Los Angeles nonprofit receives $30 million from U.S. Department of Education


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A Los Angeles-area nonprofit that provides education services to low-income families and poverty-stricken communities received a $30-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education on Friday.

The Youth Policy Institute is one of seven agencies in the nation to be awarded a Promise Neighborhood grant, implemented in 2010 by President Obama, and will receive $6 million every year for five years. The grant will be matched dollar for dollar by key founders in the community including the California Endowment, Weingart and Annenberg foundations.


As the lead agency for Los Angeles’ Promise Neighborhood collective, the Youth Policy Institute will distribute the money to its various community-based partners, namely ones in Pacoima and Hollywood.

“On a practical level, it means that those communities are going to be transformed,” said Dixon Slingerland, the institute’s executive director.

“Five years from now, we expect these communities to be transformed with plenty of opportunities and support for youth and families.”

The grant will benefit 16 Los Angeles Unified School District and charter schools, more specifically projects that include the addition of full-time academic coaches and service coordinators at every site.

After years of strategic planning, the group applied for the grant and was surprised with the results.

“L.A. is never the city that gets the formative grants from the federal government,” Slingerland said, possibly due to the sprawling landscape and diverse needs.

“It’s difficult to unite around a vision to transform high-poverty communities in Los Angeles,” he said. “In the past we have not been able to pull it all together to tell our story to the federal government.”


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