Safe, secure, affordable housing has been shown to improve educational outcomes, giving more low-income students the opportunity to pursue higher education. To support these high achievers, and to inspire a new generation of housing professionals, Century established a scholarship program targeting California’s metro-based colleges teaching trades related to affordable housing, including: construction, human services, planning, public administration, architecture, real estate development, and social enterprise.
Each of these students has received a Century educational scholarship, and we’re just getting started! Please check back to hear from more of our ambitious award recipients.
“Going to college and earning my Bachelor’s degree means having the opportunity to go further in my life and have more resources and experiences. I will be majoring in Psychology, which will guide me in my goal of making a positive change in our society, specifically in the way we solve social and political issues.”
Program: Japanese Community Youth Council
Graduated: City Arts & Technology High School
“Being the first in my family to attend a four year university was one of my biggest motivational factors. This will be a chance for me to invest in myself in a way that is only available through a college experience. I plan on going into college willing to explore different paths to study.”
Program: Japanese Community Youth Council
Graduated: Philip & Sala Burton Academic High School Now
Attending: UC Santa Cruz
Karen is one of 10 students to complete the Venice Youthbuild program with the help of a Century educational scholarship. Staff describe her as goal-driven, dependable, and excited to learn. Since graduating, Karen has found employment and is completing a 200-hour internship at JVS SoCal.
Program: Venice YouthBuild
Attending: Santa Monica College
Future Plans: Degree in Criminal Justice or Nursing from Southern New Hampshire University
Century Educational Scholarship Grant Awardees
Century’s pilot program addresses the reality that the cost of attending college continues to be a major barrier for students, especially those from low-income families hoping to be the first to attend college. We are happy to announce nine organizations receiving a $30,000 grant directed to student scholarships:
California Coalition for Rural Housing
Formed in 1976, CCRH is one of the oldest statewide low-income housing coalitions in the U.S. and the oldest in California. Their mission is to improve the living conditions of rural and low-income Californians through the production and preservation of decent and affordable homes for rent or purchase. Century’s grant will be earmarked for scholarships for students from immigrant and minorities communities who are pursuing advanced studies in affordable housing-related disciplines.
Coalition for Responsible Community Development
Founded in 2005, the mission of CRCD is to better sustain, coordinate, and improve local planning, development, and community services that address the needs of low-income and working-class residents and small businesses in South Los Angeles. CRCD is a youth-centered, neighborhood-based organization serving South Los Angeles with fifteen years of experience serving 18-24-year-olds, with a focus on those who have the greatest barriers to employment, such as homelessness and housing instability. CRCD will create a new scholarship program for students in its existing programs currently attending college or vocational programs, as well as graduating from high school.
California State University Project Rebound
“Rebound” was established in 1967 by Dr. John Irwin, a formerly incarcerated professor at San Francisco State University. Irwin created Project Rebound to matriculate people into SFSU directly from the criminal justice system. The funding will target students majoring in business/economics, social work, social sciences, human services or related fields to stimulate their interest and encourage them to pursue careers that address issues facing undeserved communities such as affordable housing and basic needs, particularly issues impacting formerly incarcerated individuals.
El Camino College
Established in 1983, the El Camino College Foundation was initially set up as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to support programs at El Camino College in higher education, arts and athletics. As student demographics changed and state funding decreased, the Foundation’s focus shifted to support student scholarships, academic programs, STEM education, the South Bay Promise, Warrior (food) Pantry, and student emergency funding. Century funding will augment a program which already provides more than 600 scholarships annually, helping the needs of their diverse student population.
Japanese Community Youth Council
Over the past five decades, JCYC has become one of San Francisco’s most successful youth organizations. While still committed to children and youth from the Japantown community, JCYC has evolved and grown into an organization, which annually serves over 7,000 young people from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. JCYC will use funds from the Century to provide educational scholarships to first generation college students residing in low-income households and pursuing a college degree.
Larkin Street Youth Services
Larkin Street Youth Services (“Larkin Street”) is San Francisco’s largest and most comprehensive service provider for youth experiencing homelessness. Originally founded in 1984 by community members concerned by a visible rise in the number of youth experiencing homelessness, they now operate 14 buildings around San Francisco, employ more than 300 people, and operate more than 400 beds of transitional and emergency housing, serving nearly 2,000 young people experiencing homelessness every year. Larkin Street Youth Services is piloting a new program to help young people enroll and persist in vocational or trade school.
Since 1996, LifeSTEPS has been deeply committed to eradicating the barriers of poverty through innovative, nationally acclaimed programs and services. Their mission is to provide effective educational and supportive services to maximize the strengths of individuals and build resilient communities. LifeSTEPS will seek to expand trade school scholarship opportunities for their residents who wish to start or continue vocational training and education programs in skilled trade. This opportunity is offered to those who reside in the low-income housing properties where they provide social services.
Los Angeles Community College District
LACCD is the largest community college district in the nation with nine colleges and more than 230,000 students. The Foundation proposes to implement a Century Scholars grant program beginning in Fall 2021 and continuing for three subsequent semesters at LA Trade Technical College. The objectives are to educate students about careers in Construction Maintenance and Utilities (CMU) programs at LA Trade Technical College, increase enrollment, increase completion rates, incentivize and recognize excellence, and provide students with employable skills that support workforce needs of our economy while providing high wage jobs.
Venice Community Housing
VCH was founded in 1988 as a grassroots movement to develop comprehensive solutions to rising rates of homelessness and an increasing need for affordable housing. In 1994, VCH responded to a violent gang war in the community by broadening its focus and later adopted the YouthBuild USA supporting hundreds of transitional age youth in achieving positive educational, certification, and employment outcomes. A grant from the Century will support the 21-22 program cycle, which will focus on follow-up services, and increase staff’s capacity to provide holistic support to participants.