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Darius Leevy (or Tiny or Peanut, as HOLA staff and volunteers called him back in the 90’s) recently came back to HOLA to deliver the keynote address at HOLA’s Summer Alumni Conference. The students listened to him intently as he shared his story. Darius first came to HOLA with his brother Gee when they were in their early teens and both men have stayed in close touch with staff, volunteers and fellow alums ever since. He joined HOLA’s basketball and flag football teams, with Jon Pearson and Tony Brown as his coaches. In his address to the alums, Darius related to the students the impact that Tony had on him then and how it has stayed with him throughout his life. In his words, “Tony taught me how to humble myself.”

After Darius graduated from high school, it took him a while to find his way to college. He started at Los Angeles City College and eventually matriculated to Cal State Northridge, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science. Before going to college, one of his first jobs was a union job and he was fascinated by how the union operated, giving people a voice. At CSUN, through a number of different internships, he ended up working on then Senator Obama’s first presidential election campaign. That experience drew on his union experience and sparked his interest in politics. Since graduating from CSUN, Darius has run for political office and was recently appointed to the City of Inglewood’s Planning Commission. By day, he is a residential real estate broker and he has aspirations to run again for another office. Darius lives in Inglewood with his wife and two kids.

Darius looks back on his years at HOLA fondly and he often questions where he would be if it hadn’t been for HOLA. He spoke with admiration for HOLA’s founder, Mitch Moore, and Mitch’s ability to create an environment where the kids felt nurtured and how he was able to cultivate each student’s individual talents.


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