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Garcetti helps kick off East LA student leadership program

Vanessa Romo | January 7, 2015

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LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today at a fundraising event for Promesa Boyle Hieghts (Credit: Eric Garcetti Facebook page)

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today at an event for Promesa Boyle Hieghts (Credit: Eric Garcetti Facebook page)

Mayor Eric Garcetti today helped kick off a fund raising campaign for Proyecto Pastoral and Promesa Boyle Heights which will focus efforts on expanding opportunity for youth in our communities.

Both groups are non-profits that work to transform the East LA neighborhood by improving targeted schools and expanding social services in the community around them.

The groups plans to raise $2 million to offer leadership training to more than 1,000 youth and adults over the next three years. It’s part of their mission to create a “cradle to career” path for local students.

“I am a direct product of Boyle Heights. All four of my grandparents settled in this neighborhood–two from Mexico and two Russian Jews escaping persecution,” Garcetti said on his Facebook page. “They came to a land they didn’t know, with a language they didn’t speak, with nothing but their determination to succeed.”

Promesa launched in 2010 with a federal Promise Neighborhood planning grant and zeroed in on students at Hollenbeck Middle School and Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School.

So far, the group has helped implement a community-school model at Mendez and managed to hire an Achievement Counselor to coordinate college-readiness supports. In 2013, Mendez became the most improved high school in California with a 76-point API gain, and more students were accepted to college since the school’s opening.

Next, Promesa plans to build a Wellness Center at Mendez to provide students with physical & mental health services, connect them to resources, and also serves as a hub for community action.

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