"It is all about keeping kids safe I'm going to school from the danger of violence a place in our community"
"TXT has given me the opportunity to learn under various tech professionals and gain the foundations that will help me build toward my passion. TXT has helped me do a lot of searching to understand what I value professionally and personally so I can pursue the best education possible. The grants indirectly help me write my essays, determine options for colleges, and advocated for me in recommendations as I applied to college."
"R2R has helped us grow our staff and help us inspired more youth in South Central Los Angeles. We are developing more leaders, entrepreneurs, and tech innovators in low-income communities."
"AVPH has helped me realize there are more opportunities than I used to think in the AV for youth. The events and programs they have, have made me feel a sense of joy I’ve never felt it reminds me that life in the AV can be fun without drugs.”
“It is AVPH’s mission to ensure all those living in the Antelope Valley are able to achieve optimal health and quality of life especially our youth. Our youth are our future.”
"As a Los Angeles native and LAUSD alum, I’m excited to give back to the community that touched, moved and inspired me to create! There were so many paths I could have taken, but the performing arts literally saved my life. It gave me purpose, passion and a voice. The Ready to Rise grant will allow AGC to pay it forward, saving more lives through the arts, one child at a time!"
Attending AGC for the past five years has truly been a dream come true! A conservatory where you are encouraged to be yourself while still mastering the aspects of acting, singing, dancing, media arts and so much more. If it wasn’t for AGC and Ready to Rise giving me this opportunity I wouldn’t have found my passion for the arts.
"For 30 years, the Antelope Valley Boys & Girls Club has given youth access to life changing programs, and instilled them with hope, opportunity and a sense of belonging. Our team of dedicated youth professionals work hard to empower kids to graduate on time with a plan for the future, live healthy lifestyles, and lead with good character and citizenship.”
“The Club has made me a better person, with a better attitude towards life. My mentor gave me the confidence I need to reach my dream of attending college.”
"The first time a Black man gave me a book, it was a man from this organization. It is so important for our men to sow into our community.”
“It gives us hope, and makes me work harder when I see so many accomplished African American men investing in me, and caring about my future. I feel I can’t let them down. I will continue to work hard to make them proud.”
“We are excited to be a partner in the “Ready to Rise” Initiative. This partnership not only strengthens our organization, but more importantly, it is a significant investment into our community, and will be impactful to a very deserving, and often overlooked, cohort of young people.”
“CYC is more than advocacy for a better foster care system, it’s a Ohana!”
“What’s most special to me about CYC is what the name says: California Youth Connection. The connections that I’ve made with the other youth have been amazing. They don’t make assumptions about me. They really support me and push me to go further. CYC encourages me to look outside of where I’ve been.”
“CYC’s leadership of youth, staff, and the board bring together a powerful force for systems transformation for young people. Bringing love to the center of what our children need and deserve when the state intervenes is a calling. We combine political education with life experiences to form policy, practice, and legislative change that forms a community of peers who thrive.”
“CARECEN is a refuge where I find security, support and courage to continue with my future goals. I will always be grateful and feel blessed to be part of CARECEN.”
“Being at CARECEN has been the best decision I’ve made. I don’t see CARECEN as just a resource, they are my family. They have helped me tremendously in both my academic and social life. I see them as people who enjoy spending their time developing relationships with students who have immigrated, like myself, and helping them anyway they can.”
“We are thankful and eager to work alongside the Ready to Rise Initiative’s administrators and grantees as we collectively provide community-based and community-driven youth development services for our capable and resilient youth. ”
“I am Pedro, 22 years old, and a Graphic Artist for LB Por Vida. I have learned new skills in graphic design, and co-created with professional artist in the community. What I love most about the program is inspiring new youth to be creative through arts. Centro CHA has helped me to stay in college and I hope to one day become a cartoon illustrator.”
“Centro CHA is honored to partner with the California Community Foundation’s Ready 2 Rise initiative to pioneer our Long Beach Por Vida young entrepreneurs program, a youth-led social-enterprise. We are empowering young men and women with socio-economic disadvantages through leadership and skills development in Today’s rapidly changing world to become healthy and thriving future leaders, innovative thinkers, and entrepreneurs.”
"I have been a part of the Coalition since I was 15 years old and incarcerated. While I was incarcerated, the program helped make my time both productive and entertaining. C/HOPE has provided me and my mother with unconditional support for 3 years and they even employed me through their internship program. This program has been truly wonderful."
