Center for Powerful Public Schools Selected as Grant Recipient of Youth Opportunity Fund to Connect Low-Income Youth in Los Angeles to Career Opportunities

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Contact: Ellen P. Holton
Director of Communications

The new $3 million Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, supports innovative city programs that prepare low-income youth for future success

LOS ANGELES (August 27, 2015) – The Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance today announced that Center for Powerful Public Schools has been selected as a recipient of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs connecting youth to opportunities that increase their employability and prepare them for lifelong success.

The Youth Opportunity Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, designed to support direct-service programs that empower urban youth, ages 16 to 24. A total of 12 grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in 10 of the largest U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Center for Powerful Public Schools will receive a one-year grant totaling $250,000 to help prepare low-income youth, ages 16 to 18, for promising careers through its Engineering Environmental Innovation (EEI) school-based training program. In collaboration with selected Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Linked Learning Pathways, EEI will prepare 250 low income youth for internships and careers in the high demand, high earning field of energy engineering. EEI students will learn technical skills, gain exposure to real-life efficiency contracting, develop work-readiness behaviors and explore emerging career pathways that are leading initiatives for making climate resilient cities. The EEI program will culminate in engaging at least 180 students in actual energy upgrade projects, internships and summer jobs in the energy efficiency industry.

“Thanks to the support of the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance we will be able to connect many more underrepresented students living in Los Angeles to 21st century career opportunities,” said Jeanne Fauci, Executive Director of Center for Powerful Public Schools. “First-hand, real world job preparation and experience in the environmental energy field, one of the city’s growing industries, will allow diverse students to contribute to the vitality of our city and its future economy.”

“Center for Powerful Public Schools has a collaborative history of developing innovative programs that improve student outcomes, improving our urban schools, and providing more opportunities that prepare high school students for future jobs” said Ramon C. Cortines, LAUSD Superintendent. “Through continuing collaboration with the LAUSD Linked Learning Office, more low-income youth will engage in real-world learning, explicitly aligned to the instructional program and industry pathway at their high school. This Linked Learning approach to secondary instruction is truly preparing our children for success in both college and career.”

In a recent study of the 100 largest cities in the US, Los Angeles’ youth employment rate in 2000-2012 ranked third from the bottom. The same report from the Brookings Institution found that unemployed youth tend to continue to suffer from unemployment throughout their lives. “This project will allow us to go deeper with our goal of making sure that all LAUSD students have internships at some point during their high school career. By engaging students during their junior and senior year in job preparation they will be ready to succeed in a summer job opportunity,” said Esther Soliman LAUSD’s Linked Learning Administrator.

“The future competitiveness of America’s cities hinges on the positive economic outcomes of our young people,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We launched the Youth Opportunity Fund to support the innovative work of community partners who are helping low-income youth create the on-ramps that will lead towards career success.”

“We are dealing with the mixed reality of our nation’s high school graduation numbers increasing at unprecedented rates, while an estimated 5.6 million young people are not in school or employed,” said John Gomperts, president & CEO of America’s Promise. “The dozen Youth Opportunity Fund grantees are vital to connecting thousands of young people to opportunities that boost their ability to compete in today’s economy.”

To learn more about the Youth Opportunity Fund and see a full list of grantees visit:


About the Center for Powerful Public Schools
Founded in 2003, Center for Powerful Public Schools builds the capacity of educators to create and sustain powerful public schools that prepare every student for college, career, and life. The Center provides services to schools and districts in Greater Los Angeles and across California to develop, implement and sustain personalized, high-performing schools that advance public education and ensure student success. For more information, visit

About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce. For more information, visit

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit