Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center

Making a difference for life...Catch the Vision!

aka Former corporate name: Al Wooten Jr. Youth and Adult Cultural Educational Center, DBA: Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.wootencenter.org

Mission

The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center is a neighborhood approach to the revitalization and empowerment of a community in crisis. We provide a safe, nurturing environment committed to good citizenship and academic excellence.

Notes from the nonprofit

Strategic Adaptive Plan in progress for 2022-24 with a team of Wooten staff and board members and coaching from Bridgespan Group, funded by Parsons and Rose Hills foundations

Ruling year info

1991

executive director

Ms. Naomi McSwain

Associate Director

Ms. Christelle Telesford

Main address

9106 S Western Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90047 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center

Al Wooten Jr. Youth and Adult Cultural Educational Center

EIN

95-4295918

NTEE code info

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The United Way Common Good Forecaster states that academic success is a vital part of achieving economic stability and a key factor that keeps youth from being drawn into the kind of behavior that led to the death of Al Wooten. Unfortunately, many schools in our area struggle to help students succeed. At Manhattan Place Elementary School, for instance, only 25% of students in English Language Arts and 24% of students in math met or exceeded state standards in 2016-17. Both rank below the 40% and 30% in Los Angeles Unified School District, and 48% and 37% statewide, respectively. The Wooten Center is located in Gramercy Park where some 15% of residents 25 and older have a four-year degree or higher. Gramercy Park has the sixth highest rate of violent crime in Los Angeles. Neighboring Westmont has had the highest since 2000. We've seen it first hand at the center with stray bullets striking our building on two occasions in recent years.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

CollegeTrek Afterschool Program

College preparation should not wait for high school. CollegeTrek starts at grade 3 in preparing students to adopt the skills needed to complete their journey to higher education. Our reading, writing, math and science labs and our poetry, world languages, field trips, sports and other activities are based on the A-G requirements needed at many institutions for high school graduation and college enrollment.

Instruction is also based on California state content standards for grade level achievement. Students are encouraged to perform above grade level and to explore advanced studies in science and other disciplines.

Academic instruction comprises the majority of our activities, with a minimum three hours of homework and tutoring available daily from 2-5pm, followed by sports and recreation from 5-6pm. Students receive quarterly assessments, monthly monitoring and daily tutoring (Mon-Fri, 2-6pm) in language arts and math. We use the same i-Ready.com tool that LA Unified School District uses for adaptive (online tutoring adjusts based on needs) and blended learning (more than one method—online and small study groups up to five students). Based on the Common Core, i-Ready provides study plans to guide individual online instruction and assigns the groups based on test results.

In addition, all students in grades 3-12 complete a College Plan outlining their plans for higher education. College Days are held on the first Friday to introduce our kids to college life and career choices. Plans are underway to expand our CollegeTrack program to be held at the center for students starting at grade 9.

All afterschool teachers are either college graduates or students. Interns from schools including USC, Pepperdine and Los Angeles Community College also volunteer to provide additional support and mentors for our students.

Other services include transportation, which is available from several public school campuses in South Los Angeles and Inglewood. Students engage in financial literacy through the Wooten Bank, which teaches how to save and write checks using their Wooten Dollars earned for participation in class

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

MyCollegeTrek activities are for teens only. They include SAT-prep workshops, college tours and scholarships, teen helper internships. Teen Job Shop. Teen Talk discussion group, and more.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth

Summer Fun Camp is a 6-week, full-day program providing academic enrichment and recreational activities for some 60 students in grades 3-9. High school students serve as volunteer or paid teen helpers.

Summer Fun Camp has a central STEM theme. 2018 featured "Zoology: Animals in the Sky, On the Ground, Under the Sea."

Students watched Animal Planet's "The Vet Life" and had weekly guest animals and mentors, and field trips to museums, zoos and aquariums. They engaged in performing and visual arts and took weekly swim lessons at Ketchum YMCA.

Students worked with architectural firm owner and interior designer Rick Shlemmer, principal at SAA interiors and architecture, in creating a design concept for our planned building renovation.

Summer STEM themes in previous years included coding, robotics, computer animation and aerospace engineering.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Awards

Presidential Citizens Award, our nation's second highest civilian honor presented to our founder, Myrtle Faye Rumph 2010

President Barack Obama/White House

Service Enterprise Certification 2014

Points of Light Foundation

United Way of Greater Los Angeles Power of Her Award -- executive director Naomi McSwain 2018

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Catalyst Award (1 of 3 finalists) -- board chair Paul Wetmore 2018

Invest in Others Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

California School-Age Consortium 2018

Southern California College Access Network 2018

Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color Alum 2018

Grantmanship Center's Project Grantmanship (alum) 2018

LA County Public Health Trauma Prevention Initiative -- Community Action for Peace committee member 2018

Community Response System of South Los Angeles 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students showing improvement in test scores

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Children and youth

Related Program

CollegeTrek Afterschool Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are % of students who increased their math scores. Our outcome is 80%. 2019-20 is 0 because we could not take post-tests after going online. 2020-21 numbers will be ready in June '21.

