In March 2012, along with Dr. Todd Franke, the California Community Foundation provided us with a grant to evaluate the impact of the BLOOM initiative. BLOOM is designed to redirect Black male youth aged 14-18 involved with the Los Angeles County probation system toward a path that produces improved education and employment opportunities. We have been deeply engaged in this ongoing evaluation which has yielded important information about the life trajectories of these young men.
Our mixed methods research is being used in a five-year analysis of non-profit partners engaged in establishing programs and increasing opportunities for these youth at the individual, community and policy levels. The evaluation is also designed to examine the impact of BLOOM’s key strategy components: community organizing (policy advocacy), re-shaping public perception (strategic messaging), career-based mentoring (direct services), and strengthening organizational capacity (capacity building).