August 24, 2021


CA Invests Historic $10 Million in funds for Justice System Impacted Students to Access Higher Education!

After many years of advocacy by the Youth Law Center and partners in the juvenile justice and community college systems, California has allocated $10 million on-going to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Rising Scholars Network. These funds will support community college programs that serve justice impacted students, including juvenile justice involved students. In this critical moment in the movement towards equity for juvenile justice impacted students, this first-time $10 million investment marks a historic milestone in our advocacy to improve life outcomes for these resilient young people and bolster community programs that may provide alternatives to incarceration. 

The Rising Scholars Network is a statewide group of California Community Colleges committed to serving system impacted students by providing degree-granting programs in detention facilities and on-campus support. Youth Law Center has partnered with the Rising Scholars network to educate, advocate, and support efforts to include and highlight the unique needs of students with juvenile justice system experience. This partnership has resulted in the inclusion of juvenile justice programs and students in this funding opportunity.

YLC is thrilled to have a sustainable source of funding available for our students and the dedicated programs that support them. Many of the local community college programs who make up the Rising Scholars network have been operating with unstable and/or limited budgets, and sustainable funding will create opportunities for these students and programs to thrive.

For those interested, the Rising Scholars budget inclusion text can be found in SB 129:

To learn more about YLC’s statewide advocacy efforts to improve outcomes for students with juvenile justice involvement, check out our Pathways to Higher Education initiative: