Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' Postseconday Education Partner SoCal CAN Wins $100,000 Award for College & Career Advice Program

Date Published: 
December 11th, 2023

From the Global Business Coalition for Education's press release:

The Global Business Coalition for Education announced the Southern California College Attainment Network (SoCal CAN) has been awarded $100,000 in the Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge, a nationwide competition to help boost youth skills across the U.S.

SoCal CAN is a nonprofit that works in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to provide comprehensive college and career advice to public housing residents, focused on breaking the cycle of poverty. SoCal CAN was selected from hundreds of applicants across the country.

The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge honors teams of nonprofits, education organizations, and cities working with the business community to create innovative programs that help prepare young people for meaningful careers. The group also awarded grants to 14 finalists. For the next year, all 15 organizations will be part of an incubator program to share leading practices and connect with business and city leaders invested in youth skills development. The Skills Friendly Cites Network will help their ideas to grow and inspire others.

This is the second cohort of winners in the Challenge, run by the Global Business Coalition for Education, a movement of businesses committed to ending the global education crisis. The initiative is made possible by support from Dell Technologies and Deloitte.

“We’re thrilled to receive this extraordinary recognition. Our cities thrive when our young people thrive,” said Alison De Luca, executive director of Southern California College Attainment Network. “Project SOAR is nurturing the skills and talents of youth in public housing. One-on-one support ensures that their college and career dreams become a reality and breaks the poverty cycle for themselves and their families. Partnerships with colleges, businesses, and social service providers ensure no one falls through the cracks. We’re excited to continue expanding this work since nearly 2.2 million Americans live in public housing.:

“With this Challenge, we’re spotlighting groundbreaking work across the country to nurture skills in young people and help set them up for success,” said Justin van Fleet, executive director of the Global Business Coalition for Education. “This is our way of encouraging youth-serving nonprofits, companies and cities to work together, building skills for the next generation."

The Big Ideas Bright Cities Challenge provides local nonprofit leaders the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading companies and organizations, including businesses focused on digital transformation. This year, the challenge drew hundreds of applicants from 24 states. They had to show collaboration among nonprofits, city leaders, young people, and businesses.  Winners were selected based on 10 Standards for Creating Skills-Friendly Cities.

“A ‘skills-friendly’ city does more than just train its workforce,” said Maia Wagner, director of US giving and impact at Dell Technologies. “It cultivates an ecosystem of technology, education, and community support that sets its people up for future success. We are proud to support this holistic initiative that drives innovation at the community level."

“As the workforce evolves, so should the way we think about supporting youth and providing access to resources and education that can match the skillset required for them to fulfill their career aspirations,” said Kwasi Mitchell, chief purpose & DEI officer at Deloitte. “We’re proud to support the Global Business Coalition for Education in its commitment to helping address the systemic barriers that can stand in the way for today’s youth and providing resources that can help create a better, more equitable future for all."

The previous winner, Action Greensboro, in North Carolina, helps find paid internships for young people, including low-income and first-generation college students, and provides stipends for youth to work with minority- and women-owned businesses.

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