L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Ezekiel, LA:RISE and GRID Alternatives participant, standing in an office at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC)
Ezekiel is launching a new career in the solar industry – a long-time interest that he found the opportunity to pursue through the LA:RISE program.

After connecting with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) for support in his

Concepcion Nuñez, owner of Nuñez Hair Styling in Hollywood, wearing a pink peasant blouse and smiling while standing ouside her business
Concepcion Nuñez, the owner of Nuñez Hair Styling, has leased the same location for more than 10 years and never missed a rent payment. “As a child, I was taught to always pay and pay on time. The pandemic hit unexpectedly and everyone’s circumstances suddenly changed,” she said.

Concepcion was heartbroken when she had to close her business temporarily due to the City’s Safer at Home ordinance. When

Hyung Chul Kim, owner and main pâtissier of Brown Bag Cookies in the heart of Los Angeles
Hyung Chul Kim is the owner and the main pâtissier of Brown Bag Cookies, a newly established dessert shop in the heart of Los Angeles.

Graduating from a culinary school of arts and moving to LA about ten years ago, Hyung Chul always dreamt of having his own restaurant,

founder of Sno con Amor Lauda Flores holding a watermelon, one of the many natural ingredients she uses to create her artisanal Mexican paletas and snow cones
Sno con Amor founder Lauda Flores grew up in the kitchen of her mom and dad’s ice cream parlor, Los Alpes Paleteria, in Huntington Park. From the age of 8, she was making Mexican paletas (popsicles), sno cones, and homemade ice cream with unique flavor innovations.

At the time of joining the SEE-LA Seasoned Accelerator program, Lauda didn’t have a clear vision of

owner of Casa de Decor Cristina Salcedo (center, white shirt) with her home staging team
Cristina Salcedo, owner of Casa de Decor, received a $5,000 Comeback Checks grant that helped her cover COVID-19 related expenses during the Safer at Home ordinances. EWDD partner ICON CDC, operator of the North and South Valley BusinessSource Centers, offered her guidance on her application.

For six years, Cristina’s business has offered interior design and home staging services. With a

Angeleno Corps program’s first graduating cohort - pictured are four graduates with L.A. Mayor Garcetti on June 29, 2022
On June 29, 2022, Angeleno Corps’ first ever cohort graduated from the program. The Angeleno Corps is a 10-month long program that offers hands-on work experience and educational support to 18-24 year olds living in Los Angeles.

The selected Corps members served in one of four areas: education and child care, health and environmental justice, tech and digital assistance, and immigration advocacy. Through this part-time work experience,

LA:RISE participant Lorraine
After returning home from 15 years of incarceration, Lorraine relocated to Los Angeles ready to start her next chapter and take advantage of all the opportunities the city had to offer. However, after the move, she experienced homelessness as she worked to overcome steep barriers to finding employment.

Lorraine knew the value of a supportive network and asking for the help that you need, so she sought out

(clockwise from top left) 2022 College graduates Naydelli Mendoza, Gilberto Ochoa, Maria Odalis Marcos, and Armando Garcia - all former Para Los Niños YouthSource program participants
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

CuiLing Qiu (right) owner of Ling Ling BBQ Fast Food in Downtown L.A.'s Chinatown
First-generation Asian American restaurant owner CuiLing Qiu has operated Ling Ling BBQ Fast Food on Ord Street in Chinatown since 2019. Having been in operation for only three months when COVID-19 hit, Qiu’s restaurant was forced to stop in-door dining service and offer to-go or delivery orders only to her customers.

In May 2022, the Hollywood BusinessSource Center assisted Qiu in securing

The 17 military veterans that completed low voltage installation tech trainng through the Southeast Los Angeles WorkSource Center
The Southeast Los Angeles WorkSource Center (WSC) connected 17 military veterans, 11 of whom were homeless, with a training opportunity to become low voltage installation technicians in the Audio Visual (AV) industry.

The center, managed by EWDD contractor the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC), recently partnered with Career Expansion, Inc (CEI), the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and the Southbay Workforce Board (SBWIB) to successfully conduct the

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