Educational Institutions

South Central Scholars Foundation

  • Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
  • www.southcentralscholars.org

Mission Statement

The mission of South Central Scholars Foundation (SCS) is to assist highly motivated, talented students from under-resourced communities of Los Angeles County to achieve academic and personal success in college and beyond. We do this by providing college application assistance, a college academic preparedness program, college scholarships for all four years of college, mentorship, and career development support.

Main Programs

  1. Bridge Scholarship Program
  2. Mentoring Program
  3. Jobs & Internships Program
  4. Emergency Financial Assistance Program
  5. High School Outreach Program
  6. Summer Academy
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Throughout Los Angeles County, with a concentration in South Los Angeles (previously known as South Central Los Angeles) and surrounding areas including Compton, Carson, Downtown Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, San Pedro, Long Beach, Lynwood, and South Gate.

ruling year

2005

Executive Director

Self-reported

Ms. Joey Shanahan

Keywords

Self-reported

South LA, South Central LA, South Central

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Also Known As

South Central Scholars

EIN

20-2820261

Physical Address

29000 S. Western Avenue Suite 207

Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Vocational Counseling / Guidance / Testing (J21)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The assistance SCS provides extends to financial, professional, personal, mentoring, internships, job placement assistance, financial aid, and college application assistance, in order to provide low income first generation college-bound students with a comprehensive approach to academic and personal development and success. SCS connects scholars with mentors, jobs, internships, and assistance with personal and family problems, tutoring, college fairs, and career counseling to ensure that our scholarship dollars lead to college success and meaningful careers.

While our Scholars graduate from some of the lowest-performing high schools in Los Angeles, through our support they matriculate to many of the top-ranked universities across US including USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Harvard University, Brown University, Middlebury College, Smith College, and Williams College.

SCS Students participating in our Summer Academy program earn dramatically higher college grades than had they not participated. 98% of our scholars graduate from college through our support and guidance.

Past students have gone on to careers at Goldman Sachs, Boeing, SpaceX, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kaiser Permanente, and many others.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Bridge Scholarship Program

Our scholarships are intended to close shortfalls between the amount of money offered in the financial package from a university (grants, loans, and work study) and the actual cost of a student's college education. In some cases, these shortfalls would prevent students from attending college altogether. The shortfalls are particularly severe for the working poor where even an entry level job for a single parent can reduce all three parts of a student's financial package.
All of our scholarships are for each student's entire academic career.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$850,000

Program 2

Mentoring Program

The Fund links students with caring, educated adults who can provide encouragement, guidance, advice and friendshigroup events are scheduled every one to two months to allow groups of students to share social, educational and cultural experiences with mentors and guests in a group environment. These activities help our students to stay connected to The Program and it creates a strong peer network.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$100,500

Program 3

Jobs & Internships Program

The Program provides students with unique summer job opportunities. These jobs not only supplement the income of our students but provide them with opportunities to explore fields in which they have an interest. SCS has provided students with jobs in medicine, medical research, law, publishing, advertising, engineering, finance, accounting and related fields. Through our jobs/internship program, students begin the process of networking with employers, building their self esteem and working on their career development. Our employers attempt to provide our students with increasing challenges and responsibilities to prepare them for their futures.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$75,000

Program 4

Emergency Financial Assistance Program

The Financial Assistance Program provides stipends and scholarships outside of college scholarships. For example, emergency housing, stipends for study abroad programs, stipends for internships, etc.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$27,500

Program 5

High School Outreach Program

SCS makes presentations at over 90 high schools, teaching the advantages of these schools to our potential SCS scholars and encouraging students to apply to these schools. If they are accepted to these schools, we arrange for a campus visit. With rare exception, students of SCLA then go on to matriculate at these schools. Ten years ago, we had one student in these schools. Now we have over 130 students from SCLA in these schools. This is a major shift for our students as they usually do not even know where schools like Brown, Amherst and Williams are located.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$105,000

Program 6

Summer Academy

Our data-driven focus on student achievement revealed in 2012 that our students, insufficiently prepared by under-resourced high schools, risk hitting an academic brick wall when they begin their academic careers at elite colleges. Low-income first generation college students risk dropping out of majors and abandoning career paths they are passionate about because they lack the necessary writing, critical thinking, and math skills to achieve. We created the Summer Academy in 2012 to meet this need.

