Kid City Hope Place

Institution (custom)
Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation
State
California
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Access
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Mentoring

Overview

Since its inception in 2008, Kid City Hope Place has sought to fulfill its mission of transforming young people’s lives by welcoming them into a caring, college-going culture and by nurturing the development of leadership and agency. Kid City Hope Place helps these students overcome barriers, especially to higher education, and become empowered, with an ultimate goal to increase their opportunities for leadership, career, and civic engagement.

Kid City’s program goals align with the mission to increase college access, develop leadership and advocacy, stimulate creativity through music and arts, and increase socio-emotional wellness in students. Kid City’s programs equip young people in various ways to creatively and powerfully express themselves and become advocates for their communities.
 

Program Description

To better meet the needs of students, Kid City pivoted from an after-school program to  become a highly sought after college access program. Through Kid City, student participants have access to computers and printers, study skills, academic guidance, and especially for community college students, a sense of community. Leadership and wellness programs are offered during summer, winter, and spring breaks.  Ultimately, students say Kid City is “a second home,” and the program works to foster long term, close relationships.  Volunteers prepare care packages twice a year, food is always available, and when students graduate, they receive business cards. The program provides safe spaces that promote inclusivity of students’ identities and backgrounds. All programs emphasize the value of sharing unique stories that highlight students’ struggles and successes. This way, students feel empowered to use their voices and individual strengths. As students graduate from college, they can participate in online interviews and get help with resumes. Lastly, Kid City’s internship program, in collaboration with two providers, pays at least 25 college students per year as they gain valuable job experience.

Outcome

Kid City reaches 400-500 youth and their parents annually. This includes 80-120 high school participants ages 15-18, 200+ participants ages 19-21, and about 90% are Latino.

  • Of Kid City’s high school program participants, 100% graduated from high school, and 100% were accepted and enrolled in college.
  • Of these students, all attend or have attended Title I high schools, and at least 50% have graduated from college. Of those they were to track, nearly all are still enrolled in college and are determined to finish.
  • At least 80% of program participants volunteer at Kid City during high school, and a growing number return to volunteer during college and following college graduation.