EWDD Stories of Inspiration and Success

LA:RISE participant Robbie
Before enrolling in the LA:RISE Youth Academy, Robbie was homeless, unemployed, unhappy and confused.

“I felt depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated,” she said. “My family was worried about me. They wondered what I was going to do next. I was stressed out and losing weight.”

LA:RISE participant Yolanda pictured at her paid internship with the Pico Union Housing Corporation Puede Center
After watching her parents struggle to pay bills, Yolanda enrolled in the LA:RISE Youth Academy Program for employment training that would allow her to find a job to help out her parents.

Yolanda, 20, was placed at a paid internship at the Pico-Union Housing Corporation Puede Center, where she gained office experience, including answering phones, preparing reports and working well with people.

Siblings Linda Mejia (left) and Armando Mejia (center) are co-owners of Village Mart & Deli in the El Sereno neighborhood. Armando's daughter Riana Mejia pictured right.
EWDD provides Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), which spearheads the Healthy Neighborhood Market Network (HNMN). The program assists neighborhood market owners to build the capacity to operate as successful healthy food retailers in underserved communities.

This financial support from the program allowed sibling team Linda and Armando Mejia, co-owners of the Village Mart & Deli, to expand healthy food options in

Dr. Ryan Osborne, owner of the Osborne Head and Neck Institute (OHNI)
The Hollywood BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped Dr. Ryan Osborne refinance a loan that allowed him to maintain office space and move toward constructing a new location for his business, the Osborne Head and Neck Institute (OHNI).

Dr. Osborne was born in South Los Angeles and raised by a single mother. By attending school by day and working at night, his

Juan Carlos Hernandez (center) owner of Jumarka CNC Manufacturing, with his wife and daughter (left, right)
The South Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped long-term client Juan Carlos Hernandez, owner of Jumarka CNC Manufacturing, obtain $40,000 in COVID-19 relief funding, which allowed him to retain three employees and cover pandemic related expenses.

Jumarka CNC Manufacturing is a small, family-owned business located in Chatsworth. Their current projects include manufacturing windows and gym equipment. They also

Veronica, participant in the Woolsey Megafires Temporary Jobs program
Veronica is one of more than 55 women that have gained valuable work experience in the Woolsey Megafires Temporary Jobs program.

When Veronica first enrolled in the program in September 2021, she was