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Saturday, Aug 13, 2022
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Los Angeles Team Mentoring: Focused on a Brighter Future


Los Angeles Team Mentoring (LATM) is honored to have been nominated for the Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards in the categories of Nonprofit of the Year, Outstanding Collaboration between a Business and Nonprofit, and Nonprofit Executive of the Year. Together with the support of community-minded corporate partners and dynamic volunteers, LATM is inspiring and empowering the next generation of leaders, helping them develop critical skills through mentorship.

In 1992, LATM launched TeamWorks, its first after-school mentoring program at Horace Mann Middle School located in South Los Angeles. At that time, social injustice was prevalent and its awareness emerging within many cities within the US including Los Angeles. Over 28 years later, we are still meeting the needs of our community’s youth in an environment of inclusion and diversity.

LATM’s team-based mentoring model, developed by the Princeton Center for Leadership, was instituted to train and encourage that leadership, the benefits of which have long been helping to modify the effects of gang activity, violence, poverty and high dropout rates of middle-school aged young people. Since its inception, LATM has impacted the lives of 28,000 young people through 2.8 million hours of after school mentoring. The organization focuses on non-school hours – after-school, weekends and summers – providing students safe and structured programming and trusted adult role models.

Although LATM does not provide tutoring, our mentees not only earn higher grades—but go on 4 years later to graduate at a 22% higher rate—in spite of 29% of those same students coming from homes where neither parent has graduated high school.  In addition, 100% of LATM youth have increased self-esteem and confidence—giving them the foundation they need to dream big and succeed at all things in life.

COVID-19 disproportionately impacted Los Angeles and the population we serve. Sudden school closures in left youth without opportunities for socialization, supervision/care, safe recreational activities, or even a hot meal. Children were experiencing anxiety and depression, and parents/guardians reporting that they themselves were overwhelmed with added responsibilities brought on by the pandemic – often compounded by the stress of job loss and the unaffordable cost of childcare. When asked, 100% of the parents/guardians said that their kids needed LATM’s programs for support and as an uplifting connection to the outside world.
In response, LATM quickly pivoted to develop the e-Works virtual mentoring program currently being used as a blueprint for similar programs nationwide. The organization worked tirelessly to ensure that youth could continue to have a connection to caring adults during this difficult time.

Utilizing an interactive curriculum and a secure online platform, e-Works support the social-emotional wellbeing of the students and help them build critical skills around career readiness and college preparation. Throughout the current program year, youth have achieved high attendance and engagement. They credit their mentors with providing much needed support, connection, and guidance, such as this note sent to a mentor by her mentee:

Teams are comprised of 3-4 adult mentors and 12-15 youth connecting weekly via email and video conferencing.  The program is a weekly 1-hour commitment on a scheduled day and time. It also includes three Saturday virtual field trips and workshops. e-Works runs from October to June.

Would your company be interested in providing corporate volunteers, hosting a career field trip, or making a financial contribution that makes a lasting difference in the lives of LA’s youth?  

Maria Melton is executive director of Los Angeles Team Mentoring. For more information on how you or your company can get involved, please visit latm.org or contact communications@latm.org.

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