Number of donations made by board members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our board members give or get annually, particularly as sponsors for our annual awards dinner and golf tournament.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Enrollment shown is estimated unduplicated students enrolled in our three programs: CollegeTrek Afterschool Program, Summer Fun Camp, MyCollegeTrek for teens only

Number of students receiving homework help

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

CollegeTrek Afterschool Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers shown are the % of students enrolled in our afterschool program who completed homework or studies daily. Our outcome is 80%.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals are to help students achieve grade-level proficiency and promotion, high school graduation, and college access and success. Our objectives include:

1. Provide homework assistance and tutoring to help students achieve all goals

2. Promote college access and success through tutoring, SAT-prep, mentors, internships, extracurricular activities, field trips, college advisement, tours and scholarships, and project-based labs promoting the four college readiness skills: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creative expression

3. Expose students to the A-G requirements through college plans, College and Career Day, and STEM, performing and visual arts and other college-prep activities

4. Provide life skills and leadership development through discussion groups, community service, civic engagement, sports and recreation, and cooking and other classes

5. Promote socio-emotional development through behavior intervention, and youth and family counseling

At their 2018 retreat, our board of directors identified the following six strategies for success:

1. Licensing/E Occupancy: Renovate our buildings to obtain an E occupancy and child care center license for quality facilities and standards.

2. Human Capital: Increase staff and volunteer development and pursue partnerships to improve program quality and defray costs.

3. Financial Position: Establish a brokerage account, endowment and other long-term solutions.

4. Program Effectiveness: Explore new and innovative options for homework completion, assessment score increases, school promotion and graduation, SAT-prep and college enrollment.

5. 5. Personal Safety: Build relationships with first responders and other civic and community agencies, install cameras and other physical security, conduct first aid and CPR training.

6. Risk Management: Establish a disaster plan, including readiness to serve as a temporary relief site.

The Wooten Center has 17 board members -- more than half financial advisors, corporate executives or college professors providing fiscal oversight, financial gifts and/or program support.

Our board chair Paul Wetmore is managing director of investments at Merrill Lynch. He has a BA in psychology from Dartmouth and a Certified Investment Management Analyst certification from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. Invest in Others selected Paul as 1 of 3 finalists for their 2018 Catalyst Award for financial advisors involved in community service.

Naomi McSwain was executive director our first 4 years, returning in 2010 after working as a reporter wanting to provide solutions for gang violence. She has a BA in journalism/marketing from CSUN and an MA in intercultural studies/children at risk from Fuller Seminary. United Way of Greater LA selected Naomi as recipient of their first Power of Her Award in 2018. She is one of 7 staff members, all of whom are college students or graduates.

See numbers in parentheses for our outcomes results for 2016-17:

1. 80% of students will complete homework and/or studies by June (82%)

2. 80% of students tested will increase their scores in math (80%) and reading (84%) by June

3. 10% of students will attain grade level proficiency in math (15%) and reading (7%) by June

4. 80% of onsite students will be promoted to their next grade level and/or graduate high school by June (100%, 21 youth)

5. 80% of onsite high school seniors will enroll in college by June (100%, 3 youth)

6. 80% of SAT workshop participants surveyed will be satisfied (101) or very satisfied (106) with the instruction (95%)

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We were holding a weekly Family Meeting at 3pm in our Fall 2020 virtual afterschool program. The meeting is held to discuss our activities, including obtaining feedback and involvement from our youth and parents. At our spring Family Orientation held in January 2021, we asked for feedback on our Fall 2020 activities. Several parents informed us that they wanted to attend but could not because it was during working hours. Parents agreed that 6pm would be a good time for most to attend. We changed the meeting time to 6pm.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Challenging getting 100% participation,

Financials

Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center

Board of directors
as of 11/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Paul Wetmore

Merrill Lynch

John Lapham

PineBridge Investments

Frank Denkins

Office Furniture LA (ret.)

Christopher "Kit" Jennings

Liquid Venture Partners

Scott Miller, Ph.D.

University of Tampa

Paul Wetmore

Merrill Lynch

Connie James, Ph.D.

Pepperdine University

Leighton Carter

Biashara, Inc.

Brian Condon

Arnold & Porter LLP

Keith Parker

UCLA Government & Community Relations (ret.)

Camille Richardson

Kinecta Federal Credit Union

Dashan Nettles

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Laurie Inman, Ed.D.

CSU Dominguez Hills

Kathy Talley-Jones

independent writer and planner

Brett Roberts

Parking/Traffic Commissioner-City of Inglewood; Metro Community Relations

Robert Clark

FBI (ret.)

Michael Jones

Success Management

Amy Johnson

Pepperdine University

Leslie Fishburn

HKS Architects

Dean Baim, Ph.D.

Pepperdine University

Saeri Dobson, Ed.D.

Loyola Marymount University

Lotte de Silva

Trojan League of South Bay, USC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data