Throughout the 27 years that I have been a part of LA’s BEST, both as a staff member and parent, I have felt supported and nurtured in my professional growth and as an individual. Despite the size of LA’s BEST, leadership is committed to the experience and growth of every child and staff member.
I grew up with LA’s BEST! I started working with LA’s BEST when I was 16 years old at Hillside Elementary School in the Lincoln Heights area. I was really interested in making connections and building relationships with children and I just fell in love with the work. From then on I have held positions at all levels of LA’s BEST, from working directly with the students to working with the administrative team and now as the Site Operations Director. I’ve done it all!
I have been able to really challenge myself and explore. My experience is very special because I was growing and developing as a professional as LA’s BEST itself was expanding and becoming the large organization it is today. As we grew together, I never felt lost in a sea of thousands of others, I felt cared for and tended to as an individual.
This has always been LA’s BEST culture: Each staff member has a supportive network of peers, supervisors and top leadership that build you up.
As an LA’s BEST parent, I felt how the organization is committed to each student. Each of my three children had a unique experience in the program. My son Marlo thrived as an athlete playing every sport. Mia is an artist and the arts programming helped develop her creative mind. Moses was more reserved and the meaningful connections he made with staff and students allowed him to come out of his shell. My children were able to find their niche thanks to the staff who provided a vast array of enrichment activities that built around their (and all the students’) interests.
I look back now and think about everything LA’s BEST has given me over the past 27 years. I’m grateful for my professional development and my amazing career. LA’s BEST has also given me the opportunity to support the community where I grew up. We are just one family and I sometimes feel overwhelmed thinking about the collective impact LA’s BEST has had on the estimated 400,000 alumni and their families. All of them have an individual story and experience, this is what makes LA’s BEST so special.
My family and Los Angeles are stronger because of LA’s BEST!