Federal Grant Helps Nonprofit Tap Power of Technology to Support Low-Income Students with College
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Federal Grant Helps Nonprofit Tap Power of Technology to Support Low-Income Students with College

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 22, 2015)  – The Youth Policy Institute (YPI) announced today that it will partner with education technology firm Hobsons to provide low-income and first-generation students in Los Angeles with access to digital college and career planning tool Naviance to discover their interests and strengths, understand the connection between academics and career paths, and create  postsecondary education plans.

A growing body of research from institutions that include Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Michigan, has found that measures of “college match”—including academic fit, affordability, size, and culture—have a significant influence on a student’s likelihood to complete college. But with a nationwide shortage in school counselors, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, counselors and students often lack the resources to support college planning and exploration critical to finding the right match.

The initiative is funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhood grant awarded to YPI, which serves the Pacoima and Hollywood communities. For the 2015-2016 school year, the program will be implemented in five of the 10 high schools located in the Promise Neighborhood, including STEM Academy, Apex Academy, as well as those on the campus of Cesar Chavez Learning Academies—Teacher Prep Academy, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, and ArTES. YPI plans to rollout Hobsons’ Naviance program in additional high schools for the following school year in 2017.

“By putting technology in the hands of our first-generation students, we’re empowering them to take ownership over their college and career planning—a process in which they’ve historically been ill-supported,” said Dixon Slingerland, executive director of YPI. “Partnering with an ed tech company that is deeply committed to our mission helps us to ensure that students are getting the best supports possible to make informed decisions about their academic futures.”

Since 1983, YPI has been working to reduce poverty in L.A. by ensuring that families have access to high-quality schools and providing social and educational services that allow students to pursue college. The technology platform, Naviance—used by nearly 9,000 schools and districts in the United States—enables school counselors, community workers, and parents to work together in supporting students in their college exploration and planning.

“We know postsecondary education not only transforms the lives of those able to attend, but also their families and communities. We’re committed to making sure those opportunities aren’t left to chance,” said Stephen M. Smith, president of advising and admissions solutions at Hobsons. “We look forward to expanding our efforts in cities like Los Angeles, and partnering with Youth Policy Institute, which is doing extraordinary work in this community.” 

About Youth Policy Institute
Youth Policy Institute has been providing wraparound services to low-income families in Los Angeles since 1996 and is the only agency in the country to have been awarded all four of the Obama Administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative’s programs: Promise Zones, Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods out of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program out of the Department of Justice. Together, these initiatives form a place-based approach to fighting poverty, reducing crime, improving educational opportunities and creating access to jobs that builds on YPI’s decades of history helping youth and families. For more information, visit www.ypiusa.org.

About Hobsons
Hobsons is the international leader in connecting learning to life. Through our student success solutions, we help more than 12 million students around the globe identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, match to best-fit educational opportunities, and finish what they start. We partner with schools, colleges, and universities to improve college and career readiness, admissions and enrollment management, and student support and advising.



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