The California Community Foundation has announced the launch of the Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow (PAT) initiative, a five-year, $12 million effort to help improve academic achievement among and boost opportunities for youth in South Los Angeles.
The initiative is funded by an anonymous bequest to CCF from a donor who was active in the community and believed strongly in the power of music and athletics to help disadvantaged youth reach their full potential. Through the initiative, CCF will award a series of grants to organizations that provide quality afterschool music, sports, and recreation activities to young people between the ages of 14 and 18.
Seven nonprofit organizations have been selected to receive inaugural grants totaling $875,000. Recipients include A Place Called Home, which works to provide youth with educational programs, counseling, mentoring, music, dance, and art classes; A World Fit for Kids, which encourages youth to develop healthy behaviors through personal empowerment programming and training; Heart of Los Angeles, a community center with academic, arts, and athletic programs; Kids in Sports, which operates thirteen clubs that provide a range of organized sports activities; Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade, an initiative designed to build alliances with other organizations, corporations, and foundations that redistribute funds back into the community for programs and supportive services; the HeArt Project, which works to combat the high school dropout crisis with long-term arts programs; and Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, a youth initiative that works to help children realize their potential for growth and development.
"We know from research that youth benefit from participation in social and recreational activities, and that this lifestyle increases motivation, engagement, achievement, and development of social competencies," said CCF president and CEO Antonia Hernandez. "Sadly, because budgets for school and government-supported programs continue to be cut and nonprofit organizations suffer from inadequate funding, more families than ever lack basic access to quality afterschool programs."