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Urban Compass

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Primary & Elementary Schools, Youth Development Programs

Mission: We guide youth toward a hopeful future! Urban Compass provides a safe, welcoming, and innovative environment that challenges our youth to envision and navigate a course for a rewarding future characterized by achievement, independent thought, and social responsibility through education, mentoring, and play.

Results: As a result of our weekly targeted reading support, we are extremely proud of our students’ reading progress and improvement. Our assessments revealed the following: 97.9% of students improved their Word Count Per Minute;82.9% of students increased their Word Accuracy Rate, and as a result, 32% of students improved enough to qualify to the next their accuracy reading level! In addition to reading improvement, school attendance rates for Urban Compass students continue to exceed the rates of 112th St. School and LAUSD as a cohort with more students hitting the 96% district attendance target. In addition, a comparison of first and final report cards clearly demonstrates that students always improve from the first report period in core academic areas, work habits, and social skills. Students also demonstrate improvement of at least one grade level (even if not yet proficient). Our goal is always to encourage academic improvement at the end of each school year and increase the percentage of students who earn Proficient (3) and Advanced Proficient (4). The academic grading scale for LAUSD is 1-4. (1= Needs Improvement; 2= Developing; 3= Proficient; 4= Advanced Proficient) Our 2015-16 school year data highlights include: The % of UC students with a 3 (Proficient) or 4 (Advanced Proficient) in Reading improved 22.8%; The % of Students with a 3 or 4 in Math improved 6.3%;The % of Students with a 3 or 4 in Cooperation with Others improved 17.3%; The % of Students with a 3 or 4 in Science improved 21.3%; 70.8% of Students ended the year with a 3 or 4 in Reading; 83.3% of Students ended the year with a 3 or 4 in Science; 93.8% of Students ended the year with a 3 or 4 in P.E.; 97.9% of Students ended the year with a 3 or 4 in Art; 83.3% of Students ended the year with a 3 or 4 in Cooperates Well in Groups; 85.4% of Students ended the year with a 3 or 4 in Appropriate Social Interaction with Peers; From the first to final report period, 31.25% of students improved by at least one grade level in Math; From the first to final report period, 35.42% of students improved by at least one grade level in Reading; From the first to final report period, 31.25% of students improved by at least one grade level in Science; From the first to final report period, 37.50% of students improved by at least one grade level in Homework Completion; From the first to final report period, 39.58% of students improved by at least one grade level in Cooperates Well in Groups; 100% of students advanced to the next grade level and/or celebrated their culmination! High School and College Volunteer Programs: As part of their school service mission, high school students from Verbum Dei High School volunteered 1,494.25 hours of service, homework help, and positive mentorship during the 2015-2016 school year.

Target demographics: elementary youth from Watts and Nickerson Gardens housing developments

Geographic areas served: Watts/South Los Angeles

Programs: Since its inception, Urban Compass manages a personalized program for 50 students from the primary feeder school for Nickerson Gardens housing development families (one of the largest public housing developments in the nation). Throughout the school year, program staff and volunteers escort our 50 students to the adjacent Verbum Dei High School campus, a safe and attractive academic setting where college and high school student mentors serve as successful role models from the community. Focusing on mentorship from local high school and college students, core academic support, and engaging enrichment activities, our after-school and summer programs for elementary students keep them out of gangs and on a path to college and a fulfilling, constructive life. Program components include: Nutrition & Free Snack Program, Academic Tutoring & Homework Help, Arts and Crafts, Music, Sports, Fitness, and Recreation, High School & College Mentoring/Volunteer Program, Social Development, Summer Camp, Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) Activities, Field Trips & Special Events, Student Recognition, Family Engagement & Support, and Middle School Transition

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Harrison H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Urban Compass for over three years now, and from my personal experience I can say it is truly an amazing organization! The staff is extremely professional, and most importantly, they know exactly what the community needs and pour their hearts into their work and lives of the kids. Urban Compass provides quality services that work closely with specific families to ensure their children have the opportunity to excel through academic accomplishments. Over the three years that I have been volunteering at Urban, I have seen tremendous growth in both the program and the kids themselves. I think the work that they are doing is extremely important, and it definitely has a positive effect on the Watts Community and the individual lives of these kids.

Branden D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Whoa! This program is seriously important and integral to their community. The benefits that they provide to the students they educate and help to grow daily are incomprehensible without seeing it for yourself. Urban compass takes these students that need help and molds them through special programs, trips, and education. It's amazing to come every week and see the growth of each student and realize how much Urban help she them realize their full potential. Thanks Urban Compass for being part of our community!

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of interviewing several Urban Compass students about their connection with nature. Because Urban Compass is located in the heart of gang activity in Watts, I assumed these children would not have much interest in nature. I was amazed to find that these children, who have it so tough, still have their hearts open. Several of them were able to describe truly contemplative and peaceful moments in nature. Urban Compass is largely responsible for this connection because they have taken kids out of the city on surfing and whale watching field trips. Those experiences were mentioned by most of them. Urban Compass also organized a planetarium trip and afterward two of the girls' mothers spread blankets for them in their backyards and they recounted joy in looking up at the stars. Urban Compass is doing a tremendous job helping these kids stay open to possibility. It is an organization that is effectively keeping the futures of these inner city children as bright as their spirits.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Compass serves the children, families and community of Watts in Los Angeles, and it has been amazing to see the positive impact the organization has had there. The structured curriculum teaches the children how to study and the after-school events give them a view of life outside of Watts. Theresa & DeAnthony have forged mutually beneficial partnerships with local schools, other non-profits, and community groups.

14

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the good fortune of watching Urban Compass grow from a simple desire to help a community to a full-functioning program that guides children from Kindergarten through college. DeAnthony and Theresa run a program that provides hope in a place where hope is a scarce commodity. The model they continue to perfect will be an important template for other communities in search of a partnership-based structure that gives kids a chance to set goals and achieve them.

14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My job has introduced me to many fascinating people. People with vision. Folks who truly want to bring forth change. Theresa Gartland is one of them.I looked at Theresa, she seemed to have more in common with suburbia than the inner city. I asked her why. She replied “I want to help”…straight and to the point. Her dream is to help others achieve their dreams.Urban Compass dream of giving kids a good environment for after school activities is not only noble, its smart. Especially given that these kids are surrounded by some of the most notorious gangs in L.A.!

14 mrsv2002

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been lucky enough to meet the children of Urban Compass that participate in the after-school program - playing games, participating in artwork. Their enthusiasm and appreciation for the program is so evident. One leaves feeling lucky to have spent time with them. I feel honored to volunteer my time to support an organization that provides a safe, supportive and educuational environment for these amazing children of Watts, Los Angeles!