The Foundation’s $1 Million Goes Toward Providing a Path to Employment for At-Risk Youth

The Everychild Foundation has awarded its 2010 grant of $1 million to the South Bay Center for Counseling. The grant — the 10th given by The Everychild Foundation — will implement the “The Everychild Youth Career Pathway” program over four years.

The program will engage 900 low-income, at-risk, out-of-school youth between 16 and 17 years old with information about career and educational opportunities. It will also prepare 300 of these youth for career pathways leading directly to living wage jobs in high growth industries through training and education.

“The goal of the program,” says Everychild’s Founder and President Jacqueline Caster, “is to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness experienced by many youth in Los Angeles County by providing them with an effective path to employment.”

The program provides basic skills preparation, support services, counseling, and employment training to 75 participants per year for four years. At the end of the first year of training and counseling, participants are offered a slot in one of six career pathway choices. These pathways include such high-growth industries as energy, utilities, digital arts, media arts and green technologies.

Once participants successfully complete the four-year program, each is guaranteed living-wage employment with local corporations and organization that are already partners of SBCC. Current partners include ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell/Tesoro, Southern California Edison, Electronic Arts, Activision/Blizzard, Mattel and Sony. In addition, many participants move from training to college in order to become teachers in urban schools.

After successfully demonstrating the effectiveness of the program though this grant, SBCC will be in the position to access government funds to fully sustain the program in the future. SBCC will also disseminate its model giving it the potential to change the future of communities throughout Los Angeles and the entire country.

Founded in 1973, SBCC’s mission is to empower low-income individuals and communities through economic development activities. SBCC began as a grassroots community mental health clinic, focusing on residents in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Today it serves communities that include Compton, Carson, Gardena, Watts, Inglewood, San Pedro, Torrance, Long Beach, Harbor Gateway, Lennox and Willmington. Approximately 25% of the children in these communities live below the poverty line.

The Everychild Foundation is a group of more than 200 women who share a passion for improving the lives of children in the Los Angeles community. Each year, the Foundation makes a single grant in support of a project that will profoundly help local children facing disease, abuse, neglect, poverty, or disability. The grant recipient is chosen by a vote of the entire foundation from a roster of carefully screened projects. Grants are funded entirely from members’ dues.