L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success


In June, Para Los Niños, operator of the Northeast L.A. and Westlake/Central L.A. YouthSource Centers, shares four stories celebrating the college graduation of their youth participants.

PLN’s strategic goals include offering support to YouthSource participants through college and graduation. EWDD’s network of 14 YouthSource Centers are dedicated to providing key resources for young Angelenos to succeed. Services include college prep, tutoring, mentoring and counseling and career exploration.


Naydelli Mendoza

Naydelli Mendoza

University of Southern California
Bachelor of Science, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Naydelli was a high school student when she joined PLN’s YouthSource program in 2018. As a student in the program, Naydelli received support and guidance with the college application process. This year she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California.

During the midst of the pandemic, Naydelli worked as a COVID-19 Community Ambassador and as a Summer Youth Employment Specialist within PLN’s Youth Workforce Service department. She recently worked with PLN on a project with USC to mentor middle school students interested in pursuing careers in STEM.
Gilberto Ochoa

Gilberto Ochoa

Cal State Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Gilberto “Beto” Ochoa was a student in PLN’s Central YouthSource program as the Class of 2018. While in the program, Beto was actively engaged in PLN’s college access program and received support with his college applications, financial aid applications, and support with applying for additional scholarships. He was also selected to participate in the UnidosUS National Conference in Washington DC as a student leader.

This year, Beto graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. His goal now is to follow in the footsteps of his mentors at PLN and give back to students by supporting them in their higher educational goals.
Armando Garcia

Armando Garcia

Cal Poly Pomona
Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineer

Armando Garcia was a student in PLN’s YouthSource program as the Class of 2016. During his time in the YSC program, Armando was selected to go to the STEM Youth Summit hosted by PLN partner organization, UnidosUS.

At the summit, Armando had the opportunity to visit the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas, which inspired him to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering. This year, in 2022 he graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering!
Maria Odalis Marcos

Maria Odalis Marcos

UC Berkeley
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Maria Odalis Marcos was part of the PLN Central YouthSource program in 2018. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Maria received college access support and guidance and participated in a summer internship every summer.

“Thank you PLN for all the support you gave me in high school and how you helped me make the decision of going to Berkeley," Maria says. “It was hard at first, but I worked hard and remembered how much people at PLN believed in me. I finally was able to do well in my classes, got my first A mid-way in my college journey and now I can say that I love it!”

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 June 27, 2021. Read this issue and more.


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