"We envision a day when our youth are not defined by adjectives such as “at-risk”, “high-risk” “underprivileged”, “homeless”, “poverty stricken” and “throw away kids” among others. At the Coalition we support youth to overcome systemic barriers as they achieve their goals. We meet youths where they are at, both physically and emotionally, tailoring our practice to each youths’ individual needs."
“I was trafficked at 13 by a classmate. My case manager helped with jobs, housing, making friends at activities, and provided TAP cards. I met my best friend at the youth retreat. Youth activities allow survivors to participate and experience things we didn't know existed. Cast gave me the extra push I needed to be the woman I am today.”
“Cast’s Youth Program empowers survivors of human trafficking aged 14-24 to address their trauma and learn life skills. With this grant, Cast will enhance our youth activities program - a simple but effective way of rebuilding a life of freedom. Thanks to CCF, Probation and Liberty Hill for your partnership and for helping us transform the lives of young people.”
"Our identities are interconnected. We cannot separate our race from our gender from how we're being impacted. We have to address it in that way."
“CBE has taught me to find beauty in every living thing, whether it’s the environment or the people that surround me. CBE has taught and informed me about things that happen in my community that I didn’t previously know about. Most importantly, Youth EJ has taught me acceptance. It doesn’t matter which way you define yourself. The people of CBE are very nice and loving. They treat you like family.”
“There is a lot of industry near people causing many health issues but luckily with the help of CBE, we’re a family that can be there to address these issues.”
"With CBE and Youth EJ I have been given the encouragement and knowledge to grow into the youth leader I am today. Experiences like facilitating Summer Training, planning Mi Tierra Conference, and participating in the people’s Climate March have been essential to my growth.”
“Youth EJ has shown me to empower myself so I can help my community help achieve great, healthy lives”
“My favorite memory with CBE is going to Mono Lake because it was such a life-changing experience—from having the opportunity to breathe non-contaminated air and see the stars so vividly, to taking 3-minute showers, all sums up why it is important to preserve places like Mono Lake. Mono Lake, it’s worth saving.”
“Summer training helped me understand an obstacle communities of color like mine face every day: environmental racism. I have learned to become a leader and fight against these injustices.”
“Through CBE I have learned about the reality of this world and my neighborhood. I see that there are problems with my neighborhood and why it’s important to organize around environmental justice issues.”
“I’m glad I have been able to be a part of CBE for the last two years because I have learned a lot, met new people, and built relationships. I look forward to the future with CBE.”
“CBE is like that best friend that watches out for you and gets proof that your mans is playing you. Without them, we’d be in a relationship with toxic corporations.”
“My favorite part of CBE is the type of person I’ve become and how much I’ve grown in my awareness and as an individual. My love for Youth EJ grows every second that passes by and my gratitude towards Youth EJ is immense!”
"CBE has opened doors for me that have allowed me to expand my knowledge and awareness of the environmental injustices that occur in my community and the communities around me. Not only that, but it has provided me with a second home and most importantly, a family I can count on forever.”
“I come to Community Coalition to be with people who are my family, who uplift me, and bring me positive energy that I feel like I need in my life. I also come to develop the skills I need in order to change the school to prison pipeline.”
"Radical change is needed for our youth to succeed, and radical change is what Ready to Rise is bringing, as we collectively re-engineer youth programs from incarceration and punishment to prevention, treatment, and leadership development."
“I am a good fit for CDTech because I want to improve my leadership skills. CDTech will give me the opportunity to enhance both my people and my leadership skills because of the procedures we will be conducting in the program. For example, going door-to-door enhances both skills I want to build on because I am conversing with people of my community and educating them on how they may build their desired expertise and get a successful job or even career. Leadership skills are important to be because when I go off to college, I want to be my own person and encourage others who may not be as confident to let their voices be heard. I also believe that CDTech is an opportunity for me all around to engage better in activity.”
"My experience within the mentor program has been very accommodating to my needs. [The Mentorship Coordinator] does a wonderful job assessing my needs and actively engaging in my life to make sure that I have support and assistance with accomplishing my goals. What I enjoy most about this program is the emotional support and comfort I get during this transitional phase in my life."
"The young people we serve at SPY are among the most marginalized, underserved, and at-risk youth in our community. Fleeing abusive home environments or aging out of the foster care system, many of our youth have never had an adult mentor of any kind. Having a reliable, dedicated person to talk to can go along way and we are happy to make those connections possible through this program."
“Social Justice is the outcome we want for the teen girls in the EmpowHer programs. They learn a sense of agency and sisterhood in the community we create while building a vision for their future.”
"EmpowHer helped me become more comfortable around other females. The circles of power really helped me to see that we are all actually so alike in many ways."
