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HOLA empowers young people to make a difference in their community and their world. We regularly engage our youth with opportunities to make a positive impact. From tree planting to visiting the elderly, from mural painting in high graffiti areas to leading art activities with patients at the local Shriners Hospitals for Children or volunteering with a local food bank, HOLA students are seeing themselves as agents of change and making their community a better place.

Projects such as an LA River clean-up take on an educational aspect as well. Students learn about their city’s history, ecology and science, while having a positive impact on the environment. Bolstered by curriculum and visits to Tree People, HOLA youth gain an understanding of how what happens in their community has global significance.

Students often take the lead on planning and implementing projects. Recently, after a presentation on domestic violence, a group of middle school students took it upon themselves to raise money for a local non-profit which supports victims of domestic violence. Through our Leadership Program students gain skills to research and implement projects like this on a regular basis.

Community Outreach Projects:

  • Art activities with patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • Read to and perform for seniors at a local senior center
  • Dance with seniors on Valentine’s Day
  • Volunteer at a local food bank
  • Neighborhood park cleanup projects


Toy Drive 2015: Making Wishes Come True!

Every year, we ask our students, from elementary to high school, to write letters to Santa and every year, we (and Santa) are faced with the uncomfortable fact that many of our students view basic needs as luxuries. “My dad doesn’t have a pillow to lay his head on, after working 3 jobs to put food on the table.” “I sleep on the floor, and 3am gets really cold, so I would like a bed for Christmas.” “It would be great to receive some extra money to […]

Blending Cultures via Dia De Los Muertos

In some American families, it’s common to want to shield our young ones from the bleakness of death and grief. In an attempt to soften pain and fear, children are told privately and delicately when unavoidable tragedies occur. But in varying Latin American cultures, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), brings light and a sense of comfort to the realities of mortality — and an opportunity to celebrate the lives of loved ones who’ve died. This holiday’s history is not limited to one particular nation or […]

PAT Students Organize to Make a Difference

The LA Rakers was founded in the same way most social movements are formed: as an informal collective of young people determined to address social problems. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” HOLA senior, Emanuel Honorato, is one such individual — thoughtful, committed, and determined to change the world. Currently interning at City Council where he is working to address local homelessness, Emanuel attributes the conversations he’s had […]

Honoring The Junior League of Los Angeles

On their 90th anniversary, we will honor the extraordinary women of The Junior League of Los Angeles, Inc. (JLLA) at HOLA’s annual Holiday of the Heart in November. The JLLA has understood the barriers preventing neighborhood youth from attending college, thus they provided esteemed volunteers to serve as mentors and offered a series of workshops called “College 101” for HOLA’s high school seniors. These workshops included sessions on the college and financial aid application processes. Reflecting HOLA’s mission to support our students through college, the JLLA took the discussions a step further by discussing […]

Whole Foods Makes Generation Donation

As part of the Feed Four More program, Whole Foods 3rd & Fairfax, made a generous cash donation in addition to providing HOLA with $9,000 worth of pantry staples for distribution to our families. Every HOLA family was encouraged to fill a bag with the staples that included 365 Spaghetti, 365 Marina Pasta Sauce, 365 Organic Apple Sauce Unsweetened, 365 Organic Rustic Vegetable Soup, 365 Organic Long Grain White Rice, 365 Diced Tomatoes, 365 Sliced Beets No Salt Added, 365 NSA Black Beans and 365 […]

HOLA Participates in MacArthur Park Festival de Otoño

HOLA kids, parents and staff had a wonderful time participating in the MacArthur Park Festival de Otoño, a festival that included art, live music, food, Day of the Dead Activities and a Soccer Tournament for the kids. Over the past several weeks, moms participating in the art class taught by Marialice Jacob have been building a Day of the Dead altar that was on display at the festival. Councilmember Gil Cedillo presented HOLA with a Certificate of Recognition that was graciously received by several HOLA […]


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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