View Park Preparatory Charter High School (VPP) and Frederick Douglass High School (FD) are two of fifteen schools operated by the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF).

In 2007, VPP sent 100 percent of its graduating class to college, followed by FD in 2009. However, long before these benchmarks were reached, ICEF had garnered a strong reputation in South Los Angeles for providing African-American youth with rich learning opportunities.

What started out as a summer camp and after school program has grown into a network of K-12 institutions serving 4500 kids. A rigorous curriculum emphasizes critical thought, analytical writing and sustained silent reading as the keys to lifelong learning. In neighborhoods marred by poverty, gang activity and dropout rates as high as 50%, ICEF has maintained a record of graduating 95% of its students. Recent financial hardship has meant teacher layoffs and program cuts.

Here’s to hoping that in restructuring this hardworking community doesn’t lose ground.