HOLA provides underserved youth with free, exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.
Street corners once occupied by gangs and overrun by criminal activity are now safe for visiting artists, teachers, alumni and volunteers. Drugs, weapons and spray cans are replaced with musical instruments, books, sports gear, paint brushes and canvases. Everyone in the community is sharing lessons learned and the local schools and the surrounding neighborhoods are becoming strong foundations for fostering the next generation of productive and successful contributors. Heart of Los Angeles has become a beacon center of hope that unites partners with youth and their families to transform communities.
From what started 27 years ago with just a handful of kids in a dilapidated gym, HOLA now serves over 2,300 youth ages 6-24, on a four-building campus in the Rampart District. The organization is unique in the quality of instruction and individual attention it provides. HOLA’s campus, located in and around Lafayette Park, is a home away from home for thousands of kids. They know that they will get the help they need from HOLA’s professional staff and highly talented volunteers. Through HOLA’s comprehensive programs, the youth are exposed to a wide array of experts including artists, executives, chefs, athletes, engineers and counselors who truly commit themselves to providing programs of the highest quality, giving kids the best chance to become successful in life.
Through HOLA’s unique partnership with the LA City Recreation and Parks Department, students living in poverty have much needed green space – a state of the art field turf soccer field, outdoor basketball courts, and a brand new gym. Best of all, these facilities are safe spaces and open year round, truly offering the youth of the community an alternative to hanging out on the streets.
OUR CORE VALUES
Respect, Responsibility, Support & Positive Communication
Our first step is creating a space for kids where they feel physically and psychologically safe. We make sure their basic needs are being met, and we provide structure, predictability, and reliability in their environment and relationships at HOLA.
ENGAGEMENT & NURTURING
We build on kids’ sense of safety by engaging them in programming, validating early accomplishments, nurturing their interests, and making connections to other topics they can explore.
INSPIRING & CHALLENGING
Once kids feel strong in themselves and in their relationship with HOLA, we begin to push them more. We challenge kids to think bigger about their futures and their potential, and we inspire them with possibility.
We give kids chances to take the next step. Whether that step happens within our programming, at a college of their choice, or with one of our partners, we open doors and support kids as they explore what their futures hold.
We expect kids to use their talents and opportunities to engage in the world around them in meaningful ways. Every child has the potential to become a productive, caring, and responsible citizen, who is working hand-in-hand with staff, board members, volunteers, policy makers, and parents, to make our community a better place.
Want to be a part of our mission?
Here's how you can help: