RTS Annual Report

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

2020 Impact Report


THIS YEAR, WE ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE Since Ready to Succeed began in 2016, we’ve helped unlock the potential of 111 former foster youth in Southern California. With a fantastic team and the support of an incredible group of partners, we’ve steadily grown our services to reach a greater number of ambitious college students each year. We entered 2020 with big plans and expectations. COVID-19 changed everything. As an organization, we faced the challenge of an overnight shift to remote work and a consistent undercurrent of uncertainty. Our Scholars’ challenges were even more dramatic as campuses shut down, jobs were lost, and visions of their bright futures were replaced with thoughts about daily survival. As our Scholars required more support, we met them where they were. But we didn’t stop there. We doubled down on our commitment to serve them in the best – not just the quickest or easiest – ways. During the difficult months following the onset of the pandemic, we did more than adapt our approach – we grew. We have entered 2021 with the largest enrolled cohort of Scholars in our organization’s five-year history; we are partnered with a record number of colleges; and we are armed with a robust virtual programming infrastructure to sustain this growth. Surviving and thriving during these challenging times was made possible by the adaptability and resourcefulness of our staff, partners and foundations who provided essential funding, and the effective coordination of resources and services with others in the nonprofit community. Thank you to those who’ve so generously supported our work. Your partnerships and investments continue to strengthen us both in times of crisis and of opportunity. This year has shown us just how resilient we – and our entire community of Scholars – really are. Sincerely,

Romi Lassally & Pat McCabe Founders & Executive Directors

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THRIVING AND PROVIDING CRITICAL SUPPORT IN A CRISIS 6 RTS Scholars in Crisis 7 Program Pivot 8 Growing Key Partnerships

10 RTS By The Numbers 11 Alumni Collective 12 Internship Pipelines 13 Collaborative Projects 14 Financial Summary 15 Our Team 16 Our Supporters 17 Looking Ahead

TABLE OF CONTENTS

2020: YEAR IN REVIEW


THE RTS SOLUTION

2020 IMPACT REPORT

OUR MISSION is to support and empower youth impacted by foster care with the resources, relationships, and opportunities they need to launch careers and lead meaningful lives. Our work is guided by several core principles: • We unlock potential: We believe that every young person, regardless of circumstance, has tremendous potential that can be realized with the right support. • We believe in the power of networks: We believe that relationships are everything, and that no one gets ahead without the guidance and supportive individuals. We build skills and provide tools, but we are unique in prioritizing social capital as a central tenant in our programming. • We are student-centered: We strive to constantly integrate the voices, experiences, and perspectives of the young people we serve into the design and development of our programming.

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

THRIVING AND PROVIDING CRITICAL SUPPORT DURING A CRISIS A review of the immediate and long-term changes we made to help Scholars and remain sustainable during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

RTS Scholars in Crisis During the pandemic, campuses shut down and many of our Scholars experienced job loss, eviction and housing insecurity, loss of access to campus resources, inadequate Wi-Fi and tech resources for online learning, and significant mental health challenges exacerbated by social isolation and uncertainty.

Our Immediate Response We distributed $21,000 in “RTS stimulus” checks ($250-$500 each) to provide Scholars with immediate cash relief to basic needs and emergency supplies.

We ramped up our accessibility and frequency of communications and mental health support for Scholars through virtual and phone check-ins.

We raised $160,000 in the first 30 days from our supporters to support these critical efforts.

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RTS SCHOLAR

Reeves, USC '23 RTS hand delivered Thanksgiving dinner to RTS Scholar Reeves. Reeves is truly incredible as he spent his senior year of high school homeless before being offered a full scholarship to USC. Although he is alone in his dorm building, he remains positive and hopeful because he feels supported and cared for. We also just provided Reeves with a computer so he could do his editing work for his film classes - something he would normally go to the computer lab for (but all school buildings are closed!)


2020 IMPACT REPORT

Program Pivot We transitioned to 100% virtual programming, developing a structured 8-month curriculum that guides Scholars through monthly workshops on our core career development principles complimented by 1:1 coaching and guidance from RTS staff. (detailed program outline in appendix). We launched a condensed version of our traditional Career Accelerator to extend our reach to additional recent graduates preparing to enter the workforce during the pandemic. This program pathway - Career Navigator - provides up to 5 hours of 1:1 advising, plus internship + job referrals. We are now expanding this program to serve as a light-touch platform to introduce college freshmen to our program.

The pandemic forced me to return from my Study Abroad semester and I was unsure of how I was going to find a job or internship once I returned. Luckily, with the help of RTS I was connected to a paid opportunity at the Santa Monica College Foundation. There, I developed my skills in grant writing, donor research, and remote work while earning much needed income to cover my expenses. This experience also enabled me to be hired as an intern for the Pritzker Family Foundation. This would never have happened without this Service Fellowship experience.” Alex, UCLA READY TO SUCCEED | 7


2020 IMPACT REPORT

Growing Key Partnerships During the crisis, we saw our commitment to our Scholars paralleled by other service partners in the field. As we shared ideas, solutions, and advice, we strengthened the coordination of resources and services and found opportunities to work together.

Professionals We added 35 volunteers to our ever-growing network of professionals who serve as mentors, industry experts, network advocates, and opportunity creators for our Scholars. In 2016, our co-founders began growing this community by tapping their own professional networks – today, our Scholars have access to over 300+ professionals.

Schools We doubled our number of campus partners, adding eight and bringing our total to 13, including: University of California campuses: Los Angeles, Berkley, Riverside, Merced, San Diego, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Cal State campuses: Long Beach, Fullerton, Northridge University of Southern California, Mount St. Mary’s, Cerritos College, Mount St. Antonio, Rio Hondo Community College, and Santa Monica College

Companies We added 18 companies to our roster of employers (now totally 42) who provide internships, job shadowing, mock interviews, mentorship, and paid positions to our Scholars. These include Snap Chat, Bank of America, Penske Automotive Management Training, Suntrust, Arixa Capital, Children’s Law Center, The Pritzker Family Foundation, Turner Sports.

Community-based organizations We added 8 new partners, including Stepping Forward LA, Los Angeles Room & Board, First Star, Together We Rise, and JBAY.

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

2020: YEAR IN REVIEW Summary statistics and key organizational developments

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

Ready to Succeed: By the Numbers 18%

23%

Entertainment + Media

6%

Non-profit/Education/ Public Policy

17

Law

90% secured a job or grad school within 6 months of graduation, with a median salary of $50,000

we provided our students with a total of 16,400 hours of personalized career coaching and advising

a record number of 79 students applied to our 2020-2021 cohort (4X last year).

we served 64 Undergraduate Scholars in 2020, the most to date.

we admitted 44 new Scholars (2.5X our usual class size).

we are now operating on 13 college campuses (2X last year).

Graduates 18%

35%

Graduate School

Finance/Business/ Real Estate

We went virtual, converting our program into 8 virtual workshops, allowing us to leverage our existing staff, volunteers, partnerships, and resources to reach even more foster youth than ever before.

A Snapshot of Our RTS Scholars Our services specifically target students attending fouryear colleges and universities in Southern California.

90% of our Scholars have experience with the foster care system; most have aged out without a permanent family to guide them into adulthood 98% of Scholars are breaking barriers as the first in their families to attend college

18% Mixed/Other

35% Latino/a

24% White

23% Black 10 | READY TO SUCCEED

100% of our Scholars face economic hardship and receive assistance from a combination of scholarships, loans, grants, financial aid, partner organizations, and/or RTS’ own fund The average Scholar is 21 years old 70% of Scholars are female.


2020 IMPACT REPORT

We Launched the RTS Alumni Collective Each year, 80% of our program alumni choose to give back by becoming RTS Ambassadors, serving as program reps on their campuses and as near-peer mentors to the next generation of Scholars. Our new Alumni Collective formalizes and builds upon these trends. We have selected 8 RTS alumni working in a variety of industries to spearhead and serve on this official advisory council, which will help guide our strategies for network development, relationship management, and emerging industry opportunities. As we continue growing, we expect to see the compounded effects of our investments in building Scholars’ networks – after we connect them to our network, they secure opportunities, becoming part of this network themselves, and are then able to expand it to others, and so on.

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

We Launched two Industry-Specific Internship Pipelines Arts + Entertainment

Social Service + Nonprofit

The She Ready Internship Program We are honored to be collaborating with Tiffany Haddish’s She Ready Foundation to connect transition-age foster youth with work experiences specifically in the media, arts and entertainment industries.

We piloted the Summer of Service program, which sourced and subsidized internships with 12 Non Profit Partners with limited budgets. Scholars worked 1,000 hours and earned over $22,000 in wages. through a variety of partners, including AltaSea, National Center for Youth Law, The Virtue Project, SMC Foundation, and others.

We will provide 20 students with internship opportunties.

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We plan to continue this program during Spring/Summer 2021 for 20 RTS Scholars.


2020 IMPACT REPORT

We Joined Two Collaborative Projects

Dorm Room Move-In We brought an independent Dorm Room Move in program under the RTS umbrella, and this year we provided 60 foster youth freshmen at UCLA with $20,000 worth of dorm move-in funds and 5,000 worth of grocery gift cards.

The Opportunity House We are providing career exploration guidance and internship experience and funding to 18 formerly foster and/ or homeless college students residing in a supportive housing program near UCLA.

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

2020 IMPACT REPORT

Financial Summary July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020

Compared to the previous year, our budget increased by 20%, reflecting the growth in our programming – additional Scholars served, new program adaptations, enhanced technological capacity, and additional fundraising capabilities.

Support and Revenue Corporate Contributions

$48,000.00

Individual Contributions

$215,602.94

Foundation Grants

$718,666.52

Sales, Investments, & Securities

Revenue by Source 22% Individual Contributions

1% Sales, Investments, & Securities

$12,931.84 5 % Corporate Contributions

TOTAL SUPPORT AND REVENUE

$995,126

$995,126

Expenses Program Expenses

$430,677.77

Administrative

$67,519.65

Professional Services

$40,385.95

Technology/Other

$39,078.26

TOTAL EXPENSES

$577,662

Excess (or deficiency) of revenue over expense: $417,464

Current Assets

72% Foundation Grants

Expenses by Category 7% Technology/Other

11% Administrative

7% Professional Services

$577,662

Cash and Cash Equivalents

$611,454.61

TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS

$611,454.61 75% Program Expenses

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

2020 IMPACT REPORT

Our Team Our team brings relevant experience from previous roles as human resources and recruitment specialists, career coaches, educators, corporate and nonprofit executives, and mental health therapists. Leadership & Staff

Our Board

Romi Lassally Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director

Gina Ibrahim Program Manager/Career Advisor

Patrick McCabe Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director

Sarah Morse Career Success Coordinator

Mayra Portillo Program Coordinator

Mai Breech Wellness Coach

Lucy Cherkasets Director of Career Success

Brenda McDonald Wellness Coach

Fred Bennett Elizabeth Friedman Todd Kessler Alyssa Lanz Thomas Lee Felix Ruano Karen Kehela Sherwood Robbin Steif Tania Suster

Elana Gimbel Director of Development + Communications 15 | READY TO SUCCEED

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

2020 IMPACT REPORT

Our Supporters Major Gift Donors Robbin Steiff Elizabeth and Glen Friedman Brooke Riley Michael Segal Chris and Jennifer Lewis Fred Bennett Tania Suster Todd and Sharon Hall Kessler Nancy Klein Steve and Natalie Taylor Howard Klein Nancy and Pat McCabe Romi and Tom Lassally Nancy Darien Nicole Mutchnik Foundation Partners Angell Foundation The Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Foundation Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Joseph Drown Foundation Len Hill Charitable Foundation Change Reaction Chuck Lorre Foundation Reissa Foundation Aramont Charitable Foundation Edward Ai O Shay Family Foundation Jonny Carson Foundation Annenberg Foundation LA2050 Corporate Sponsors Gallant Capital Partners HBO Stradling, Yocca, Carlson and Rauth

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

Looking Ahead Priorities for the next year Pursue capacity building support to expand staff and other core infrastructure in accordance with recent program growth

Begin strategic planning process to support organization’s next phase of growth

Our vision for the next 3-5 Formalize and identify opportunities to scale our curriculum and model regionally and potentially nationally

Collaborate with university or research organization to conduct a research study, leveraging our own Scholars and networks, to contribute findings on the impact of social capital and career development for former foster youth

Prepare for 3rd party evaluation

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2020 IMPACT REPORT

THANK YOU FOR A GREAT YEAR

Questions? Reach us: info@readytosucceed.org (424) 581-6296 1514 17th Street #205, Santa Monica, CA 90404 18 | READY TO SUCCEED

Follow us: www.readytosucceedla.org readytosucceedla readytosucceedla


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