The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Wins a Prestigious $700k Grant from the James Irvine Foundation

 In Creative Placemaking, Diamond Neighborhoods, Education, Grants, Inspire Careers


Creating lasting, generational progress in a community that has been historically underserved is no easy feat. You need partners who believe in the work you are doing to help achieve those goals, and will allow you to push through various barriers to change lives.

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is pleased to announce that the James Irvine Foundation has selected our organization for a $700,000 investment. We couldn’t be more excited and grateful to the Irvine Foundation, who joins the Legler Benbough Foundation and the City of San Diego in partnering with us to develop creative careers training and pathways that will prepare at-risk youth in our community for sustainable employment.


Our Inspire Careers Youth Program, provides job skills training, paid work experience, job placement, as well as support services for low-income, disconnected youth that have faced setbacks like incarceration, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and growing up in foster care. Through this program we are preparing these Opportunity Youth for careers in creative technologies such as, graphic design, web design, and multi-media through an “earn-to-learn” model. Careers in these creative fields are booming and expected to grow substantially over the next several years. Our aim is to equip youth with in-demand skills that prepare them for not only living wage jobs, but also multiple career pathways.

Our Inspire Youth Careers program will enhance participants’ earning potential and provide them with meaningful community employment experiences. System level work with key partners, including industry partners, will allow us to develop clearer paths to high wage, high demand jobs, while contributing to the Jacobs Center’s ability to fulfill our mission to strengthen education-to-career pathways, stimulate the local economy, and create a vibrant and thriving community.

This investment by The James Irvine Foundation will enable us to expand this work. We look forward to sharing with you what we learn along the way.


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