"What I like about EmpowHer is just being able to talk to our mentor about things we wouldn't otherwise talk about. That is really cool because it is not just us sharing, it’s our mentor too. That helped create a safe space for sharing."
“There's always something going on at YOP...Since I’ve started, I’ve really applied myself. I’m more focused; I have a place that’s meant to do work... The staff are really friendly, and the group of friends we have here is like a family. I can bring my problems here and they can help me with them. I really trust them.”
"At Flintridge Center we understand that breaking the cycle of poverty, violence and incarceration requires disruption at multiple points along the cycle. The Youth of Promise program provides critical prevention and diversion services that allow youth to explore their strengths and uplift their community through advocacy.Our goal is to never see our community’s youth access our adult reintegration services."
“I learn things that I didn’t learn in school at the Girls Club. Together with students in high and middle school, I learned we have a lot in common. I enjoyed hearing from guest speakers, a DACA student inspired us to never give up on our dreams. He shared his immigration status, losing his house and job when his visa expired, but he never gave up on his dreams.”
"Young people’s success is our passion. We provide “real life” learning experiences that instills in youth a sense of confidence, connection, compassion and character. Under careful stewardship, youth reach their full potential, becoming healthy, contributing adults. I am elated that Girls Club of Los Angeles (GCLA) is part of the Ready to Rise (R2R) Initiative."
“I have grown and matured and learned to see other people’s sides, and being consistent and a person that people can talk to when they need someone. I will forever be grateful to the Good City Mentors.”
"I learned that people will care and listen if you reach out. I also feel like I can do something in life. The mentors listened to our problems and have advice. I respect that of them and I look up to them. I would like to be like that.”
"I’m more of a person that now listens to people twice before judging them.”
"I am more confident in life and more sure about my future. I am more nice because I realize other people relate to my life and that I am not alone.”
"I became more Vibrant and built meaningful relationships with people I barely knew and grew out of my shell.”
"The mentors taught me that empathy, gratitude and compassion are irreplaceable traits. Leaders Do Good.”
“I have been through so much in life but since the mentors I’ve learned how to open up and so much about myself like what I want to accomplish in my life. It was such an amazing experience.”
"There are so many amazing programs we can implement at our schools to try to set students up for young adulthood success. But ultimately, programs don’t change people. People change people. I urge us to be a community who will show up for our youth, take time to listen, and help them discover their passions.”
"My grades have improved a lot and my self-esteem is also higher since I came to HOLA. The staff motivates me to try new things and help me get out of my comfort zone. They look for opportunities that will benefit me."
“For families who otherwise lack access to high-quality resources, HOLA's Bridges and College Success programs are giving kids what they need to envision themselves in higher education and pursue those dreams. Our partnership with Ready to Rise is giving these kids a chance to be successful. This grant means everything to all of us at the Heart of Los Angeles.”
“Homies Unidos has helped me learn how to build healthy relationships with others, starting with myself. Before coming to Homies Unidos, I felt that others spoke up but I never had the courage to before. I had no ambition for education or socializing with my peers, and now I am outgoing and meeting others through. Homies Unidos has also shown me how to be a better leader in my community.”
“I reflect on the many opportunities I have taken advantage of to grow and give back to my community - the community that inspired me to believe in my greater purpose. Our youth deserve to feel empowered to dream beyond borders and cages, and to have positive role models see their potential to not only survive, but thrive.”
"The partnership with the Ready to Rise initiative has been instrumental to uplifting youth voice and youth power in the East side of Los Angeles. Youth are engaged inaction-based research while gaining new academic skills. They are organizing for equitable school funding, civic engagement and restorative justice programs. They lift each other up and their communities. We are excited to support them!"
"InnerCity Struggle has made me knowledgeable about what’s going on in my community and has also helped me break out of my shell. InnerCity Struggle has helped me get more involved in my community and meet other boys and young men of color like me. We talk about issues impacting our community and work together to find solutions and get more students involved."
“Long Beach is changing a lot, whether it’s gentrification, deportation, incarceration, violence or policing, our communities are directly impacted and young people are most vulnerable. They need to know that we are here to stay and that Long Beach should invest in us, in our leadership, in our development and growth.”
“This is a historical moment where young people are rising up and stepping into our power tocreate social change. We are advocating for more resources that support the mental, physical,social, and emotional health and well- being for all youth in Long Beach. We want to changethe narrative on how our city sees young people so they can invest in us.”
"We are so grateful for this opportunity to strengthen our healing-centered youth development support for youth to be the catalyze of change in our community."
