Every quarter, GHJ Foundation (GHJ’s vehicle for proactive giving to the community) goes through a grant cycle to decide what organizations to provide grants to. Employees from GHJ volunteer their time to be part of the process. In its recent grant cycle, the GHJ Grant Committee prioritized organizations impacted by COVID-19 that focused on food insecurity, educational resources and homelessness. GHJ Foundation awarded a total of 15 grants.
GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT: EDBOOST
One grantee selected was Edboost, a nonprofit that provides high-quality education services and scholarships to students and families in need. While a student at UCLA, I spent my afternoons tutoring students at Edboost. I can personally attest to the impact Edboost has on students’ lives, setting them up for long-term academic success.
The GHJ Foundation grant has allowed Edboost to continue to support students through the pandemic. Executive Director and Co-Founder, Dr. Tiffani Chin, expressed how supporting its students was a struggle this past year as an integral part of Edboost’s mission is personal connection. The demand for tutors increased in the virtual learning environment, and fortunately, Edboost was able to shift and offer virtual tutoring services.
BOOSTDESK: EDBOOST’S NEW VIRTUAL INITIATIVE
Edboost recently launched “BoostDesk,” an in-center online-schoolwork assistance program. With a student-teacher ratio of 6:1, BoostDesk students attend Zoom classes onsite at Edboost. BoostDesk is offered Monday through Friday and available to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“We’ve had some parents tell us that their kids are doing better in school doing ‘Zoom School’ at Edboost than during the regular school year – knowing that we can help that much makes all of the work worthwhile,” Chin said.
However, Chin foresees a much more difficult future for students once schools reopen.
“When we get back to the classroom, academic gaps are going to become painfully obvious to students and teachers alike,” Chin said. Because of the pandemic Edboost’s mission is especially important “to prevent those gaps by providing assistance to students now, while the schools are shut down. We are serving a lot of students now, but we anticipate an avalanche of need once the kids go back to school, and the teachers realize how far behind students are.”
EDBOOST PLANS FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING AND OUTREACH
Despite the challenges, Chin remains positive about opportunities to come in 2021 and silver linings of virtual learning.
“We find that there are so many students in LA who have no access to good tutors and materials, and they thrive when they get the opportunity to work individually with really skilled tutors,” Chin explained. “But reaching a student in South LA often requires hours of commute time, which makes it expensive and sometimes nearly impossible to provide tutors for really advanced students who live far away. The possibility of online tutoring really opens up many different opportunities.”
As a small nonprofit, Chin said the GHJ Foundation grant has made a huge impact on the organization.
“We are going to use the funds to cover staff and overhead costs that do not get covered by our scholarship students,” Chin said.
Edboost has used the grant to increase need-based scholarships and raise pay rates for tutors. Chin said the grant has helped Edboost keep their doors open so that they’re still there and ready to help when schools reopen. Regarding the grant and on behalf of Edboost Chin said, “Thank you GHJ!”