How it Works

1. Operation Progress – Pathway to Success

Operation Progress creates a pathway to success that begins in elementary school and continues through college and beyond. Hundreds of the Los Angeles Watts neighborhood youth will be eligible to apply for Operation Progress and to join this ecosystem of opportunity.

  • For the 2015-2016 school year, students currently in 2nd and 3rd are eligible to apply to the Operation Progress program.
  • OP will accept roughly 20-25 scholars per year through a competitive process.
  • Scholars and their parents sign pledges to abide by the program’s standards.
  • Parents are required to participate in parenting courses and other activities.
  • Depending on age and gender, scholars will be placed at or matriculate to an anchor school.

    – Elementary School – St. Lawrence of Brindisi School.

    – High School – Verbum Dei (Boys) or St. Mary’s Academy (Girls).

  • OP and Strive provide after-school/weekend mentoring and tutoring support.
  • 5th-7th grade scholars can apply to HYPE to attend an elite LA private school.
  • All OP high school scholars are eligible for South Central Scholars program.
  • An advisory board of all partners meets regularly to track student progress, determine the best placements, work with families, and ensure success.
  • In addition to funding OP, the Caruso Family Foundation is providing grants to each ecosystem partner to further their mission for all the students they serve.

2. College Success Today

Because of the immediate need of current Watts-area high school students, the Caruso Family Foundation is sponsoring 15 new college-bound scholars each year from public and private high schools in the Watts community. By 2018, dozens of scholars will be attending college through this program via South Central Scholars, either through the OP ecosystem or as individual applicants. These scholars will:

  • Participate in the USC Summer Academy’s intensive college prep program.
  • Receive a $2,500 per year ($10K total) bridge scholarship to fill unmet needs.
  • Have access to academic and financial aid from admissions to graduation.
  • Receive assistance with internships, job placement and career development.

New Student Cohort Criteria for Acceptance

  • Current 2nd or 3rd graders (Entering 3rd or 4th grade in the coming school year)
  • Qualifies for free or reduced lunch.
  • B average, or 3.0 GPA.
  • Proficient or Advanced on current CST scores (3rd grade).
  • Current Teacher Recommendation.
  • Strong Parental Involvement.
Note: Priority is given to students recommended by LAPD Officer and/or partnering organization such as Strive, St. Lawrence of Brindisi School, St. Mary’s Academy, and Verbum Dei High School.

Current Students

Students currently in the program will be readmitted after they have been evaluated and found to have met all the expectations for the year. Students who do not meet the expectations will be asked to leave the program.

OP Parent Expectations

  • Support LAPD mentoring program.
  • Support student in the Ten Pillars of Success Program.
  • Attend monthly check-ins with Operation Progress staff.
  • Provide information including grades, test scores, behavior, and attendance.
  • Attend parenting classes provided by Operation Progress.
  • Adhere to all school requirements, such as parent meetings, fundraising, school events, and service hours.
  • Commit to five hours of chaperoning extracurricular activities.
  • Contribute to student’s tuition and/or uniform costs.
  • Sign Parent Contract.

OP Student Expectations

  • Academics

    Maintain a 3.0 grade point average or above.

    Complete homework daily.

    Study for tests.

    Attend mandatory after school tutoring.

    Actively participate in daily classes.

  • Attendance

    No unexcused absences.

  • Behavior

    Respect for teachers and peers.

    No more than two mild or serious infractions.

  • Development

    Set goals with OP staff every semester.

    Participate in the Ten Pillars of Success Program.


Applications for the 2015-2016 school year will be available for the OP program on Monday, January 5th, 2015.

January 5th – February 27th Open application

February 27th Application due

March OP staff and board selection process

April New students accepted

May Parent and student meeting

June Summer school

August School starts

Note: New students will attend St. Lawrence of Brindisi School, St. Mary’s Academy or Verbum Dei High School and are expected to attend summer school.
Operation Progress measures its success with both quantitative and qualitative methods. A database (Salesforce) will be created to track student demographics, attendance, completion of homework, academic progress, behavior progress and activities. Students are placed into a cohort according to the year they enter the program and are tracked through college.

Application Process

1- Application
Please submit your application packet to Theresa Gartland, Executive Director.
Please make sure it contains all the completed forms.

The application packet contains:

  • Application
  • Teacher recommendation
  • A copy of student’s most recent report card
  • Parent Contract
  • Student Contract

2- Selection
Selection committees will assess the applications in March. Final candidates and their parents(s) will be called in for an interview at the end of March.

3- Decision
Final candidates will be informed of the final decisions during the first or second week of April, via phone and/or email.

Please contact Operation Progress at: or 323-384-3847 if you have any questions or concerns about the application process.

All application packets must be turned in here:

Operation Progress Office
Attention Theresa Gartland
10221 Compton Ave. Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA 90002

Applications that are not completed will not be accepted, NO EXCEPTIONS.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year. Please check back in the fall when we release applications for 2015-2016. Thanks!