Project SOAR is a dynamic cross-sector public-private partnership between SoCal CAN and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) that provides free college and career advising and support to residents in public housing. Since 2017, Project SOAR has worked diligently to address the gap in postsecondary support for public housing residents and increase the rate of college enrollment and graduation for public housing residents.
Project SOAR is a place-based program embedded within the public housing sites so we can reach residents where they live. In order to eliminate as many barriers to access as possible, Project SOAR does not have minimum GPA or attendance requirements in order to qualify for services. HACLA residents can access SOAR counselors at any point in their academic journey, regardless of age, education level, or citizenship status. The program prides itself on being able to meet residents at any point along their postsecondary path. This means that in addition to focused worked with 9-12th graders, SOAR also provides 1:1 academic, college and career advising for current community college and future transfer students, and adult residents interested in postsecondary pathways, vocational training, GED/HS Diploma completion, or certificate programs.
Currently, Project SOAR provides in-person programming at seven HACLA housing sites: Ramona Gardens, William Mead Homes, Nickerson Gardens, and Avalon Gardens, Gonzaque Village, Pico Gardens and Estrada Courts. For more detailed information about Project SOAR and how to connect with the SOAR team or become a Project SOAR participant, please visit the Project SOAR Website!
Project SOAR Supports
COLLEGE ACCESS Project SOAR participants receive support with academic planning, college fit and match selection, college application & enrollment support, financial aid completion, and scholarship assistance. College access at Project SOAR encompasses any form of postsecondary education, including 2-year college, and vocational or certificate programs to increase job opportunities for public housing residents.
COLLEGE SUCCESS Once enrolled in a postsecondary program, Project SOAR participants receive support in matriculation, academic planning, financial aid application renewals, finding paid internships, fellowships, and career advising tools. SOAR participants receive continued support and services throughout their postsecondary journey regardless of academic GPA, progress, or enrollment status.
Project SOAR understands the importance of engaging the entire family in the college-going process. Throughout the year, Project SOAR provides parents and caring adults with 1:1 advisement and workshops to demystify the college-going process, financial aid and funding options for college, and facilitates parent-to-parent conversations about how to best support their scholars.