HOLA on YouTube



What is HOLA?
What is HOLA’s mission?
How long has HOLA been around?
What neighborhood is HOLA in?
What is it like living in this neighborhood?
Why is HOLA serving this neighborhood?
How many people work at HOLA?
What programs does HOLA offer?
How big is HOLA’s campus?
How much does it cost to go to HOLA?
How does HOLA continue its work?
How many kids does HOLA see every year?
Does HOLA have a waiting list?
What kind of kids go to HOLA?
Where do HOLA kids go to school and how do you track their academic progress?
Do any HOLA kids go on to college and do cool things?

What is HOLA?
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) is a non-profit organization that provides free after-school academic, art and athletics programs for youth living in the Rampart District of Los Angeles, California.

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What is HOLA’s mission?
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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How long has HOLA been around?
HOLA was launched in 1989 when our founder, Mitch Moore, provided a handful of at-risk kids with a safe place to hang out.  Twenty-five years later, HOLA is now serving over 2,300 kids each year.

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What neighborhood is HOLA in?
HOLA resides in the culturally rich Rampart District of Los Angeles, the most densely populated area in LA County. More than 75,000 residents live within a 1.75-mile radius, with 28% under the age of 18. Latinos comprise the largest ethnic group at 63%, followed by Asian/Asian-American at 26%.

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What is it like living in this neighborhood?
Due to the extreme poverty levels and the dense and diverse population, the Rampart district is home to heavy violence, drug trafficking and over 30 active gangs that begin recruiting youth as young as 10 or 11 years of age. According to a Los Angeles Times report, during a recent 6-month period, 488 violent crimes were reported in HOLA’s neighborhood alone.

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Why is HOLA serving this neighborhood?
Youth living in this neighborhood are given very little access to quality programs that promote positive behavior, academic success and the opportunity to break the generational cycle of poverty. Living in a community plagued by heavy gang violence and drug trafficking puts these youth at risk for developing a multitude of post-traumatic stress disorders, learning disabilities, substance abuse and hopelessness, all of which threaten their academic success and ability to overcome poverty. HOLA provides extensive resources for our families, including our counseling program that provides over 45 hours each week of free counseling and mental health services to over 135 youth and their families.

HOLA brings hope to these kids. HOLA believes that every child deserves a chance.

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How many people work at HOLA?
HOLA has over 75 employees and 500 volunteers, many of whom are highly credentialed teachers. Last year, our volunteers donated over 9,000 hours of their time.

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What programs does HOLA offer?
HOLA offers after school programs in academics, arts and athletics for elementary, middle and high school students. The academic programs include the SmartStart Elementary Education Program, Bridges Middle School Education Program, Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow (PAT) High School Education Program, College Success Program and Scientific Arts Program. Each of these academic programs is supplemented with a wide variety of innovative enrichment activities provided across all grade levels through HOLA’s Leadership, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Music and Athletics programs. In 2014, HOLA offered our students over 130 different enrichment classes, including ceramics, a variety of printmaking, culture and language, healthy cooking, college prep, 3D printing, stop-motion animation, photography, fashion design and sewing classes, soccer and basketball leagues and much more.

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How big is HOLA’s campus?
HOLA’s four-building and 32,000 square foot campus includes multiple classrooms, education and fine arts libraries, an art studio and gallery, music and orchestra rooms, computer labs, a science, technology and digital media center, an athletic facility with a full gymnasium and a state-of-the-art field turf soccer field.

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How much does it cost to go to HOLA?
It’s 100% free!

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How does HOLA continue its work?
HOLA’s proven financial sustainability, accountability and efficiency is made possible through the remarkable philanthropic investment of a diverse group of caring individuals, blue chip corporations and a sterling portfolio of private and public foundations. Last fiscal year, 84% of HOLA’s $3.4 million operating budget was used in direct service to support 2,300 at-risk youth. By increasing our budget in 2011 by 18%, we were able to increase the number of students served by 60%. Through partnerships with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Bard College, the Longy School of Music of Bard College and others, HOLA is positioned to increase our services and has become a model for social change for other organizations around the country.

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How many kids does HOLA see every year?
In 2014 year, HOLA served over 2,300 at-risk kids through our academic, arts and athletic programs, a 60% increase since 2010.

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Does HOLA have a waiting list?
Yes. We currently have over 400 kids waiting to get into HOLA’s programs.

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What kind of kids go to HOLA?
HOLA’s members, youth ages 6-24, are approximately 86% Latino, with the remainder comprised of a growing population of Filipino, Korean, African-American and other ethnicities. One-third of the area’s families live at or below the poverty line and two out of every three households are low-income. Of the families attending HOLA, 97% are living in poverty level and struggle each day to simply survive.

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Where do HOLA kids go to school and how do you track their academic progress?
HOLA serves kids that attend more than 70 different elementary, middle and high schools located within a few miles from HOLA. In a recent report listing California’s most underperforming schools, two of HOLA’s largest feeder schools were listed in the lowest 5%. Schools in this district are extremely understaffed and overcrowded, resulting in classrooms with as many as 43 students and student-to-counselor ratios reaching as high as 1,000-to-one. High school graduation rates have fallen below 50% at HOLA feeder schools and only one-third of the students complete the minimum requirements to apply to four-year universities. Locally, only 39% of adults have a high school level education and only 12% have received a four-year post-secondary degree.

HOLA staff tracks the academic progress of each student by monitoring quarterly report cards, attending Parent-Teacher conferences and Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings with parents. HOLA works with each student to ensure they receive the support they need to succeed.

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Do any HOLA kids go on to college and do cool things?
Over the past three years, HOLA has seen a 100% graduation rate from the high school program. Of those students who have already begun college, over 90% are still enrolled in a two- or four-year institution, representing over 80 colleges nationwide. Just this past year, 58 students graduated from the PAT Program and all of the graduates are currently pursuing their post-secondary education.

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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.


 

Heart of Los Angeles is a 501(c)(3) charity. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by U.S. law.

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