Overview Print E-mail

The goal of the Youth program is to increase the number of low-income young people who complete high school on time and earn a postsecondary credential by age 25.

Far too many young people disengage from education today. The dropout rate is too high. The percent of young people achieving a postsecondary credential is too low. And, for those who have left school, the way back is too hard. Yet California remains rich with assets, including a vibrant economy and a diverse youth population that continues to see itself pursuing a bright future.

Drawing upon these assets, Irvine and a growing field of educators, policymakers, and community partners are determined to give California’s youth the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Through the development and expansion of Linked Learning we are working together to prepare California’s young people for success in college, career and life.

View an interactive infographic that shows research findings about how Linked Learning is working.

Youth Linked Learning interactive infographic

Linked Learning helps young people learn what they love. It combines preparation for real-world professions with rigorous academics, transforming education into a personally relevant, wholly engaging experience — and opening students to career and college opportunities they never imagined.

Research and evaluation shows that students in certified pathways are earning more credits in the first two years of high school, are more likely to be on track to complete the courses they need for college eligibility, and report greater confidence in their life and career skills.

Encouraged by progress to date, we want to make Linked Learning available to the majority of California’s low-income youth, ages 14 to 24, over the next few years. To strengthen this field and advance the adoption and results of Linked Learning, the Youth program employs three grantmaking strategies:

  • Broaden the practice of Linked Learning in systems that serve young people — high school districts, postsecondary institutions and community organizations that engage out-of-school youth
  • Build public will through a broad base of support for Linked Learning
  • Support policy that can fuel expansion of Linked Learning across California

Linked Learning is expanding to 63 school districts and county offices of education through the AB 790 Linked Learning Pilot Program. Together, these districts and county offices of education serve more than 600,000 high school students, about one third of the state’s high school population. Through pilot program implementation in coming years, Linked Learning carries the potential to reach a substantive number of California high school students.

Grant Inquiries

While we accept unsolicited inquiries from grantseekers, we are able to fund very few of them. Learn more about submitting a letter of inquiry. Full proposals are accepted by invitation only.