Mayor Eric Garcetti administered the oath of service to close to 100 new members of AmeriCorps, who will provide tutoring, college counseling and career counseling to young people at schools and community centers in some of L.A.’s most underserved neighborhoods.
In an afternoon ceremony held at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, Mayor Garcetti welcomed them to a year of service in a program funded by three major grants awarded earlier this year.
“The young men and women who answered the call to service today have made an important commitment to Los Angeles, our future, and themselves,” said Mayor Garcetti. “One interaction at a time, they will change lives in neighborhoods from Watts to Pacoima. Their dedication will make an extraordinary difference in the lives of students, families, and entire communities.”
Earlier this year, the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency which administers AmeriCorps, awarded $4.4 million in funding to the Youth Policy Institute (YPI). These funds allowed for the establishment of 118 full-time AmeriCorps tutoring and college and career ambassador positions. Integrated with the Los Angeles YPI mission of place-based change in low-income neighborhoods across Los Angeles, these AmeriCorps members will support cradle-to-college-and-career programming for youth and wraparound services for families.
“I salute the City of Los Angeles and Youth Policy Institute for this visionary project that will have a transformative impact on the community and its young people,” said Bill Basl, director of AmeriCorps. “National service is an indispensable resource for building stronger neighborhoods and communities. This project will harness the power of passionate, dedicated Americans who are committed to making a difference for Los Angeles, and for America. We are proud to be a part of an effort working to ensure more L.A. students have the opportunity to reach their full potential. “
“The Promise Zone and the Promise Neighborhood were created to change lives, and these AmeriCorps members are going to deliver on that promise,” said Dixon Slingerland, Executive Director of YPI. “They’re going to reach out to young people at their schools and in their communities, and they’re going to connect them to the resources and support they need to achieve their dreams.”
“I grew up in South Central, and meeting counselors at college who came from similar circumstances validated my experience and gave me the support I needed to push through,” said Jasmine Tovar, an AmeriCorps member serving as a Promise Corps Project Leader in a second year of service. Tovar tutors middle school students at Vista Middle School in Pacoima. “Today, I work with young scholars who faced the same struggles I did. I get to watch their confidence grow and their love of learning blossom. It’s like helping roses grow out of concrete.”
In addition to the Promise Corps members serving as tutors and college and career ambassadors, AmeriCorps VISTA members will build out college and career programs and set up a youth neighborhood justice council at posts in Mayor Garcetti’s Promise Zone office and the Youth Policy Institute. Additional AmeriCorps members will be stationed as college and career ambassadors at FamilySource and YouthSource centers, while others will participate in Youth Policy Institute’s college readiness GEAR UP program.