NBC4 and Telemundo 52 Award $200,000 to Three Local South L.A. Nonprofits


Networks NBC4 Southern California and Telemundo 52 Los Angeles, in partnership with the NBCUniversal Foundation awarded three local nonprofits $200,000 as part of the 21st Century Solutions grant challenge.

The following organizations are this year’s recipients:

  • A Place Called Home was awarded $100,000 for its “Nutrition and Urban Agriculture Program” addressing the lack of affordable and healthy fresh food options in South Los Angeles by engaging the whole family in gardening, meal preparation, nutrition and vocational training.
  • Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley was awarded $50,000 for its “Los Angeles STEM Initiative” created in partnership with East Los Angeles College provides comprehensive training in STEM to Boys & Girls Club staff, which is then taught to thousands of youth members.
  • Clothes The Deal was awarded $50,000 for its “The Disabled Clothing Alterations Program” providing disabled veterans with business attire specifically altered for their physical disability.

South LA tech mentor contender for national STEM award

Daphne Bradford invites Mayor Eric Garcetti to watch her students tackle coding projects. | Willa Seidenberg

Daphne Bradford invites Mayor Eric Garcetti to watch her students tackle coding projects at the “Coding with STEAM” event held at Dorsey High in July 2014. | Willa Seidenberg

The nationally acclaimed founder and president of a South L.A. tech-education nonprofit, Daphne Bradford, was nominated this fall for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The White House Office of Science and Technology and the National Science Foundation gives this award to organizations and individuals who have shown outstanding leadership with aspiring scientists and engineers from underrepresented communities.

Bradford will be competing against college level professors for this award; her students are high schoolers. The teacher said she feels younger students have not had enough exposure to science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) in their schools’ curricula. Her program, Mother of Many, which offers digital media skills for students at Dorsey and Crenshaw high schools, aims to bridge this teaching gap. [Read more…]

Los Angeles magnet school shows off successful STEM and AP program

LACES-ARNThe Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, a prestigious magnet school focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematic curricula, is breaking the mold for lower-income, minority students.

Studies show that STEM courses give high school students access to better colleges and higher-paying jobs, but minority students don’t have as many opportunities to pursue STEM topics. Meanwhile, white, middle-income students are twice as likely to go to a school with a full array of AP courses versus lower-income, minority students.

That’s where LACES comes in.

Learn more in a story from Annenberg Radio News:

Most of its 1,600 students have above a 3.5 GPA and over 85 percent are accepted into successful four-year universities.

[Read more…]

New Elementary School Celebrates Opening in South LA


Listen to the audio story from Annenberg Radio News:

The skies were overcast, but the mood was sunny. After two years of planning and construction, the Dr. Lawrence H. Moore Math/Science/Technology Academy opened in August.

The clean-lined modernist buildings at 61st and Hooper serve 754 students, ages six-eleven. The new school helps keep classroom sizes down across the neighborhood, a fact not lost on student body president Freddy Herrera: “It is awesome that we have a new school in our area, because at the other elementary schools, it was overcrowded. Here, we don’t have that problem.”

The new academy focuses on what are known as STEM skills—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. California Congresswoman Louise Roybal-Allard, said these skills are more critical than ever before, because “it is important to the future success of our country and our competitiveness in the world marketplace.”

A June study by Change the Equation, an organization which works to promote STEM education, said there are two jobs open for every one worker employed in science- and technology-related jobs. And those jobs are often well-compensated. Stem workers with only bachelors’ degrees often make as much as workers in other fields with advanced degrees.

A group of sixth-graders were on hand to help with the ceremonies. They were pretty happy about their new school. Jasmine Perez, 11, said it was a friendlier school than the one she’d been at before.

“In my other school, it doesn’t compare to this at all. There’s, like, many, many kids who are mean and disrespectful, and when I first came to this school, I thought, ‘I will have a happy year here.”

Sergio Castro was very clear about the pluses of the Moore Academy, saying, ”It’s easier to learn stuff here, because in the old school, I was always struggling. But here it’s way easier, you know? ‘Cause it’s quiet, and the teachers—they focus, like, they focus on the lessons a lot. In the other school, it was kind of the same, but they seem more professional [here] than the others, you know?”

And, as Jasmine pointed out, that means the kids get more attention from their teachers.

“I like this school because I have a great teacher. She’s a really rare teacher to me, because I don’t usually have a teacher who supports me and, like, pushes me, and tells me, ‘You can do this, come on! Shout-out to Ms. Grande!”

And when the kids are willing to say they actually like their school, that’s a big shout-out to the school, too.