ANNUAL REPORT 2019 - 2020

Cultivating Community Connections


London Brown, actor, dancer, comedian, radio host, impressionist and LA’s BEST Alumni

The arts saved me. I don’t know what I would be doing without the arts. The energy for me started on the stage at LA’s BEST. My message for the students is to learn something that makes you happy.

LA’s BEST continues to support students long after they’ve graduated from elementary school.

The LA’s BEST alumni network -– LA’s BEST Alumni: Leading LA –- helps alumni build their personal and professional network, learn about events and resources, and share their stories. Since November 2019, the alumni network has grown by 30% to include almost 700 alumni. 

In response to alumni surveys and feedback, we launched three resource-focused webinars: The Job Search 101: Tips, Tools & Advice, How to Launch a Startup/Side Hustle 101 and Simply Managing Your Money: How to Achieve Your Financial Goals. LA’s BEST Board Members led the webinars and provided industry expertise and resources.

LA’s BEST awarded three $500 Alumni Scholarships to support our alumni’s educational goals. We awarded the first scholarship in November 2019, and two additional scholarships in June 2020 in an effort to offer more resources to alumni during COVID-19. Thank you to LA’s BEST Advisory Board member Lisa Boren and her husband David Boren for donating one of the scholarships! Excerpts from the winners’ submissions are below.

Erika Gonzalez,
NEW Academy Canoga Park

“I hope to one day become a pediatrician and work for an underserved community like the one I grew up in. My goal is to improve the life and health of low income children by making them aware of healthier choices. I hope to make long lasting connections with my patients influencing them to care for their mental and physical health.”

Amanda Gracian,
Fenton Avenue Elementary

“For as long as I can remember I found fulfillment in giving. Through pursuing my MBA and MD, I plan to open various health clinics within the communities of South and East Los Angeles as well as the San Fernando Valley. I would ensure to provide medical care providers, but also health-care and financial literacy educators.”

Ashley Ramirez,
Los Angeles Elementary

“Experiencing health inequities first hand has motivated me to pursue a career as a family medicine physician. In my eyes, a good physician understands the community members they serve, comfortably communicates with them, and understands the intersectionality of socioeconomics and race in healthcare.”