Schools in Pacoima and Hollywood will be able to hire academic coaches and expand other services for needy students with a $30 million federal grant awarded Friday to the nonprofit Youth Policy Institute.
Youth Policy Institute was one of only five agencies in the nation receive a Promise Neighborhood grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Promise Neighborhoods is an anti-poverty initiative designed create a "cradle-to-career pipeline" for students and families, officials said.
"This is a day full of hope for Los Angeles and the communities that YPI serves," said Dixon Slingerland, the organization's executive director. "The Promise Neighborhood program aligns with YPI's vision to deliver holistic quality resources that prepare every child for a successful college and career path," he added.
In Pacoima, the grant will benefit Los Angeles Unified's Broadous Elementary School, Maclay Middle School, San Fernando Institute for Applied Media, Sylmar Leadership Academy, San Fernando High School and Cesar Chavez Learning Academies.
Two charters - Pacoima Charter Elementary and Vaughn Next Century Learning Center - will also be part of the program, along with six campuses in Hollywood.
Officials said YPI has a network of corporate and philanthropic partners that have committed more than $100 million in matching funds over the next five years for the Promise Neighborhood.
"This significant federal grant award to the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood and the Youth Policy Institute clearly demonstrates the power of partnerships in Los Angeles," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "This $30 million award recognizes that L.A. is a model of collaboration and cooperation and we are proud to have stepped up to the plate to support this beneficial project for Angeleno youth."
YPI received the award of a federal Promise Neighborhoods planning grant in 2010, which enabled the organization to complete a comprehensive needs assessment of Hollywood and Pacoima. The assessment informed the program design for YPI's successful implementation application.
"This is a vital opportunity to strengthen and accelerate our work," said YPI Chief Operating Officer Iris Zuniga. "We now have the opportunity to transform the communities of Pacoima and Hollywood with high quality schools at their center."
YPI serves more than 70,000 adults and children a year with programs including job training, academic support, computer literacy, case management, parenting, tutoring, and college preparation.