“My name is Shawn and I participate in (KYCC’s) after school program. We go play basketball and stuff… I like it here a lot.” Sharon Brown, formerly homeless resident and Shawn’s mother said that Menlo Family Center “kept him out from being out on the streets, getting involved with the wrong kind of people. Being here, he gets a chance to get a little bit more educated and a chance to get out and meet new people.”
“The touchstone of KYCC is youth services. We have spent 45 years building our services around positively impacting the future of our most vulnerable youth. With the support of California Community Foundation and Liberty Hill Foundation, we can make a real impact on serving youth and families who need us the most. We are committed to this endeavor and will do whatever we can to do just that.”
“Legacy LA has given me many opportunities to grow into the leader that I am today.”
"At Legacy LA we believe that personal and community transformation go hand in hand. We believe that community transformation will only occur if we focus on helping youth reach their full potential. Our work is to inspire youth to Dream Big and believe in their capacity to achieve their dreams.”
“BLAST is a class I’ve benefitted from both personally and educationally. Although, unfortunately I don’t have this class all day, I’ve learned a lot about how to handle confrontations and any general relationship. The BLAST staff explained how to introduce yourself and dress for a job interview and how to create resumes. I genuinely believe BLAST helps me and will help other people in the future.”
“Long Beach BLAST has provided quality mentoring support services for youth at risk within Long Beach for over 20 years. The Ready to Rise Initiative allows Long Beach BLAST to formalize and create one of the most initiative programs for all continuation students within Long Beach.”
“I was born into dysfunction. Running away only made things worse. A friend told me about YES as an alternate to living in an alley. I didn’t know that programs like this existed for people like me. They took care in making sure I stay on the growth track we created together. YES allowed me to see my self-worth.”
“No contribution is too small for challenges as big as homelessness. Each one of us -as individuals or organizations- are community members and as such, must strive to reach beyond our own abilities and collaboratively ensure that we have a fair and impartial society for all.”
“The shop just helps me get away from stuff and I've met so many great people there, I met my best-friend Eli there and so many more people. Aaron jokes a lot but also teaches us a lot, not just about welding or cars he teaches us so much more about life. It's a fun, welcoming caring place to be.”
“Our whole goal is to offer somewhere positive and safe where they can come and learn and be a part ofsomething different. Kids come in not knowing anything about cars. We start from zero, how to read atape measure, nuts and bolts, just basic safety and tools, then we simply take those skills to an actualclassic car.”
“To provide a good future for our children and youth we needed work together as a community and learn to invest and engage ourselves in every stage of their lives.”
“When I joined the youth group at MVFC, I opened up for the first time and I felt the support of everyone around me…Mar Vista helped provide me with strong role models, and now I can be one too.”
I feel like this school is preparing me for college. Since I'm going into mechanical engineering, my internship is helping me learn how to use tools and prepare for unexpected situations. I wouldn’t have these experiences in a regular high school. I would need to find someone that could help me. Here, it’s part of how we do things.
We are a school that addresses more than just the academic aspects of girl's lives; our goal is to serve the needs of the whole child. Currently serve students who are pregnant or parenting, youth in the foster care or probation system, and students who need a small school environment to thrive. From offering mental health services to internship opportunities and college scholarships, we are a model school designed to ensure student success. The girls that walk through our doors have generally faced numerous challenges in traditional school settings but through our dedication to their wellness and progress, we are able to graduate champions of change and possibility.
"Young persons’ experiences are not validated. What they say should be listened to as well. They should respect what we say at the end of the day. We are in this together! "
"Youth have the honesty to recognize the challenges they face, and the courage to work and be part of the solutions. In additions, we recognize that the success of this program requires the engagement not only of youth, but their families as well. "
“IMPACTO impacted me by helping me be a better person. [Before IMPACTO] I didn’t care about school. I was just failing all of my classes and I didn’t really care about anything. [IMPACTO] gave me motivation to go on to college and become an X-Ray Technician, and do better in school.”
"Proyecto Pastoral is playing a key role in creating an educational pipeline of supports in Boyle Heights. Proyecto's IMPACTO youth program works with students holistically to build their skills and leadership, and reaches some of the most vulnerable students to ensure every student succeeds."
“Sanctuary of Hope helps to bring young people in culturally underserved communities such as myself resources, education and mentorship when we need it most. I met Janet Kelly of SOH at the start of college where she offered me a financial solution to support my educational journey. I am extremely grateful to Janet Kelly and all of the staff members of Sanctuary of Hope because if it weren’t for them providing the resources that I needed, I wouldn’t be standing anywhere close to where I am standing today.”
