Annie E. Casey Foundation

Contact Information

701 Saint Paul St
Baltimore, MD 21202 - 2311
(410) 223-2848
FY 2015 Social Innovation Fund

Executive Summary

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)


OVERVIEW: As the eligible grant making institution applicant, the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) is collaborating with three leading non-profit organizations to apply for an issue-based SIF under the Corporation's Youth Development Issue area to assist "system involved" underserved youth age 14 to 25 that are transitioning to independence from foster care, are involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice system or are homeless. Subrecipients will be competitively selected from at least 40 potential geographies including the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI. AECF's non-profit partners playing key roles in SIF project implementation include the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), Jobs for the Future (JFF), and MDRC. All three organizations will be involved in the selection, support, monitoring and evaluation of subrecipient organizations and their implementation of one or both pre-identified evidence based interventions which include elements of both the Jobs for America's Graduates' (JAG) and Back on Track program models. AECF requests $1.5 million in federal funds for Year 1 of the proposed 5-year project. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is committed to raising the required matching funds from internal and external sources and is making a matching commitment of $750,000 to support the project each of the five years through internal sources.

PROJECT SUMMARY: Through its Learn and Earn for Vulnerable Youth (LEVY) SIF program for youth, AECF and collaborating partners will build evidence on two pre-identified interventions that support "system involved" youth ages 14-25 to connect to post secondary education and employment. For the purposes of this SIF, "system involved" youth include young people who are transitioning out of foster care, are currently involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice system, or are homeless. In many cases, homeless young people have been involved in one or more public systems. AECF will invest in high performing, trusted, financially stable community organizations that understand the specific needs of youth in or leaving public systems and that pursue five core strategies to maximize employment and educational outcomes. AECF and its national partners will select between 9 and 12 subrecipients and will make annual subawards ranging between $100,000 to $200,000 for a period of between 3 and 5 years. Primary LEAP outcomes for youth in or transitioning from public systems include improved rates of school graduation, increased rates for youth entering and persisting in post secondary education, and increased rates for youth securing work experience and/or employment. As a collaboration among a national foundation, with a decades-long focus on youth in public systems, including child welfare and juvenile justice, and three national nonprofits -- CSSP, a leader in developing, promoting, and implementing innovative policy solutions that support low-income families; JFF, a leader in scaling solutions to pressing education and workforce challenges; and MDRC, a national leader in workforce and education evaluation -- the LEVY partnership brings exceptional experience and capacity to support sub-recipient program implementation and growth through replication and expansion.

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