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.
Highly motivated and focused, our high school students are persistently college-bound. Despite their determination, they are met with a bit of shock as the moment they have been waiting for arrives: college application season. While this process is thrilling, it can also feel quite overwhelming, especially for students who will be the first of their family to go to college. Yet here at HOLA, we know what it takes to fulfill our mission to our students, at every stage. For our high school seniors, we’ve learned that the most effective way to guide them through the higher education portal […]
Although the school year ended, HOLA’s campus kept everyone busy. From sailing the high seas to learning about the environment through art, our students have kept active: thinking, experiencing, and growing – and of course having a blast while doing it! We were also delighted and grateful this summer to be joined by 10 Americorps VISTA volunteers, who were invaluable to our summer programming. When we asked the VISTA’s what they loved most about their summer at HOLA, they all spoke of the parallels they shared with the kids: new friendships and […]
Jessica Ambrosio had some difficult choices to make when it came time to deciding where she wanted to go to college. She had lots of incredible options, including Brown and Yale Universities. She ultimately decided on Yale where she will be majoring in Electrical Engineering and Earth Science. When she graduates from Yale, Jessica hopes to enter the field of cyber security. Jessica’s decision was made a bit easier when she was notified that she had been chosen as a Gates Millenium Scholar!!! She is […]
The SmartStart kids started off their summer with a bang! The theme of week one was World Travelers – Culture and Geography and their learning and exploring was capped off with a field trip to the Plaza de Cultura y Artes museum and cultural center. While they were there, the students had the opportunity to explore the edible teaching garden, which celebrates the Mexican and Mexican American cultures by creating sustainable urban agriculture. The students learned about different plants and flowers and even created their […]
On a beautiful June evening, Heart of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks held the 5th annual Community Graduation, celebrating the accomplishments of elementary, middle, high school, college AND graduate school graduates in the Rampart District of Los Angeles. This year, 63 young men and women graduated from HOLA’s high school program and 95% of the graduates will be heading this fall to colleges and universities all over the country. Matt Toledo, the Publisher and CEO of the […]
This summer, HOLA is thrilled to welcomes 10 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates. Six of the 10 VISTAs are HOLA alumni themselves, returning to give back to their community. The VISTAs will be supporting HOLA’s academic programs, working with students in the SmartStart, Bridges, PAT and Scientific Arts Programs. The VISTAs will focus on reducing summer learning loss and assist with academic remediation, working individually and in small groups with the highest need students. Research shows that without continued academic support underserved youth will lose critical […]