L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Para Los Niños and YouthSource logos
EWDD currently operates 14 YouthSource Centers (YSCs) that provide young Angelenos ages 16-24, life changing services in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City and at no cost.

Below three inspiring stories of change from Para Los Niños (PLN), which operates the Northeast and Central LA YouthSource Centers.

Naomi, Para Los Niños YouthSource participant
From Probation to Higher Education

Naomi enrolled at PLN's YouthSource program seeking vocational training support and services. Naomi was very enthusiastic about the Manicuring Program offered through PLN's partner, Abram Friedman Occupational Center. With support from her PLN career advisor, Naomi enrolled in the program.

Through YouthSource, Naomi was able to obtain financial support to pay for her class tools, materials and fees. So far, Naomi has completed her first course in the program and will be completing the second course by the end of the spring semester.

After completing the program, Naomi plans to take her state board certification exam and is looking forward to becoming self-employed. In the meantime, she is practicing as much as possible to perfect her craft.

Ciara, Para Los Niños YouthSource participant Back in School, Moving Toward a Tech Career

Ciara graduated from Los Angeles Harbor College in Spring 2020 with three Associate of Arts degrees, then transferred to California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). There she will receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Television, Film, and Media Studies in spring 2022.

The California State University Entertainment Alliance referred Ciara to PLN in summer of 2021, which helped place her in an internship with Group Effort Initiative (GEI). GEI is a program launched and financed by actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds to create a pipeline for members of underrepresented communities to gain real experience toward lasting careers within the entertainment industry.

Ciara interned with PLN at GEI from September 2021 through January 2022. As the Corporate Recruitment and Placements Intern, Ciara was responsible for assisting the program in placing more than 300 job seekers into entry-level entertainment careers. She completed independent projects, researched and shared employment openings, conducted outreach with students and alumni, and advised students and alumni in career professional development.

Inspired by her internship experience, Ciara plans to launch her own nonprofit organization to serve underprivileged and underrepresented communities. In February 2022, Ciara started a new journey as a Corporate Production Intern for the production company All3Media America, which produces several notable shows such as Undercover Boss.

Jose, Para Los Niños YouthSource participant From Instability to a Career in Health Care

Jose came to PLN for help in obtaining his high school diploma. A PLN career advisor provided Jose with several educational paths to get his high school diploma.

Jose decided to enroll in PLN's on-site Adult Independent Studies overseen by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). This program allowed Jose to complete assignments at his own pace and receive on-site case management with an LAUSD Pupil Services and Attendance (PSA) counselor and assistance from an academic instructor and career advisor.

After a lot of hard work and support from PLN, Jose completed his high school diploma requirements in March 2022. Jose is currently working with his PLN career advisor on enrollment in post-high school academic programs.

Learn more about the many programs and benefits offered to the young people of Los Angeles through EWDD Youth Services and their YouthSource Centers.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of May 2, 2022. Read this issue and more.

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