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Heart of Los Angeles seeks to empower and enrich the lives of young people ages 6-24 by providing quality academic, arts and athletics programs. HOLA provides opportunities that these youth cannot get anywhere else, inside or outside of school.

HOLA’s youth attend overburdened inner-city schools, live in communities that are heavily impacted by illegal drug trafficking and gang violence and many are children hindered by poverty and immigration status. HOLA seeks to break this cycle by providing a structured program of exceptional academic support and enrichment through our SmartStart Elementary School Program, Bridges Middle School Program, PAT High School Program and Alumni Program.

    Photo of  Nancy  Dodge LCSW
    Nancy Dodge LCSW Counselor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148
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    Photo of  Kevin  Franco
    Kevin Franco College Success Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x222
    Updated 5 months ago. Return to top.
    Photo of  Brittany  Mejia
    Brittany Mejia SmartStart Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148
    Updated 3 months ago. Return to top.
    Photo of  Christine  Newkirk
    Christine Newkirk PAT High School Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148, ext. 230
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    Photo of  Abraham  Orozco
    Abraham Orozco Director of Scientific Arts & IT Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x227
    Updated 2 months ago. Return to top.
    Photo of  Loren  Rubin
    Loren Rubin Director of Leadership & Summer Programs
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x228
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    Photo of  Silvia  Velazquez
    Silvia Velazquez Bridges Middle School Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x248
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    Winter Session STEAMs Ahead

    HOLA’s Winter Session is in full swing and there are so many exciting opportunities for the more than 500 students who walk through our doors every afternoon. From academic enrichment classes, focused on reading, math, science and history, to digital media and 3D product design, students are exploring ideas that take them way beyond what they are doing in school. Along with old favorites like Healthy Cooking and Girls on the Run, this winter there are many exciting, new STEAM-focused offerings. The PAT program is […]

    Leading the Charge

    One of the extraordinary things about Heart of Los Angeles is the longevity of so many of the staff members, a true testament to the organization. Meet Loren Rubin, a member of HOLA’s staff since 2001. He came to HOLA by way of his work at the Constitutional Rights Foundation. At CRF, Loren trained the partners involved in the LA Bridges Program, a gang prevention and intervention program funded by the City Council. At that time, HOLA was collaborating with a local middle school and […]

    High School Students Take Annual Tour of NorCal Campuses

    This fall, HOLA high school seniors had the opportunity to visit 10 Northern California college campuses. HOLA’s high school staff and College Success Director took 17 students to visit UC Merced, Sacramento State, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Santa Barbara. HOLA alumni at each campus led tours, answered students’ questions and gave them insights into college life at each campus. Campus tours included classrooms and […]

    Fall’s in Full Swing

    Every afternoon hundreds of kids, ages 6-19, are participating in over 75 academic and enrichment classes on HOLA’s campus. In addition to daily academic support from staff, tutors and volunteers, every afternoon HOLA students have the chance to explore opportunities they can’t get anywhere else, inside or outside of school. The choices are almost limitless, ranging from Healthy Cooking, Photography and an Introduction to the US Constitution, to a full range of STEAM classes, including 3D Design and Printing, Photography and Video Game Design. Many […]

    PAT Program Incorporates Service Learning into Curriculum

    This fall, a group of PAT High School students, known as the LA Rakers, have been working hard in the community surrounding HOLA on a number of different service projects. Every week, 30 to 40 students gather to address the issues of community and the environment. The group kicked off the initiative with a cleanup in MacArthur Park and since then have also completed a cleanup in LaFayette Park, hosted an arts table during a Young Workers Rising event and hosted a community day of […]

    Outstanding Leader

    During the last weeks of summer, Ailen Salazar took an incredible journey with Outward Bound. Ailen was awarded a scholarship to take part in a 14 day backpacking course in the Sierra National Forest. The course was a true survival experience, with no electricity, no bathrooms and camping under the stars. Ailen participated in the course with a group of girls she had never met before, coming from all over California and the U.S. and one girl coming all the way from Hong Kong. While […]


    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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