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The California Community Foundation’s BLOOM Initiative Announces Progress

Larenz Tate and unknown

The California Community Foundation (CCF) celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM) initiative with a town hall meeting at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.

During the town hall meeting, CCF announced significant behavioral changes in the 174 system-involved young men enrolled in BLOOM, a five-year grantmaking initiative focused on South L.A.’s black male youth ages 14-18 who have been involved with the Los Angeles County probation system.
“Over the course of the past year, 93 percent of youth participating in the BLOOM initiative have not violated the terms of their probation,” announced BLOOM Initiative Director Robert Lewis.  “ In addition, there was a 45 percent decrease in school suspensions among BLOOM youth, since their enrollment in the BLOOM initiative.”

According to the Los Angeles County Probation Department, 75 percent of all youth violate the terms of their probation.  Thanks to BLOOM and the help of such community partners as Brotherhood Crusade, Community Coalition, Los Angeles Urban League, Youth Justice Coalition and Youth Mentoring Connection, the number of youth violating the terms of their probation will continue to decline in Los Angeles County each year.

The town hall meeting included a panel discussion on the importance of the BLOOM initiative to Los Angeles, moderated by LA Talk Live host Starlett Quarles. Panel participants included Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise Owner, Karim Webb; LA County Probation Department Bureau Chief, Dennis Carroll; UCLA Government and Community Relations Vice President Chancellor, Keith Parker; and BLOOM youth Anthony Smith.  Following the panel discussion, BLOOM spokesperson and actor Larenz Tate discussed the challenges he and his family members faced during childhood and the importance of BLOOM in Los Angeles.

“My father was willing to pull me out of a movie if I didn’t get good grades,” said Tate, highlighting how imperative it is for parents to be involved in the lives of their children and being supportive of their education.

Parents and the community are urged to direct black male youth they know, between the ages of 14-18, who has been involved with the Los Angeles County probation system, to BLOOM.  To see how BLOOM can make a difference in your youth’s life visit www.IamBLOOM.com.

For more information on BLOOM, visit www.calfund.org/BLOOM. Follow BLOOM on Twitter at @BLOOMSouthLA and “like” the BLOOM Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/BLOOM.CCF.

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