1995: Los Angeles Community Development Department
In 1995, Overcoming Obstacles received a grant from the Community Development Department in Los Angeles to improve the lives of the city’s youth through life skills education. Study of the program’s effectiveness included parent interviews and examinations of 266 students’ school attendance records, discipline records, grades, police records, and pre- and post-program surveys. Monitoring by the city consistently showed Overcoming Obstacles students moving from high-risk stages classified as “in crisis” and “at risk” to more self-sufficient stages such as “stable,” “safe,” and “thriving.” Overcoming Obstacles students at Manual Arts High School improved their grade point averages by 37%, reduced their use of violence by 75%, reduced their tardiness by 89%, and improved their school and family relationships. Of the programs administered through the grant, Overcoming Obstacles was ranked the highest.