“A promising future is more than thriving. It's living in the moment every second and minute of the day. The work we do everyday at Sanctuary of Hope is aimed at helping youth realize their potential and to address life circumstances head on with an optimistic futuristic outlook.”
"I'm glad that I gained a friendship and mentor from Sharefest. The college prep classes made me realize that college wasn’t a crazy idea and I could do it so I motivated myself to get there."
"After years of working within the South Bay communities I have been continually inspired by the tenacity and determination of local youth to rise above their circumstances. Sharefest comes alongside those youth to empower them with life skills, educational opportunities, mentorship, and leadership training. I truly believe they are becoming leaders of collaborative change within their communities."
"How has having a mentor helped you? " "She’s helped me understand certain things in life, made me have an open mind, and help me figure things out when I feel completely lost. She gave me another perspective, and allowed me to look up to somebody."
"Stars is grateful to be chosen as Ready to Rise grantees, and are appreciative of the opportunity to strengthen our Youth Mentoring Project. Stars’ goal is to provide a network of caring relationships for low income middle school, high school and college students; supporting students through after-school programming, mentoring, youth leadership opportunities, and preparation and support to succeed in college and graduate with a bachelor’s degree."
“What I’ve learned in class is you have to set the benchmark for what you stand for, you have to make a declaration in life for what you’re willing to do! This class is excellent!”
“If serving is below you than leadership is beyond you. Service is the rent we pay, for the space we take up on this earth. We have to live for a cause bigger than ourselves and then stand on the legacy that we leave! This is why I do this work”
"AXC has taught me so much and has gotten me started on my career as a mechanic. I'm now a mechanic at Grand Mobil Service Station in Diamond Bar. I love this and I want to do this for the rest of my life."
"As educators and social leaders, we have a responsibility to proactively tackle a rapidly changing economic and educational climate. In response, TLC is committed to instilling essential skills and technical capabilities that will serve students well in the workforce. CTEC is a unique model that provides youth positive outlets for their creativity and energy to help them build sustainable futures."
“I wanted to show people that I have some type of talent [so] I committed and cared. Art makes me feel like I have a future in myself. Somewhat makes me feel like I could accomplish things I doubted on.”
“We provide a positive, safe environment where incarcerated youth can learn to trust others, develop, self-respect, and explore non-violent solutions to conflict. I’ve seen rivals, in our program, come together in harmony to collectively write and perform an original play – a monumental breakthrough that occurs all through the theatre stage.”
“Young Warriors has shared with me the autonomy we have to choose the life we want to live and what impact we want to have within ourselves and with the people around us.”
“Tia Chucha’s youth empowerment program, Young Warriors takes a unique approach to youth development to help young people develop their leadership and communication skills through the power of the arts and proper mentoring. We are excited for the opportunity to expand this work to new partnerships with the support of the Ready to Rise initiative.”
"I’ve grown as a person and I have more knowledge about college. I know that when I need help, I can just call my counselor. You go from just being alone in the world to having full support from someone."
“We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to partner with Ready to Rise to help promote more positive outcomes for our youth while also helping ensure they never enter the criminal justice system."
“I’ve never had support like this. Even from my own family. I have so many reasons to believe in myself now… And I know I don’t have to face anything alone anymore.”
"Youth Mentoring Connection knows that inside every confused, angry, shy, sad or otherwise disenfranchised youth is a gifted soul that came into this world to fulfill their own unique purpose. YMC mentors consistently show up to shine a light on their gifts, care for their wounds, affirm youthful dreams and offer sustenance in the way of deep conversation and guidance."
"A Place Called Home is where we build bridges to a better future. It is a safe space filled with opportunities we wouldn't otherwise have."
“Through supporting APCH's IMPACT program and RISE High School partnership, Ready to Rise is investing in safety, support and opportunity so hundreds of the highest needs youth in L.A. can find their way and reach their potential. Young people are emerging stronger, healthier, and headed for good jobs and higher education, which makes the world a better place for us all.”
"The work being done by Meztli Projects to build programming that aims to cater and build connections & networks for targeted youth is very necessary. After witnessing how the justice system is commonly used as the only solution (while still creating more harm), I recognize the need for access to empowering practices in underserved communities such as mine."
"Funding opportunities to support Indigenous/Native identified youth through Indigenous-based and culturally relevant strategies are extremely rare, especially. Ready 2 Rise provides critical funding to use Indigenous and Arts-based Practices for a holistic approach to Youth Development. Meztli Projects’ programs will assist youth by hiring and training them (Artist/Educator/Entrepreneur) as-well-as providing year-round arts programming in East LA."