Young Ethnographers: fostering youth development through the Promise Zone Survey

Winning submission by LA_Promise_Zone

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Los Angeles Promise Zone Initiative | LA Mayor's Office of Economic Development c/o Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Organization(s) instagram 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):


public - private partnership, involving public, private and social sectors

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The Promise Zone Partnership is building healthy neighborhoods by connecting our efforts and resources to empower families.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The Los Angeles Promise Zone Initiative led by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office tests innovative ideas for neighborhood revitalization. This project will make LA the “best place to connect” by providing Promise Zone youth with a summer job as Young Ethnographers. Over the course of 8 weeks next summer, they will engage their neighbors in an assessment of quality of life to guide decision-making within local government and measure how the Promise Zone is improving lives.

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):

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.


The Los Angeles Promise Zone initiative led by the Mayor’s office tests innovative ideas for neighborhood revitalization. We connect sectors that typically work in silos, including education, housing, safety, economic development, and civic engagement. As such, it is the perfect vehicle to make LA the best place to connect. How? By engaging neighborhood youth as “Young Ethnographers” trained in civic engagement, community research and social justice. The Promise Zone Young Ethnographers will have leadership roles in connecting their neighbors, peers, and families with city government, while helping local government become more responsive to community hopes, dreams, and needs.

The Los Angeles Promise Zone (LAPZ) in Central Los Angeles is rich in cultural assets, but faces challenges related to urban poverty. Promise Zone communities include Hollywood, East Hollywood, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Koreatown and Pico Union/Westlake. 35% of LAPZ residents live in poverty, so these neighborhoods face related challenges like low educational attainment and high crime. At the same time, they offer a wealth of culture and history, with residents eager to contribute to their community’s transformation.

The LAPZ will make LA the best place to connect by providing Promise Zone youth with a summer job as Young Ethnographers to engage their neighbors in an assessment of quality of life to guide decision-making within local government and measure how the Promise Zone is improving lives. Young Ethnographers will collect first-hand accounts from PZ residents, businesses, and community leaders to prioritize their needs. They will connect residents with local government and promote a space for dialogue and participatory planning efforts to support the revitalization of the Promise Zone.

We will incorporate youth empowerment by introducing the cultural and political significance of the PZ’s diverse neighborhoods to our Young Ethnographers. By working in and learning more about the neighborhoods in which they live, each participant builds a layer of professional and personal investment. Youth that participate in this program are scholars, scientists, artists, athletes and activists in their own respect - full of untapped potential. LA2050 will unleash this potential by connecting youth to community-based work that will create long-term policy and advocacy solutions for our great city.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


LAPZ has designed the following project goals and outcomes to guide evaluation. These ensure we meet our overarching goal of connecting residents to local government to increase government responsiveness to community needs.

Project Goals:
Create a Promise Zone leadership development and civic engagement program
Assess residents’ attitudes about quality of life in their neighborhood and identify neighborhood needs
Develop policy and program recommendations for local government to implement
Develop a multi-lingual survey instrument and playbook used by communities across the region

Project Outcomes:
A high quality, unique summer training and employment experience for 29 young PZ residents
A successful survey administration effort yielding at least 1,800 surveys
A policy and program recommendation report based on the resident survey
A replicable survey instrument
A playbook of community development and youth empowerment best practices and strategies

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):

7 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Congratulations! I am looking forward to learn more about this next summer!

by esteph1125
4 months ago


by cindyceleste
5 months ago

I love this! Ethnography is one of the funnest forms of research! Fight on!

by Jalessanoel
5 months ago

This is really cool

by maureen93
6 months ago

We should solve the problem by changing attitude to have a lot of children. A lot of family have 3-4 children in CA. so they cannot support to have quality citizen and also foster child. The children must have good education, good take care from family first. If a family has a lot of children, parents work and can not afford time and money. They should not to depend only welfare. We need to educate and build their self esteem.

by pavinee
6 months ago

Ahh! This video looks great, and so do the opportunities this grant could bring! I'm so excited to see The Promise Zone growing and getting more community involvement! Good luck!

by AlyxGoodwin
6 months ago

This is amazing!!!

by Mariela_Anahi
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

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

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015