Southern California Program

El Nido Family Centers

Civic and Community
Mission Hills, CA
$250,000
December 2016

Founded in 1925, El Nido Family Centers provides educational, youth development, counseling and social services to 10,000 individuals annually to break the cycle of poverty, child abuse, gang violence, academic failure and teen pregnancy.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support an educational and vocational program that combines classroom instruction with hands-on training to provide 240 youth ages 16 to 24 with opportunities to explore career paths, gain marketable skills and transition to post-secondary education.  El Nido will establish a Business Academy at its Family Source Center in Pacoima where youth will learn what it takes to plan, start, and operate a new business through the launch of a community café.  Those in the Tech Center program at El Nido’s Family Source Center in South Los Angeles will learn software programming for web and mobile applications.  An external advisory committee comprised of local industry professionals will assist each academy with curriculum development, serve as classroom speakers and arrange field trips to their companies.  Youth will also have access to tutoring, college planning and paid internships.  An outside evaluator will compare the two programmatic strategies and identify the strengths and the efficacy of each.  Youth participants will predominantly come from low-income families of low educational attainment and will include those attending high school, independent study and dropouts.

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