Essential Connections was a great success! Thank you to our sponsors and everyone who participated in the virtual event!

Please click here to watch the show!

We are honored that Michaela Pereira, our longtime supporter and anchor of Good Day LA, hosted the event. She is joined by heartfelt messages from our staff, kids and parents and videos celebrating our honorees.

All proceeds raised in honor of this inspiring and powerful event will benefit LA’s BEST. We greatly appreciate a donation of any amount. The suggested donation is $250 and you can make a secure donation here.

May 13, 2021

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Wherever you're most comfortable!

The suggested donation to attend this event is $250 and any amount is greatly appreciated.



It was an amazing auction including authentic autographed Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys. These item are MLB authenticated. 



Children’s Champion Award


ZipRecruiter has been a valued partner of LA’s BEST for the past five years. ZipRecruiter has organized and endorsed employee volunteer opportunities with students, sponsored fundraising events and donated in-kind equipment. ZipRecruiter leadership Dave Travers, who serves on LA’s BEST Board of Directors, and Ward Poulos and other ZipRecruiter employees have also been individual supporters for several years.

Community Leadership Award

Renata Simril

Ms. Simril is an accomplished and recognized civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 25 years of diversified experience in all areas of economic development policy, municipal finance, real estate finance and development, sports, and philanthropy. Renata serves as the President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation, which has been funding the LA’s BEST sports programs for over thirty years. LA84 has greatly contributed to the health and wellness of thousands of our students. As a pillar in the Los Angeles philanthropic community and through her leadership with the LA84 Foundation, Renata promotes the importance of sports in positive youth development and is galvanizing the #PlayEquity Movement.

Outstanding Alumni Award

Raymond Mora

Raymond Mora is the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Honoree. He is an LA’s BEST alum who attended Griffin Avenue Elementary School in Lincoln Heights and continues to have an active role with LA’s BEST. Raymond has visited with our students (pictured below) spoken at board meetings, attends fundraising events and supports our advocacy efforts (pictured below). He graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Political Science, Government, and Economics. Mora is currently the Program Support Manager at End Homelessness California.