Education

Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men (BLOOM)

True vision sees not what you are, but what you can be.

At a time when a bachelor’s degree leads to a $1 million increase in lifetime earnings, only four in 10 young Black men graduate from a four-year college. And though they’re only 8 percent of all young people living in L.A., Black youth make up nearly 33 percent of those on probation—four times their population. Once in the system, it’s hard to get out, with more than 80 percent facing re-arrest within three years. 

With access to educational opportunities, caring mentors and positive options, there’s no limit on what these young men can achieve. And when they succeed, all Angelenos benefit. 

In 2012, CCF launched BLOOM (Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men) to help young Black men who are or are at risk of becoming involved the juvenile justice system onto positive paths towards success. By combining mentorship, character development and specially-tailored programming BLOOM helps young men succeed in high school, higher education, and life.

Though the initiative has experienced challenges, our partners Brotherhood Crusade and the Social Justice Learning Institute have worked hard, taken smart risks and committed themselves to learning along the way. The result is a powerful new model for expanding opportunities for young people who face steep and entrenched barriers.

Since 2012, hundreds of young men have transformed their futures through the program, which has been recognized by the White House as a promising model to be replicated nationally. To date, BLOOM maintains a 90 percent high school graduation or GED attainment, in comparison to Los Angeles County’s 75.1% graduation rate for Black males.

Key Outcomes

  • BLOOM program is currently in 49 school sites
  • 90%+ graduation rate
  • BLOOM now serves Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley, Metro, West, South, and South Bay regions of L.A. County
  • 52 college graduates
  • 66 post-secondary enrolled
    BLOOMers as of Fall 2022
  • BLOOMers attend 51 colleges/universities nationwide

The California Community Foundation (CCF) expresses deep gratitude to our funders, donors, and advisors for their guidance, encouragement, and feedback on this initiative. Together, we’ve dreamed big and acted boldly to improve the lives of our youth and our community.

See BLOOM Programs on NBC’s Give

Current & Past Advisory Committee Members

Towalame AustinVincent JonesDr. Terrence Roberts
Carl A. BalltonMontae LangstonVirgil Roberts
Carol BiondiMark LorangerDr. Hershel Swinger
David CrippensCourtney LyderTrayvon Walker
Dr. Winston DobyOlivia MitchellKarim Webb
Zaid GayleYusef OmowaleReggie Webb
Alan-Michael GravesDr. Manuel PastorAmelia Williamson
Marqueece Harris-DawsonDr. Renford ReeseZakeer Willis
Dr. Tyrone HowardAlberto Retana 

Funding Partners

Annenberg Foundation 

Erika J. Glazer 

Ballmer Group 

California Wellness Foundation 

The Hanley Foundation 

Los Angeles County Department of Youth Development 

The Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation 

Patricia Neuwirth 

Citi Foundation – Community Progress Makers 

Union Bank Foundation 

Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation 

Weingart Foundation 

BLOOM Staff 

Nike Irvin 

Kristina McGee 

Tammy Johnson 

Alvertha Penny 

Kelly King 

Jai Phillips 

Robert Lewis 

LaWayne Williams 

The work of BLOOM and its partners is being carried on by the BLOOM Alliance. To support their work and help create positive futures for young Black men in South Los Angeles, click the donate button above.