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The Stuart Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to improving life outcomes for young people through education. 

For 35 years, we have contributed to the conditions in which all children can develop into successful and contributing adults. We do our work in California and Washington State.

The Latest

  • Listening to Student Voices

     

    UCLA Community School students in alphabetical order: Gustavo Aguilar, Alex Alejo, Guadalupe Laureano Carranza, Jamie-Lynn Juco, Nareli Juquilita Lopez and Adriana Rios-Cruz

     

    Sometimes we just need to listen.

    “In a year that many have considered lost, we have learned much.”

    It’s the opener of a must-read EdSource commentary by six high school students from the UCLA Community School, which serves 99% students of color in Los Angeles communities hit hard by COVID-19. The students aren’t speaking of learning loss, but of capacity, perspective and empathy gained. Their experience of school stands in stark contrast to that of many students of color, English learners, youth in foster care and others who have been impacted by the pandemic in deeply inequitable ways. These students’ good fortune was to attend the kind of high school we need more of in California. Their principal, Dr. Leyda Garcia, encouraged them to take ownership of their pandemic learning environment, to make meaning of it, and to assume responsibility for improving it. The resulting project, in partnership with the UCLA Center for Community Schooling, a Stuart Foundation grantee, put them at the helm of real-time research, brought improvements to teaching and learning at their school, and built invaluable trust with their teachers and classmates. Learn more here about Dr. Garcia’s efforts to redesign and reimagine school with equity at the center.

    It wasn’t lost on me that this commentary appeared on the same day Governor Newsom unveiled his strong support for community schools statewide, building on recent federal proposals for greater investment in community schools nationally. The students are telling us why their school experience, and others like it, should be less the exception and more the rule:  “We have learned that our voices matter and that we have the power to gather information, communicate it and make things better — for us and the entire school. These are lessons that will stay with us for life.”

    As the Stuart Foundation works to support partners who powerfully express our shared vision for all schools to serve as communities in which students are seen, valued and have the agency and support they need — these students put a song in my heart.

     

    In solidarity,

    Sophie Fanelli
    President

Our Purpose

Improving life outcomes for young people through education.

Our Vision

We believe all children can succeed in school and in life if they have opportunity and support. To make this aspiration real, we must navigate away from narrow definitions of achievement toward an approach that supports a well-rounded education for all children, especially those who are furthest from opportunity. This kind of learning is found within schools and systems that are intentionally designed to deliver it and where students are seen and valued, and have the agency and support needed to succeed.

Our Desired Future

We envision schools and school systems with both the people and the means to break stubborn historical links between race, class and academic achievement. These schools accomplish the most important work there is: helping every child thrive, regardless of neighborhood or circumstance.