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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 9 months ago. Return to top.
Photo of Brittany Mejia
Brittany Mejia SmartStart Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1148
Updated 7 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 6 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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Seniors Celebrate Informed Decision Month

April marked “Informed Decision” month at HOLA. Throughout the month, the College Success Program hosted multiple opportunities for students to learn more about the college acceptance process. Volunteers from the UCLA Hillel Student Group hosted a workshop to help students make informed decisions about which college is the right fit for them. The College Success team also hosted a workshop to help parents navigate through the many questions that arise once their child has decided where they will go to college, including financial aid, enrollment […]

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 […]

A Look Back at 2014

Spring is definitely in the air at HOLA, but before we spring forward, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at 2014 and all that we accomplished. Not only did we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, but we were able to expand the number of youth served to nearly 3,000! Click on the box below to view the video annual report set to Ziggy Marley’s hit single Lighthouse. Thank you, Ziggy, for your incredible support of HOLA and our kids.

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 […]


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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