L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success


Lerida Mojica, owner of NY Cake Pops, displays a fresh batch of multi-colored cake pops
With guidance from the Pico-Union/Westlake BusinessSource Center (BSC), East-coast based NY Cake Pops has expanded its presence from New York City into the Los Angeles Area.

NY Cake Pops is owned by Lerida Mojica and Robert Rodriguez. Lerida first came to the US from Mexico in 2003 and met her husband, Robert, in the same year. She first began making

(left to right) Local LA entrepreneurial teens Axel and Sincere started their own Snowie! franchise - a Hawaiian shaved ice business
While most teens are buying iPads and the latest mobile phones, 18-year-old Axel Osnaya and 17-year-old Sincere Lathers have spent the last two years saving and investing in their shaved ice business, Snowie! Snowie is a Hawaiian-style ice shaving business that serves snow cones in flavors such as lemon-lime, piña colada, and strawberry.

The friends met in the Young Entrepreneur Program at the Southeast YouthSource Center in

(left to right) ChargerHelp! co-founders, CEO Kameale Terry and CWO Evette Ellis
ChargerHelp! co-founders Kameale Terry, Chief Executive Officer, and Evette Ellis, Chief Workforce Officer, are on a mission to fix broken charging stations. They've developed a technology-driven solution to improve reliability and customer confidence in electric vehicle (EV) charging. A Disadvantaged (DBE) and Women-Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (WMBE), ChargerHelp! blossomed after Kameale's

Boyle Heights native Justin Rios wearing a Columbia University sweatshirt and holding a Columbia pennant
Boyle Heights native Justin Rios participated in a virtual Hire LA's Youth internship at the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center (YSC). Justin said that the internship helped him discover his passion for computer science.

The placement also gave him the confidence to successfully apply for and participate in two prestigious opportunities:

LA:RISE participant Michaela
Michaela was recently promoted to Job Coach at Goodwill of Southern California – a testament to her success in the LA:RISE program and a stepping stone toward her goal of building a career in social work.

Before enrolling in LA:RISE, Michaela was facing

LA:RISE participant Magally
LA:RISE participant Magally is a firm believer that everyone can make an impact on their community – and her own career goals are centered around paying it forward. The Los Angeles native recently returned to the area from South Dakota in search of better job opportunities and enrolled in LA:RISE at the West LA YouthSource Center (YSC) for support in her next steps.

Magally worked as

Kenshi Kobayashi, co-founder of Kenchan Ramen, a local business that creates authentic and chef crafted DIY Ramen kits for home cooks
Incubator and Accelerator Programs Supporting LA Innovators

Kenshi Kobayashi was three years old when his parents found him slurping leftover bowls of broth at ramen restaurants in Japan. It was this lifelong love of ramen that inspired Kenshi (also known by his childhood name Kenchan) to launch Kenchan Ramen, a business that offers authentic, restaurant-quality DIY ramen kits.

After moving

Manuela Dominguez (pictured center, in yellow blouse), owner of Melly’s Bakery located in the Winnetka neighborhood of the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley
Manuela Dominguez celebrated the grand opening of her new business Melly’s Bakery on August 17, 2022.

Manuela has worked for more than 15 years in the baking industry. However, it was not until her husband’s death one year ago that Manuela began the journey of

Erica Olague successfully completed the TLH Program and got hired as an Administrative Clerk for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT)
Want a civil service career with the City of Los Angeles? Apply for the City’s Targeted Local Hire Program (TLH)!

This program offers Angelenos a pathway into City civil service via full-time, paid, on-the-job training for

California Labor Secretary Natalie Palugyai (first row, third from left) recently visited LA:RISE partner Chrysalis to learn more about how the program helps individuals with high barriers to employment enter the workforce
California Labor Secretary Natalie Palugyai recently visited the City to learn more about the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA:RISE) and how the program helps re-entry workers, LGBTQ youth, the unhoused and other individuals find transitional employment where they can learn necessary interpersonal and job skills to rejoin the workforce.

LA:RISE is an innovative program designed to

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