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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 7 months ago. Return to top.
    Photo of  Brittany  Mejia
    Brittany Mejia SmartStart Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148
    Updated 6 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 4 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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    Junior League Hosts Literacy Event at HOLA

    The Junior League of Greater Los Angeles recently hosted a literacy event for HOLA’s SmartStart Elementary School Program. The event featured a reading of How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman and included several other fun and engaging activities centered around the book and its themes of culture and geography. In addition to a read-along with the students and their parents, the kids learned how to make a healthy version of apple pie using english muffins, apple slices and […]

    First Annual Alumni Homecoming

    HOLA’s College Success Department recently hosted their first Alumni Homecoming. More than 45 alumni returned to HOLA, representing over 20 colleges and universities. Many of the college students were home on spring break and were thrilled to catch up with staff and friends. In addition to enjoying one another and sharing the trial and tribulations of succeeding through college, the event also offered current HOLA high school seniors a chance to speak with the alumni and hear first hand about college life. This gave the […]

    Samsung Makes Donation to HOLA

    Recently, Samsung Electronics America made a significant donation of new and barely used products to HOLA. In total, Samsung donated 104 items, including 27 laptops, 5 TVs and 72 tablets. This sizable donation will positively impact each of HOLA’s programs, expanding our technological capacity and the reach of our STEM programming. With increased access to technology, HOLA will be able to train our students in vital skills that are essential for them to be successful and competitive in their studies and in the modern workforce. […]

    Leadership Ambassador

    Remi Mateo has been volunteering with HOLA for almost a year as a Mentor to PAT high school seniors. As a mentor, Remi is paired with seniors, helping them with college essays and college and financial aid applications. As an alumnus of Virgil Middle School and Belmont High School, Remi values the importance of giving back to local youth. Remi has had a great experience as a mentor and is excited to see them grow as leaders and make an impact on their community in […]

    Gifted Mentor

    Manuel has been coming to HOLA for as long as he can remember, starting way back when in the SmartStart Elementary School Program. Now, as an 11th Grader, he participates in both the PAT High School Program, taking SAT Prep Classes and getting involved within the community through the LA Rakers, and in the Leadership Program as a youth facilitator. Manuel has been a youth facilitator for the past three years, becoming involved with the program the first chance he got. He has really enjoyed […]

    Middle Schoolers Visit Pepperdine University

    On a very hot Saturday, several of the Bridges Middle School students, their parents and members of the HOLA staff escaped the heat and spent the day touring Pepperdine University as guests of Professor George Carlsen, Assistant Professor in the Hispanic Studies Department and the students in his advanced Spanish class. The university students spoke to the group about college life and took them on a tour of the beautiful campus. The tour was conducted in Spanish and included stops in the dorms, classrooms, the […]


    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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