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.
With the winter quarter well under way, we’re pleased about the many fun and educational collaborations that have taken off at HOLA. To celebrate all the love and support of our teachers, directors, staff, volunteers, students and families, we wanted to share with you what’s new in our cozy corner of the universe. Over in Athletics, some of our middle school girls have begun training to run a 5k with the help of nonprofit Girls on the Run. The program is designed to inspire girls to be joyful, […]
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 […]
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 […]
HOLA alumna and senior at Whitman College in Washington Maricela Sanchez-Garcia is grateful that college has provided her a strong support network that includes professors who continue to challenge her in critical thinking. As a first-generation, working class (FGWC) college student, Maricela has had to face other challenges that aren’t necessarily academically based. One in particular, that many HOLA alumni experience at liberal arts colleges, is being surrounded by peers who come from privileged backgrounds. “Sometimes these individuals aren’t always aware about systemic issues. This may cause some frustration but I think one shouldn’t get discouraged. Times […]
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 […]
In honor of HOLA Alum turned Bridges Middle School Director Silvia Velazquez being named one of JCPenney’s “Leaders of Tomorrow,” we would like to honor two other alumnae who are also full-time staff members here on campus. Sonia Salazar – Class of ’05 Back in 2005, the year PAT High School Director Sonia Salazar graduated from HOLA, there wasn’t an alumni program in place. However, that didn’t keep Sonia away. Upon graduating from University of California Santa Barbara in 2009 with a B.A., she was ready to give back to the […]