Los Angeles Area California Student Opportunity and Access Program Grant Awarded
Los Angeles based non-profit organization, Families in Schools Receives Two-Year Grant


Sacramento, CA (2018) – Families in Schools (FIS), a non-profit created as a legacy of the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project was selected by the California Student Aid Commission (Commission) at the June 21, 2018, meeting to operate the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) in the Los Angeles area.

Cal-SOAP was created to increase the availability of information and improve access to higher education by raising student achievement levels and managing student outreach efforts. The 14 Cal-SOAP consortia provide services such as advising, tutoring and college awareness workshops throughout 15 California regions. For the Los Angeles region, the Commission selected FIS over three other Los Angeles-based applicants for the multi-year grant.

“Each application provided us with unique opportunities to help students gain access to colleges and financial aid,” said Lande Ajose, Commission Chair. “Ultimately, it came down to the Commission viewing the program proposed by Families in Schools as best demonstrating long-term sustainability and methods by which we measure success of the program in achieving Cal-SOAP goals.”

FIS underscores family engagement as a critical component of education reform and will serve 11 high schools and middle schools across three K-12 districts in Los Angeles, with an emphasis on including schools with significant African American and foster youth populations and a high rate of student diversity. FIS will work strategically with their partners to maximize all services to reach the most underserved students, evaluating which students are receiving services during the first quarter of operations and reallocating resources where needed.

Regional partnerships are a key to long-term sustainability of the Cal-SOAP programs and the consortium partners joining FIS include: University of California, Los Angeles; East Los Angeles College; Pasadena City College; Campaign for College Opportunity; L.A. Trust for Children’s Health; Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Pasadena Tournament of Roses; Master Your Card; and Princeton Review.

The Commission solicited applications from the Los Angeles area through an open Request for Application competition. The other organizations competing for the grant included: East Los Angeles College; The Los Angeles Unified School District; and Youth Policy Institute. Next year the Commission will be awarding grants throughout the state for other Cal-SOAP programs.