Southeast Los Angeles YouthSource participating in the Get Out and Vote Ride event
On October 31, 2020, members of the Watts Youth Council at the Southeast Los Angeles YouthSource Center participated in the Get Out and Vote Ride, an event to encourage community members to cast their ballots in the November elections.

The event reflected the YouthSource System’s efforts to encourage youth to understand the power of their voices and provided an opportunity for the youth to engage in the democratic process.

elementary age child on a computer attending a virtual class
Thirty-five Hire LA’s Youth participants recently received training to serve as Academic Support Interns, which will allow them to assist younger students struggling with distance learning during COVID-19.

EWDD partner Para Los Niños (PLN), which oversees the Central LA, Westlake and Northeast LA YouthSource Centers, recognized that many students were facing challenges adapting to remote learning and could benefit from additional assistance. This presented an opportunity for a partnership between the

Eddie, Northeast YouthSource Center participant
The Northeast YouthSource Center (YSC) helped participant Eddie discover his career path and take steps toward achieving his goal of becoming an electrician.

Eddie sought out the Northeast YSC, run by EWDD contractor Para Los Niños, because he was interested in returning to school and finding a job. He was also motivated because he wanted to become a role model for his younger siblings.

Isabel Baleon-Sandoval owner of Ellie’s Online Deals
The South Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped entrepreneur Isabel Baleon-Sandoval launch Ellie’s Online Deals, a sidewalk vending business that specializes in selling cleaning products during COVID-19.

When news of COVID-19 caused people to "panic buy," Isabel realized that saving money was a priority during moments of crisis.

Little Llama Peruvian Tacos restaurant in DTLA
The Hollywood BusinessSource Center helped Chef Jean Valcarcel, Angela Wagner, and Chris Spinder, owners of Little Llama Peruvian Tacos, open their first brick and mortar restaurant.

The owners were first referred to the Hollywood BusinessSource for assistance in obtaining financing to open a storefront restaurant. At the time, Little Llama Peruvian Tacos had been operating as a one day a week pop-up every Sunday at Smorgasburg LA, a weekly food event in the City’s Arts District neighborhood.

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EWDD provided funding to support the recent launch of Reboot LA, an innovative, intensive web development and tech entrepreneurship program that will give 28 re-entry individuals an opportunity to launch their own tech companies.

City of Los Angeles residents that have a criminal record with a state, city or federal corrections or probation departments are eligible to apply. All services will be provided at no cost to the Reboot LA participants.

Rafael Gonzalez with his Reseda based food truck, Birria del Valle
The West Valley BusinessSource Center provided extensive business services to Rafael Gonzalez, helping him launch his “Birria del Valle” lunch truck, which has continued to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Valley BSC business coach Marlen Lara provided Rafael guidance on how to obtain the permits required in order to operate a lunch truck business, along with information about LA County Department of Public Health insurance requirements.

(left to right) Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, owners of Southern Girl Desserts
The South Los Angeles BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, co-owners of Southern Girl Desserts, shift from a storefront destination to take-out, which has alleviated some of the financial hardships their business has experienced due to COVID-19.

Established in 2007 and based in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the dessert shop closed when shopping malls shuttered due to the Safer At Home requirements.

LA:RISE participant Enrique
Before enrolling in LA:RISE, Enrique faced long-term unemployment and unstable housing.

Through the program, Enrique began working at LA:RISE partner Homeboy Industries, where the staff said that from day-one, he was focused on his future. The LA:RISE program also gave Enrique access to supportive services that connected him to life skills classes and therapy.

LA:RISE participant Elana outside the Liberation Café at the Los Angeles LGBT Center
The LA:RISE program helped participant Elana develop job skills, which led to full-time work at the Liberation Café at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. When Elana arrived at the LA LGBT Center, she immediately felt welcome and comfortable, as the staff and other participants also identified as LGBT.

Elana enrolled in the LA:RISE program, which through its partnership with the LA LGBT Center offers a culinary social enterprise, that provides job training with the goal that participants will obtain full-time employment and housing stability.

YouthSource participant Justin goes to college
During COVID-19, young Angelenos ages 14 to 24 can still turn to EWDD’s YouthSource Centers for resources that include job skills training, work readiness programs, and mentoring and counseling.

This week, EWDD Updates shares the story of a youth participant that received assistance during the pandemic from EWDD partner Para Los Niños (PLN), which operates the Central Los Angeles/Westlake and Northeast Los Angeles YouthSource Centers.

BusinessSource client Ligia Baires at her valley restaurant La Sabrosa
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) recently helped long-time client Ligia Baires expand her restaurant “La Sabrosa” to a second location, and assisted her in setting up her business to reflect COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

For more than four years, Ligia has worked closely with North Valley business coach Maria Luviano to reduce overhead costs at her first “La Sabrosa” restaurant in Sylmar. The cost savings ultimately allowed Ligia to use her own funds to open “La Sabrosa #2” in Van Nuys, and create one full-time cook position.