Summer Academy quick facts
Started in 2012
Over 120 students per summer
Seven weeks of instruction with top level Professors
Summer Academy participants earn college grades substantially higher than had they not participated, and are able to stay in the challenging majors they are passionate about.

The program provides rising high school seniors and rising college freshmen with college level English and mathematics courses for seven weeks, five days a week, eight hours per day. The 2014 program added chemistry for our STEM focused students. Classes take place on the USC Campus and are taught by USC professors and teaching assistants. One hour classroom lectures are followed by two hour small breakout sessions. Participating students bear none of the cost of the program. Leaders in the higher education community have expressed that Summer Academy represents the first time they have seen any college preparatory program actually improve college grades in a substantive way.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$350,000

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    South Central Scholars works to break the cycle of poverty and marginalization in under-resourced communities by helping motivated first generation college-bound students from low income families to achieve in college and prepare for meaningful careers.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We provide early outreach to approximately 4,000 students from 90 high schools in the Los Angeles area and accept approximately 100 new Scholars annually. We guide Scholars through the college application and financial aid process, with a focus on elite colleges with generous "no loan" or "low loan" financial aid policies, provide academic scholarships each year for all four to five years of college, and provide Scholars with internship opportunities, mentors, and year-round career development coaching and seminars.

    Our Summer Academy provides college level English and math to prepare Scholars, who have been ill-prepared by underperforming high schools, for the academic rigor of college. SCS's geographic focus is Los Angeles County with a concentration in south Los Angeles. The majority of students are of color, are from low income families, and are the first college-bound member of their family.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    South Central Scholars is committed to bridging the education gap in under-resourced communities through a unique seven-step model proven to establish a foundation for lifelong success.

    COLLEGE COUNSELING
    First generation college students frequently select or are counseled into colleges that are not the best fit for them and graduate deeply in debt and unprepared to pursue meaningful careers. SCS connects our students with 80 elite colleges with smaller classes and generous "low loan" or "low loan" financial packages for qualified students.

    SUMMER ACADEMY
    Low income first generation college students risk dropping out of majors and abandoning career paths they are passionate about because they lack the necessary writing, critical thinking, and math skills. The Summer Academy addresses this challenge.

    The program provides students with college level English and math courses throughout the summer, plus chemistry for our STEM focused students. Classes take place on the USC Campus and are taught by USC professors and teaching assistants. Participants earn substantially higher college grades and are able to achieve in the challenging majors they are passionate about.

    MENTORSHIP
    Our students are partnered with successful, educated professionals in a wide variety of occupations to help them navigate college and guide them in critical decision making. Mentors are volunteer professionals who address skill deficits resulting from our scholars' lack of adult role-models, college preparation services, or adequate support systems.

    INTERNSHIPS
    SCS assists Scholars to secure internships with over 60 corporations and businesses, allowing them to explore careers in which they have a strong interest. They are able to network with professionals in their fields and build a portfolio of professional skills. SCS assists students with resume preparation, mock interviews, and introductions to contacts within leading firms and corporations.

    FINANCIAL SCHOLARSHIPS
    While we encourage and support our Scholars to attend no-loan and low-loan colleges, there often remains a gap in the financial circumstances of many Scholars. Through bridge scholarships through for all four years of college, SCS is able to reduce scholars' financial burden and ensure that they can stay focused on their college education and achieve. SCS provides additional stipends to Scholars for graduate school test prep, emergency travel, textbooks, donated laptops, winter clothing, and more.

    CAREER COUNSELING
    While young people from under-resourced communities recognize law, medicine, and engineering as respectable professions, our students are often unfamiliar with engineering, journalism, research, finance or data science. SCS opens them up to exploring a wide variety of meaningful, rewarding careers.

