teachers to identify learning gaps and help differentiate instruction for students who need it most through one-on-one tutoring, corps members are able to give students the support they need in math and english.

The Impact

Accelerated Academic Progress

  • 62% of middle and high school students who received intensive support from a City Year AmeriCorps member ended the year with a "C" or better in English Language Arts.
  • Students that consistently worked with City Year during and after school received tutoring time that totaled 14 added instructional days.

Strengthened Students' Social-Emotional Skills

  • 55% of 9th and 10th grade students improved their self-control in the classroom.

More Role Models for Students

  • 98% of principals agreed that City Year AmeriCorps members serve as positive role models.
  • 92% of teachers agreed that City Year AmeriCorps members helped foster a positive learning environment.

Our Impact

LADF supports City Year's work at Clinton Middle School, Hollenbeck Middle School, John Liechty Middle School, John Muir Middle School and Virgil Middle School. At each of these schools, AmeriCorps members serve full-time (7 a.m.-5 p.m.) as tutors, mentors and role models, working with students who need extra support in English Language Arts and math, along with attendance and behavior. Students also participate in the "Take Me out to the Book Game" reading initiative. Through the initiative, which takes place during their after-school program, students at each school begin each day with 10 minutes of silent reading Monday through Thursday, which adds 40 minutes of reading per week for the students in attendance. The student that reads the most books from each school is recognized on field at Dodger Stadium. All participating students receive LADF incentives.