Challenge by Goldhirsh Foundation

LA is the Best Place to Learn

Submit an idea to win $100K to make LA the best place to learn.

How can we make Los Angeles a place where people of all ages have opportunities for lifelong learning?

The Specifics

We are pleased to announce the two winners who will each receive $100,000 to implement their projects:

This is an open call for ideas. Making LA the best place to learn means access to early education programs. It means that every high school student will graduate and be college and career ready. It means LA will capitalize on its higher concentration of education facilities to foster new businesses, advance research, and spur innovation.

How can your idea help allow all residents to contribute their skills, talents, and abilities to society? Help parents be engaged and empowered to direct their children’s learning? For this challenge, we want to discover ideas that will make LA the best place to learn today and in 2050. What does learn look like? Here are the LA2050 “Learn” Metrics:

  • Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs
  • Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Academic Performance Index* scores
  • College matriculation rates
  • Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce -- similar to the Commit! Partnership dashboard) (Dream Metric)
  • Suspension and expulsion rates
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)
  • Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)
  • Tell us how your idea, project, or program can help Los Angeles become the best place in the world to learn. Describe your idea by filling out the application below, and receive $100,000 to make it happen in 2016.

    Submit an application between Tuesday September 8th, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time) and Tuesday October 6th, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time). Your application will go through a moderation process to ensure that your project adheres to all challenge rules. From Tuesday October 20th, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time) to Tuesday November 3rd, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time), we’ll open challenge submissions to public voting. Rally your colleagues and friends to get behind your effort and join the public in selecting the winners. The jury will select two winners per category. One winner will be chosen from the top 10 voted submissions – which means you need to be in the top 10 to win. A second winner will be chosen from all submissions.

    And don’t forget to get your application in early! LA2050 will showcase submissions as they are accepted up until voting begins (between Tuesday September 8th, 12:00pm noon Pacific Time and Tuesday October 20th, 12:00pm noon Pacific Time).

    Connect with LA2050 on, Twitter, and Facebook and join the conversation via #LA2050. Stay updated with the challenge by subscribing to the LA2050 newsletter here.


    • If you don't see your submission here, don't panic! Your application is going through the moderation process, and will show up on the site over the next few days if it is approved.
    • Share how your idea will impact the LA2050 Goal of making LA the best place to play. How will your proposal impact the metrics?
    • Describe how the $100,000 award will enable you to implement your proposal.
    • Include a photo or video that represents your idea or organization. Photos should be in JPG, PNG, or GIF format, at least 570 × 345 pixels and no larger than 10MB. To include a video, use a YouTube URL.
    • Check out the LA2050 Goals, the LA2050 Report, and the My LA2050 White Paper for additional information.


    • Voting begins on Tuesday, October 20th, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time) and closes Tuesday, November 3rd, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time).
    • You can vote for one proposal in each category.
    • In order to vote, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident.
    • In order to vote, log in with your GOOD account.
    • If you don’t have a GOOD account, it’s free to join. All you need is an email address or a Facebook account to register. You will be emailed a link that you need to click in order to validate your address.
    • We suggest using either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers when casting a vote.
    • If you have any questions, please review these FAQs or send us an email at


    • The jury will select two winners per category:
      • One winner will be chosen from the top 10 of voted submissions – which means you need to be in the top 10 of your category to win.
      • One winner will be selected from all submissions by the jury.
    • Applications will be selected using the following criteria: impact on the LA2050 goal, creativity and innovation, feasibility, and community support.
    • Projects will be featured on this page and public voting will be open from Tuesday October 20th, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time) to Tuesday November 3rd, 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time).

    Rules & Regulations

    • This Challenge is open for submissions from Tuesday September 8th 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time) to Tuesday October 6th 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time).
    • US-based non-profit, for-profit, and government organizations with projects serving Los Angeles County are eligible to apply.
    • Funds for the project must be spent within twelve months.
    • Submitted projects must impact Los Angeles County.
    • Proposals will be featured on this page and public voting will be open from Tuesday October 20th 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time) to Tuesday November 3rd 12:00pm (noon Pacific Time).
    • One winner will be selected by a jury from the top 10 voted projects in each category.
    • One winner will be selected by a jury from all projects in each category.
    • Ongoing projects are eligible for submission.
    • Applications will be selected using the following criteria: impact on the LA2050 goal, creativity and innovation, feasibility, and community support.
    • All winners of the My LA2050 Grants Challenge will be grantees of the Goldhirsh Foundation and will be required to participate in at least one check-in with a Goldhirsh Foundation team member per month.
    • Read all the rules.


