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By Social Justice Learning Institute, 05/17/2022

How the Urban Scholars Program Impacts Youth of Color

We are so proud to share how we have significantly increased our community impact.

Our Urban Scholars program has now grown to serve over 2,000 scholars since 2008.

Whether you’ve been with our community for some time or are just gaining knowledge of our mission, get ready to learn, grow, and change.

Here is a look at our flagship program—from our beginnings and how Urban Scholars works, to our impact numbers and what students are saying.

The Urban Scholars Program

At the Social Justice Learning Institute, we are dedicated to improving the education, health, and well-being of youth of color by empowering them to take hold of their educational future using research as a tool for community and social change.

We train students to conduct research on problems in their community using a rigorous yearlong curriculum while also focusing on increasing academic achievement, graduating high school, and transitioning to a college and career pathway.

By the time SJLI’s youth complete this credit-bearing program, participants not only gain tools for academic success but also grow into leaders by engaging in community-based action research training and skills building.

Where We Started & Where We’re At

The Urban Scholars program started as the Black Male Youth Academy in 2008 at Morningside High School in Inglewood, CA with 15 students and a vision to transform the lives of young men of color by empowering them through education.

Urban Scholars now serves 450 students annually at 27 school sites in seven school districts in two states (California and Texas).

How Urban Scholars Works

Using education as a tool, we empower youth of color by providing culturally relevant curriculum and academic support through a social justice lens so they can discover their best talents and apply them to help improve the world they live within.

By tapping into 4 key areas, our scholars learn to build knowledge of self for personal transformation, develop social awareness of the world around them, and achieve academic success.

Our Impact Numbers

Urban Scholars is changing the life trajectories of young men of color from the communities of Inglewood, Lennox, Compton, San Gabriel Valley, Palmdale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Santa Monica, South Los Angeles and Houston, TX.

Here is a look at our impact in numbers.

What Students Are Saying

In our second decade of changing the lives of youth of color, we bring you testimonials from our last cohort of Urban Scholars—the graduating class of 2021, whom we celebrated with a culmination ceremony at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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