    JOB ASSISTANCE
    SCS utilizes our extensive community partnerships to support our students in gaining employment in leading companies throughout the region.

  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    SCS has an intensively quantitative approach to monitoring program outcomes and impact and in order to make improvements to our programs. We use cloud-based Salesforce software to track Scholar interactions to help us provide comprehensive support. Every transcript from every semester is compiled into reports analyzed by our research committee, each variable entered into a statistical program called SPSS. In March we hired a Research and Evaluation Manager who administers collection and analysis of such data as GPA's, demographics, and completion of steps necessary for college success and career readiness.

    SCS tracks students' college graduation rates. We communicate regularly with Scholars to keep them on track. To monitor success of Mentorship services, SCS tracks students paired with mentors annually. To measure success of Career Development, SCS monitors the number of students pursuing and working in summer internships. Further evaluation is done by collecting sign-in sheets at high school engagements; applications to Summer Academy; call-logs of one-on-one mentoring of students seeking assistance; attendance at information nights, webinars and workshops; and student satisfaction surveys.

    One example of how our focused approach to program results led us to improve our programs concerns our student graduation rates. The 98% college graduation rate of our students sets us apart from organizations doing similar work. However, a closer look at the data on our students' college progress told another story. Though our students were graduating, their lack of preparation in high school for college level math, writing, and critical thinking meant that they were forced to withdraw from their intended majors about which they had passionate but that required a high level of math and writing ability, and instead moved to less challenging majors in order to graduate. This led to our creation of our Summer Academy program in 2012. Summer Academy is an intensive, eight hours per day, five days a week for seven weeks academic program to prepare motivated students from underperforming high schools for the academic rigor of college. Since the beginning of this program, the majority of our students remain in the college majors they are passionate about and are able to achieve.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    A key strategy for our future success is our intention to implement a comprehensive, major build-out of our research and data management processes. We already have a uniquely quantitative approach to monitoring the progress of our programs and the students served, and we make improvements to our programs accordingly. A large scale build-out of our research and data capacity, utilizing predictive analytical models, will enable us to predict with high accuracy the college success of each unique individual Scholar and realign staff and Board resources in order to meet his/her needs. We have a history of being adaptable, never resting on our past achievements but diligently implementing program improvements when their need is revealed; we are eager for the administrative build-out of our research and data capacity to reveal program areas that are not sufficiently ensuring our students' college and career success, so that we can make improvements to our programs and tactically assign staff, Board, and partner resources to meet the specific needs of each unique student at each stage of his/her academic career from senior year of high school, into college, through college, and into a career.

    The project to build out our research and data management capacity is underway and will enable us to better serve our students than ever before.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Throughout Los Angeles County, with a concentration in South Los Angeles (previously known as South Central Los Angeles) and surrounding areas including Compton, Carson, Downtown Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, San Pedro, Long Beach, Lynwood, and South Gate.

Funding Needs

SCS receives nearly three times more applications than the organization can afford to helprovide greater scholarships that can offset loans and college expenses outside of tuition, and provide greater financial support outside of scholarships, in the form of internship stipends, emergency financial support, and to pay for needed college supplies.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

SOUTH CENTRAL SCHOLARS FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

South Central Scholars Foundation

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Ms. Joey Shanahan

BIO

Joey Shanahan joined SCS as Executive Director in May 2013. She spent five years as a Director of teen pregnancy and mentoring programs in Compton, CA. Joey is familiar with the struggles SCS's first-generation college students experience in their home communities and at college. The first in her family to attend college, she earned a BS in Health Education from San Francisco State University in 2005, and a Master of Public Health degree from UCLA in 2008 with a concentration in Community Health Sciences. She is a graduate of the Executive Service Corps of Southern California Executive Leadership Institute and is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

DR. Brian T Massey

Mar Vista Investment Partners

Term: June 2015 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?