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As of the calss of 2017, LAUSD students must fulfill A-G college preparation requirements to graduate. Initiated during the 2013-2014 school year at Gardena High School, the Young Male Scholars (YMS) program provides 9-11th grade students with college preparation, expository writing, critical thinking and media literacy training. A one year companion pilot was begun at King Drew Magnet of Medicine and Science during the 2015-2016 school year (the program was not continued in 2016-2017 due to lack of funding). Participants are eligible for course and service learning credit. Students also receive mentoring, guidance and instruction on devising a college plan, developing public speaking and collaboration skills, writing critical essays and identifying long term academic/professional goals. Students learn to identify and challenge the role stereotypes and discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and community impact their lives. Students develop and participate in men of color college forums, field trips and video projects as ongoing and culminating activities. Program participants collaborated with Women's Leadership Project (WPL) students on school climate, school-to-prison pipeline and college panel forums. Programs participants also conducted extensive sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training with their peers at Gardena High School, King-Drew Magnet and the L.A. County's Rise Up conference. During the 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years forty students participated in the program. The racial makeup of the program is 95% African American and 5% mixed race/multiracial. For the 2016-2017 school year, approximately 15% of students are 10th graders, 35% of students are 11th graders and 50% are 12th graders. Students in the 2016-2017 cohort represent the first four year graduating class of YMS. Graduating seniors from the class of 2017 are now matriculating at Morehouse College, the University of Las Vegas and El Camino College.

Core Program Features:

I. College Pipeline vs. Prison Pipeline

    1. Community and social context
    2. Educational equity and social justice
    3. Debunking/challenging racial stereotypes
    4. Benefits of college and demographics

II. College Preparation and Life Skills

    1. Life goals and ambitions
    2. A-G courses and graduation requirements
    3. Extra-curricular and community engagement
    4. Mentoring and leadership opportunities
    5. Financial aid, scholarships and internships

III. Health Literacy, Media Literacy and Social Roles

    1. Media representation and media literacy
    2. Race, gender, sexuality and stereotypes
      • Social definitions of masculinity and femininity
      • Homophobia, transphobia and gender non-conformity
    3. Violence prevention and interpersonal relationships
      • Defining sexual harassment and sexual assault
      • STI/STD education & prevention
      • Developing healthy relationships


• Dispute Resolution
• John Anson Ford Awards
• Network Against Hate Crime