    Besides the prospect of winning $100,000 – there are other major benefits to applying. Applicants have reported several benefits to participating in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge, including:

    • The opportunity to create or crystallize a new idea or project
    • Increased awareness and exposure around your proposal
    • Increased understanding of the LA social impact landscape
    • The opportunity to cultivate and build new relationships with peers
    • The opportunity to learn how to tell a compelling story about your organization’s impact
    • Real-time feedback loops from your peers
    • Inspires the creation of videos, photos, tweets, and pithy messaging to promote your proposal
    • Visibility in front of other foundations and potential alternative funding sources
    • Some 2014 winners had non-winning proposals in 2013

    7 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

    LAMI is one of the very best, most successful efforts I know of to help under-privileged kids widen their horizons and learn self respect, cooperation and leadership skills.
    It deserves the support of the community!

    by engrpax
    5 months ago


    In making LA the best place to learn we first have to have to get the community involved and realize that we need to take pride in our city, help the ones that need help, extend a hand out and continue to pay it forward. Education starts young and we need to continue to learn till we die. LA has an average of a 3rd grade reading skill in most of the city. I have been working with non-profits for the past 20 years in LA. Mostly in Education, BookEnds had been around LA for 15 years collecting new and used children’s books and getting them into the hands of children that would otherwise not have the opportunity to read. We have rebuilt libraries in schools, churches and youth centers in and around Los Angeles. To date we have delivered over 3.5 million books, 800,000 young readers helped,400,000 student volunteers, over 20 million dollars in books. In addition we have a program that allows kids in better schools to run student run book drives to teach them how to lead and let them delivery them to kids that don’t have the opportunity that they have. You would have to attend a delivery to see the faces of the kids from both sides come together and become one. We need to bring all kids back together, poor to rich, they are all kids and they all need to learn and read and become model citizens in our community. I am currently building a reading and learning center inside The Midnight Mission, Downtown LA , they are taking men and women off the streets and from jail to help them start a better life. I have seen 80% of them with only a 3rd grade reading skill, this center I hope will allow the Men and Women to learn to read, be able to get a GED, be able to fill out a job application.
    We also in the education department need to teach trades again. Learning a trade and being proud of what you do bring great self esteem to ones soul. It would be so easy to set up trade workshops; we have plenty of open space to set-up Hydro-pontic farms and teaching growing and let people see we can help feed people and give people a sense of giving back and prospering in Los Angeles. It is so easy to set up these farms and economical. I could get every LA restaurant to by these products and allow more programs to learn. High school students can learn trades and give them a since of pride so if they’re not going to college they can get a job or continue working with our projects. Youth employment after school and in the summer would keep kids learning and reading and give them the tools they need to succeed in life and make Los Angeles a better place to live.
    We need to also address the “no kid left behind” measure. Unfortunately high schools are sending our kids thru either thru sports and our kids don’t have the grades or allowing them to graduate with “C” or “D” which will not get you into college. They will be lucky if they can apply at minimum wage and this will send them to the streets, gangs and homelessness. We need to start young, but can’t forget the ones that are older and the people that don’t have the opportunity to do better. We need to start the program “Pay it forward for a better LA”. And I am willing to start a new non-profit and work with my existing ones to make a bigger and better change.. We need to stop wasting money on surveys, on reports, on data, on things that don’t help and move to the people.
    At any given time there are 50,000 plus people on skid row every night. Working with the Midnight Mission feeding and trying to give them a since of belonging. Los Angeles can only be as good as the people, Let’s try to educate and re educate some pride in living in Los Angeles and take pride of ownership in out great city. We could prove to the rest of the country we can change for the better help each other and make our city a better and safer place to live.

    Sincerely Yours

    Lori Neville
    23063 park este
    Calabasas, Ca 91302

    6 months ago

    Los Angeles needs a prominent icon that would be the equivalent of the Statue of Liberty. Los Angeles also needs a museum and live venue mega-plex to honor the creative people that made this city what it is today.
    Both of the needs can be met while at the same time producing a financial windfall that would serve to meet the needs of local educational institutions' dream lists. A preliminary study could be done nicely for less than $100,000. Los Angeles needs to earn the title of entertainment Capital of the World! It can earn a lot of money while verifying that reputation.

    by Cleareye
    6 months ago

    -based non-profit, for-profit, and government organizations with projects serving Los Angeles County will provied and large building with, computers and teachers/prants who is willing to help student in learning how to study, and how to apply what they they have learned to thir daily lifes. We need the prant to particiate more in helping, not just their children but other students as well, there sould be no age lemit on who get's the help those who are good in certain subject should help in that place having enough 1 on 1's to make sure that he/she has got it. There should also be a pay period for those who choose to make this a job, higher learning/education from willing people should be able to get paid, but the process to learn must be free of charge. I believe that 2-3 hours 3 days a week will be a great start and we should have these learning centers in areas close to schools/colleges plus in our own neberirhoods.

    by blessingstoyou
    7 months ago

    Hi Lori, please view our submission here:
    Thank you!

    by socialinla
    6 months ago

    Search for the Hollywood Imaginarium.

    by Cleareye
    6 months ago

    Your comments are true Lori. Books in the hands of young children open doors to worlds and imagination. Bravo for your great work. I also agree that we in LA can be an example. Non profits should always look for ways to support each other. Thank you for your comments. is working to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors. They can't do that if they can't read. We are all in this together. We have a submission for LEARN, PLAY, and CREATE. All of them are to offer opportunities in communities without budgets and resources. It sounds like we are on similar tracks. I applaud your work.

    by LeahHanes
    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