HOLA on YouTube

  • Building a Healthier Community
  • Alum Returns to HOLA as Scholar in Residence
  • Staff Spotlight: Mark Tyson Rocks
  • High School Photography Workshop Exhibits at LACMA
  • National Endowment for the Arts Awards HOLA Grant for 2016
  • College Road Trip Motivates High School Seniors
  • Toy Drive 2015: Making Wishes Come True!

Building a Healthier Community

In neighborhoods often overrun by poverty, crime and a feeling of hopelessness, Heart of Los Angeles invests in youth to build stronger and healthier communities. Heart of Los Angeles gives some of the city’s most vulnerable youth a chance to succeed in life. From what started with just a handful of kids in an old gym, 25 years later Heart of Los Angeles now serves over 2,300 youth, ages 6-24, in a safe and supportive environment. HOLA’s mission is to provide underserved youth with free, […]

Alum Returns to HOLA as Scholar in Residence

After a successful internship with Walt Disney Studios in Burbank already under his belt, HOLA alumni Daniel Lopez is well on his way to achieving his goals of graduating college and using media skills to empower his community. A native Angeleno, Daniel attends California State University of Los Angeles where he studies Communications and Marketing. He is excited to return to his roots as the current Scholar in Residence, a yearlong position offered to an exceptional alum enrolled in college who has demonstrated a desire to give […]

Staff Spotlight: Mark Tyson Rocks

Born in Los Angeles in 1959 into a family of musicians, Mark Tyson, HOLA music instructor and founder of our rock band, is living proof that music changes lives. Mark has been an artist his whole life, a performer for 30 years, and a teacher at HOLA since 2004. He has nurtured the talent of many budding musicians. Recently, when we caught up with him, Mark shared his thoughts on teaching, as well as a playlist of the music that has influenced him as a person and artist. Inspirations by a Music Teacher from HeartofLosAngeles on 8tracks […]

High School Photography Workshop Exhibits at LACMA

During winter break, 28 teens from 15 different schools learned the difference between making a photo and taking a photo, in the intensive and internationally known Fred Roberts Photography Workshop. Founder Fred Roberts, explained on the first day, “This is not a photography workshop. This is a practice in empowerment. The cameras are just the tools for self-expression.” With the support of Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Fred and a band of highly experienced photographers guided a course that didn’t just focus on the technical aspects of photography such as aperture settings and shutter speed. Over seven days, the students absorbed […]

National Endowment for the Arts Awards HOLA Grant for 2016

Celebrating 50 years and $5 billion in grants, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has named their 2016 list of recipients, including Heart of Los Angeles. HOLA is honored to be among the list of esteemed establishments for the 4th year in a row. The $50,000 Art Works grant works directly to support the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at HOLA. Executive Director, Tony Brown comments, “Funding our YOLA at HOLA Orchestra program has helped to ensure that hundreds of students, who are growing up amidst […]

College Road Trip Motivates High School Seniors

In recent years, HOLA has been building a college success program geared towards high school students who become the first in their family to attend college. We’ve built a mentoring program focused on college applications and essay writing, college-ready workshops, and a college tour road trip. This semester, sixteen PAT High School seniors hit the road for a four day trip, visiting nine college campuses in Northern California. The group (which included four staff members) bonded during hours of van time, miles of gorgeous scenery, and inspiring outings with HOLA alumni at their campuses. That our students were […]

Toy Drive 2015: Making Wishes Come True!

Every year, we ask our students, from elementary to high school, to write letters to Santa and every year, we (and Santa) are faced with the uncomfortable fact that many of our students view basic needs as luxuries. “My dad doesn’t have a pillow to lay his head on, after working 3 jobs to put food on the table.” “I sleep on the floor, and 3am gets really cold, so I would like a bed for Christmas.” “It would be great to receive some extra money to […]


Tony’s Blog on Why HOLA? »

Tony’s Blog: Celebrating Our Connections and Lasting Impacts

Tony’s Blog: Celebrating Our Connections and Lasting Impacts

At a college send-off celebration last month, we honored the people who helped us get to where we are, and the connections we all share. A few weeks ago, I attended our annual college send-off party for HOLA’s most recent alums.  Before... read more »



Ghetto Film School

"The moment I met Tony Brown and his dedicated, inspired team at HOLA, I knew I’d found an organization that truly believes in the full potential of young people. As the key partner in our new Los Angeles operation, they deliver immeasurable value to our students, programs and mission. I hope someday they open up shop in New York City!" Joe Hall, Founder/President, Ghetto Film School

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HOLA provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.


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