Los Angeles is home to some of the highest rates of youth incarceration, high-school dropout, teen pregnancy, and gang violence in the nation. With so many local communities suffering, we identify those neighborhoods, schools, and regions most impacted communally and economically. Our work helps empower and transform lives, families, and communities by building trusting relationships and providing mentorship, education, and futures filled with hope, healing and opportunity.
The financial burdens of incarcerating youth (many of whom become casualties of recidivism) are overwhelming our cities, county, and state. When we reflect on the outcomes of those who participate in our programs, who then go on to graduate, gain employment, contribute to their communities, and break generational, systemic cycles of poverty, the cost-benefit of our work becomes crystal clear.
Levels of education have been correlated with issues of poverty, income and crime. Youth who successfully complete our programs are less likely to dropout of high school, and more likely to perform well while in school, go on to graduate, and attend college.
At-risk youth often don’t have access to adults who model healthy relational and communal behaviors. The benefits of healthy relationships formed between mentors and mentees in conjunction with arts programming are both immediate and long-term.
Many youth end up returning to prison if not provided real opportunity for reform while there. Numbers among youth who participate in arts programs like ours in LA County detention camps compared to those who do not are staggering.
We see the proven, measurable impact of providing arts education and mentorship to at-risk youth in the communities we work in every day. Statistical outcomes of teen pregnancy, poverty, gang involvement and crime are reduced and replaced with positive cycles and community engagement.