The Los Angeles Service Academy

submission by Bill Deverell
The Los Angeles Service Academy

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Los Angeles Service Academy

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The Los Angeles Service Academy provides an intensive introduction to the infrastructure and institutions of greater Los Angeles for high school juniors who have expressed an interest in public service and civic engagement.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


We seek philanthropic support to fund LASA's ongoing operations and next cohort of student participants in the 2016-2017 programmatic year. Specifically, LASA brings together high school juniors from all over Los Angeles County for an intensive week in the summer, plus one Saturday per month during the school year. Each meeting combines experts with field trips tied to themes critical to civic life in LA: transit, governance, water, the LA River, the harbor, law enforcement, food/housing, etc.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):


Make connections across regions, neighborhoods, schools, backgrounds.

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics? (check all that apply)

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)

Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.



How does a city run? How does a vast metropolitan region like Los Angeles work? Which institutions are responsible for moving water, people, food, and power from points A to points Z? How are such agencies funded? Who runs them? How can neighborhoods be made more livable? What does an elected official do all day? What role do cultural institutions play in the life of greater Los Angeles? What about businesses and non-profits? What are the potential career paths for young people interested in civic, civil, and public service in the Los Angeles Basin? These are among the thousands of questions that students have about the city and region in which they live. There are a million more that they would have if they knew more about place, region, and history.

LASA participants (all high school juniors) will gain the experience and knowledge necessary to better understand the intricacies – infrastructural, historical, political, economic, and otherwise – of the region in which they live, and will build lasting bonds of friendship, camaraderie, and work experience with a diverse group of peers they connect with over the course of a year. Over time, LASA will change the lives and career paths of hundreds of high school students in the region and will become an agent of change, community building, and connection throughout Los Angeles.

For example, a perennial LASA theme is water: where does it come from? Who buys and sells it? How is it delivered to cities, regions, neighborhoods, homes? In answering these questions, LASA's students meet with officials from agencies such as MWD and DWP and then visit water treatment and delivery facilities to see firsthand the complex processes at work in watering such a vast region.

Garnering such knowledge will allow the students to become more civic minded and engaged with a critical aspect of life in the Los Angeles Basin. Over the year, LASA grapples with other issues equally important to the future of the region and to every Southern California resident. These include investigations of law enforcement and police oversight, business and entrepreneurialism, sports and entertainment, technology, governance and electoral politics, the harbor and the basin's rivers, food security, housing access, museums and cultural institutions.

In studying these issues, young people from across the entire basin will connect with one another and gain confidence in their roles as agents of change.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We approach evaluation in two ways. One, we monitor the program by way of annual evaluations from participants. This process is a way of seeking ongoing feedback in order to make regular, modest adjustments to the program.

Second, and more important, we have always maintained that the best measure of LASA's effectiveness will be evident in years ahead. As our students graduate from high school, move on to college (which we track), and return to Los Angeles to begin careers, we believe that their time with LASA will enable them to become effective agents of change. As they become increasingly engaged in civic life, our hope is that they will draw upon productive connections to one another, connections initially fostered when they were sixteen years old.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015