Oscar Menjivar, founder and executive director of Teens Exploring Technology (TXT) is one of six California nonprofit leaders to receive the prestigious James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for 2018. TXT, a project of Community Partners’ since 2010, is a technology and leadership program for young boys of color in South Central Los Angeles, the community where Menjivar grew up. Dire statistics about Los Angeles Unified School District -- more than 80 percent of dropouts are Black and Latino boys -- along with the tech industry’s severe lack of racial diversity inspired Menjivar to cultivate a space in his hometown where young men of color could feel safe, encouraged and nurtured as they receive STEM education, leadership development and career guidance. Currently, every student who participates in TXT graduates from high school.
The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize Californians who are advancing innovative solutions to critical issues facing our state. The Foundation provides each recipient’s organization with a grant of $200,000 to support his or her work benefiting the people of California and helps recipients share their approaches with policymakers and practitioners. Approximately 500 nonprofits applied for The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.