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Hello Friends of Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)!

MiguelMy name is Miguel Guendolay and I am a recent Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) alum and college student at Pasadena City College. As I reflect on this past year and where I’ve come from, my heart is filled with gratitude for HOLA and the generosity of people like you. I am proud to say that I myself will be making a donation to help continue the positive impact that HOLA’s academic, arts and athletic programs have on kids like me. 

When I first came to HOLA as a Smart Start Elementary student, I was quick to absorb the love and attention given by my teachers. I sang in the choral group, played soccer, and began to learn the trumpet. However, trouble hit in middle school and neighborhood pressures began to affect me, so I decided to take a break from HOLA. Things spiraled downward quickly and when I found myself surrounded by problems, I knew I needed help from the place that I thought of as home. After a visit to HOLA Music, I knew this was the chance where I could turn my life back around and embrace the inner musician that has always been inside me. So I joined the YOLA at HOLA orchestra program.

Last year, I was one of 4 other HOLA students chosen to travel and perform with our LA Phil partners in Tokyo, Japan. What an unimaginable experience! I also graduated Salutatorian from my high school and began my first year of college. Today, I perform with All City Band and the elite Pasadena City College Herald Trumpets where I march in the internationally televised, 127th Rose Bowl Parade, airing Friday, January 1st!

The orchestra has made me a better musician and a better person. I have developed a better tone, and also the belief that music can take me anywhere – literally and figuratively speaking. When I pick up my trumpet, I feel a connection unlike any other; a connection that keeps me grounded and prevents me from doing bad things and getting into trouble. Music is my life, my soul, and the world.

It is because of the support you provide to HOLA that kids like me are given the chance to find their way. Together we are making lasting change. As 2015 comes to a close, please join me in making a donation to Heart of Los Angeles. To make a donation using our secure on-line donation system, please click here. If you’d like to send a check, please make it payable to “Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)” and mail to: Heart of Los Angeles, 2701 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90057

With best wishes to you and your family for a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy 2016!

-Miguel, HOLA Class of 2015

What your donation can do:
$25 provides a space for one child in a basketball clinic
$50 provides five elementary students with an Introduction to Music class
$100 provides two weeks of healthy snacks for hungry students
$500 provides the supplies for a 3D Design and Printing class
$1,000 provides 10 high school juniors with a tour of California colleges
$2,500 provides three students with free programming for the rest of the school year
$5,000 provides college-bound students a 10-campus weekend trip to northern and southern California
$10,000 provides students the ability to attend in-state and out-of-state colleges
$100,000 Designate your donation to HOLA’s Capital Campaign and it will be matched up to $100,000 once that threshold is met – Help HOLA get a much needed permanent home!

For more information or to take a tour of HOLA, please contact Elizabeth Curtis at (213) 389-1148, ext. 241 or ecurtis@heartofla.org


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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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