College IS for Foster Youth!

submission by unitedfriends

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

United Friends of the Children

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):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Through Education and Supportive Housing Programs, United Friends of the Children empowers more than 1400 current and foster youth each year on their journey to self-sufficiency.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Believing that college access and success is the best path to self-sufficiency, United Friends of the Children has created an 11-year educational support continuum that helps foster youth graduate from high school, aspire to and attain college acceptance, and earn their Bachelors degree. 100% of those in our Readiness program 4 years or more graduate HS, with more than 50% matriculating directly to 4-yr. schools; 70% of those in our College Sponsorship program earn a Bachelors within 5 years.

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 “Learn” metrics? (check all that apply)

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) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

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


UFC has created an 11-year education support continuum that follows foster youth from the seventh grade through the completion of a Bachelor’s degree. UFC’s College Readiness (CRP) and College Sponsorship (CSP) programs work harmoniously to create this pipeline for success.

The goal of the CRP is to help foster youth graduate from high school ready to succeed at a 4-year college or university. The CRP supports students from 7th through 12th grades. College Counselors meet one-on-one with each student in their homes and maintain frequent contact with students via telephone and email. The content of these meetings is driven by both the student’s needs and the counselor’s recommendations. Counselors serve as the main conduit for delivering a range of program content to CRP students. Acknowledging the crucial role caregivers have in helping maintain stability for students, UFC offers training in communication, conflict resolution, and other subjects designed to help them cope during a challenging developmental stage in the lives of all youth.

UFC also uses monthly Saturday workshops and college tours, facilitated by CRP College Counselors, to deliver program content, and encourage social interaction and the development of a college-bound culture among participants. Through these various activities, participation in the program helps students to earn their high-school diploma, graduate four-year-college eligible, apply to and attend college. We will serve 500 youth in the CRP in the coming year.

The College Sponsorship Program is a commitment of personal and financial support for up to 5 years to foster youth attending 4-year institutions. In addition to a $15,000/ five-year scholarship, each youth is paired one-on-one with a College Counselor. Counselors serve as the key source of support, guidance and as a resource throughout a student’s college experience. The program also includes paid internships, enrichment activities and post-graduation planning. By keeping youth involved, engaged, and interested in their education through close, mentoring relationships with UFC counselors, the CSP is increasing college graduation rates for foster youth.

In ever increasing numbers, youth are graduating from high school through the CRP and attending universities through the CSP. In 2015, 25 seniors participating in the CRP joined the latest cohort in the CSP. In total, more than 200 students will participate in the CSP.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Thanks to the generous support of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, UFC is in the first phase of work that will result in an impact evaluation of our programs by an independent party. The overarching aim of this evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of UFC’s programs in improving outcomes for both current and former foster youth. In addition, we plan to study the impact of UFC’s relationship-based approach to serving youth.

UFC has been utilizing Social Solutions’ Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database since 2009. As of January 2015, we have implemented redesigned “Touchpoints” – the interfaces that program staff uses to input data – for all UFC programs, and we are currently refining the process of data collection and reporting. UFC Counselors are responsible for entering data on all their interactions with the youth they serve. Review of the data is the role of our Outcomes & Evaluation Director, who we hired in June to oversee the entire process.

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):


Host meaningful, career-directed internships for our CSP youth

3 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

One thing I can really say about UFC is that they never give up on you. They are there when you need them and not only for school, but also in life. I went through some hardships after high school and school went really bad for me, but instead of taking my scholarship away they just kept inspiring me to do good. They never quit on me because I wasn't performing well in school. Greatest organization that I have been a part of.

by luimelend25
6 months ago

UFC has helped me so much not only financially, but also through job preparation, resume writing, assistance applying to grad school, and being my emotional support system. UFC is not like any other organization, I am actually made to feel like family. They are deeply invested in my future and take the time to check in on me to see how things are going. I am so thankful to have UFC's support throughout my college journey and they motivate me to help change the college graduation rate for foster youth.

by KMcDaniel
6 months ago

I am in my SENIOR YEAR of undergrad at CSULA studying to get my BASW, thanks to UFC!

by L.Pinkney
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
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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

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015