ANNUAL REPORT 2019 - 2020

Cultivating Community Connections


Our Partners

Our partners share our vision, and bring that vision to fruition — and for that we are grateful. We want to thank our partners for trusting us, sticking by us, and being phenomenally flexible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to our partners the City of Los Angeles and LAUSD Beyond The Bell for their leadership. As a result, we’ve been able to serve LA’s BEST students and staff without missing a beat. We would like to thank a few partners in particular:

Thank you, LA84 Foundation, for your unstinting support, which enables us to work toward play equity — an issue that’s gaining more attention thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement. We also thank you for your flexibility with the funding, and for your concern for our staff members’ wellbeing during the pandemic.  

Thank you, Spectrum, for your generosity in April 2020, which provided us with operating support we needed during the COVID-19 crisis. We also appreciate that you tell LA BEST’s story in Spectrum News 1 segments, which spreads the word about our work, and about the issues we’re facing.

Thank you, USC Athletics, for hosting amazing events that have inspired thousands of LA’s BEST students to be their healthiest selves: the Family Health Festival, the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and the Kids Take Over Galen Center Event. We’re also inspired by your work as a COVID-19 first responder.

COVID-19 Response

March 14 to June 30, 2020

At the onset of the pandemic, LA’s BEST worked swiftly yet strategically to support our staff and families. Our staff went above and beyond to help LA’s BEST families, and each other — and our partners stood by us and donated with their hearts and resources.  


We are grateful for our partners who made donations and donated supplies to increase our staff’s capacity to work remotely, as well as items that complemented LAUSD Beyond The Bell’s efforts to serve families. Many thanks to our generous supporters including, USC Athletics and SoCalGas.


thanks to Simplehuman for donating 360 hands-free dispensers and hand sanitizer.


thanks to TOMS for donating 2,500 pairs of shoes for LA’s BEST staff. 


thanks to LA Sparks for donating face masks to help our staff stay safe.

Grab & Go Food Distribution Centers

Our staff distributed food and other necessities at the LAUSD Beyond The Bell Grab & Go Food Distribution Centers for families across the city. Watch this video of team members in action who served more than 500,000 meals, five days a week — and who continue to do so today.

LA’s BEST Connects

LA’s BEST Connects was created as a virtual platform to engage our community and to provide resources about nutrition, mental health, ongoing learning and meaningful engagement. LA’s BEST Connects also includes personal, fun and educational videos from staff members.


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.”


Juan Rodriguez, Former Staff Member and Current Board Member

LA’s BEST is creating environments where children can expand the limits of their curiosity regardless of their social or economic backgrounds and thus opening the door to possibilities not always provided in some of our most at need and vulnerable communities.

LA’s BEST 2019 – 2020
Annual Report Executive Summary

Thank you to our supporters!