An $11.2 million grant will be used to offer free tutoring, college and career counseling and other educational services to more than 2,000 middle school students in the Los Angeles Promise Zone and Promise Neighborhood, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday.
The L.A. Promise Zone and Promise Neighborhood are federally designated areas where nonprofit partners receive preference points and technical assistance to earn federal grants in Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Westlake, Pico-Union, South L.A. and the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
The U.S. Department of Education grant will be used to form the L.A. Promise Zone Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program,or GEAR UP, as a partnership with the Youth Policy Institute and the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center.
"A child's ZIP code should never be a barrier that puts the dream of a college education out of reach,'' Garcetti said. "Every student in Los Angeles deserves the opportunities and resources they need to stay ahead in school, be prepared for higher learning, and plan for a fulfilling, successful career. GEAR UP will make that possible for thousands of young people in our communities."
Garcetti made the announcement at the Helen Bernstein High School Complex in Hollywood, flanked by City Councilman David Ryu, Los Angeles Unified School District board Vice President Nick Melvoin, LAUSD Acting Superintendent Vivian Ekchian and YPI President/CEO Dixon Slingerland.
"Getting to college, let alone paying for it, isn't easy--and if we are going to succeed as a city, we must allow these kids the tools to succeed as students," Ryu said. "I am so proud of all our students, parents and teachers who work so hard and overcome such great challenges to reach post-secondary education. I want them to know--the city of Los Angeles recognizes those challenges, and is ready to invest in your future."