It is a privilege to share the work and impact of the 2022-2023 program year. As you will read in the pages ahead, this was another remarkable year for Para Los Niños. We continued to deepen the connections in the communities we serve and expanded to serve many more children, youth, and families. Internally, we expanded our capacity and dove into employee connection, engagement and appreciation.
In this report you will see some of the numbers that show our impact, but more importantly the stories behind those numbers – from mother Ana and her partnership with our Mental Health team to build a stronger bond with her family, and from youth who built their path to success in partnership with our Youth Workforce Services team and have returned to support their community. As you’ll read, our work at PLN is more important than ever.
This year also marked the conclusion of a strategic plan, through which we have made some key changes to the focus and implementation of our work across our early education centers, charter schools, youth centers, and mental health supports. Additionally, we have looked inward to build capacity and deepen our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts into our systems and initiatives. Learn more about our strategic plan on here.
This impact and growth is only possible through the support of our generous donors, our volunteers on, and our staff. In the pages ahead you will see the dedication of our supporters, volunteers, and the deep connection our teachers, therapists, advisors, administrators, and all of the PLN team have to our mission. This is a part of PLN that we are so proud of and know is critical to our success.
We look forward to building and launching a strategic refresh in the year ahead; to laying out our vision for the next 10 years, with some specific goals and actions laid out for the next few years. We will continue to serve the Los Angeles community through our signature holistic and comprehensive support, while we simultaneously explore creating a greater impact through work in policy and advocacy, by uplifting youth voices, and by expanding mental health access. As always, we will focus on being a trusted partner with the children and youth, and their families.
Thank you for being a part of this leadership and community.
It can be difficult to understand all that PLN does for children, youth, and families. Check out the video above to learn a bit more about what we do, why we do it, and who we do it for.
Margarita enrolled all her sons at Para Los Niños as toddlers. Her eldest son, now 27 years old, attended PLN’s preschool; and her two younger boys have graduated from PLN’s preschool and elementary school. Dylan and Daniel are currently enrolled in PLN Charter Middle School as 6th and 8th graders, respectively.
“[The classes] have greatly benefited them. It has helped them develop confidence in themselves. They’ve even had concerts with audiences, which has made them less shy and more self-assured and disciplined,” Margarita shares.
The opportunities PLN schools have given her sons–including taking classes at The Colburn School’s Community School of Performing Arts–are one of the many reasons Margarita has driven from Huntington Park to Downtown Los Angeles every weekday since 2015.
When Margarita’s sons began attending PLN, she worked near the schools; but even after leaving her job in downtown LA, she decided to drive 15 miles every morning and afternoon to give her children continued access to the education, resources, and relationships offered by PLN. “I don’t mind the commute. It is beneficial for their lives to be in a good school,” says Margarita.
Margarita shared that while she is sad to have her boys graduate and leave PLN schools in the coming years, she knows that the relationships they have formed, opportunities they have embraced, and education they have received during their time at PLN will last a lifetime.
PLN children, youth, and families come from communities across Los Angeles. Many of them face systemic bias and trauma as they pursue opportunities others take for granted: a great education, mentors, or access to safe stable housing.
At PLN, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential; and every family should have the resources to equip their child to succeed. Through education, partnership, and advocacy Para Los Niños helps families thrive.
Children, youth, and families served annually
Majority of families’ served by our students and community services annual income.
of the children and families served by PLN live in areas of concentrated poverty*
of families at our Skid Row Early Education Center identify as homeless
*Service Planning Areas 4 and 6: Communities, including Downtown LA/Skid Row, West Lake/Pico-Union, Boyle Heights, Hollywood, and South Los Angeles, have the highest levels of food insecurity and homelessness in LA County.
Our Theory of Change (ToC) is grounded in the recognition that new approaches are needed to truly transform communities. The ToC formalizes how our mission, vision, and core values engender change through our programs for children, youth, and families.
The ToC will function as an anchor to develop clear aims and strategies and build a strong foundation for ongoing decision-making, evaluation, and communication with internal and external stakeholders.
We provide high-quality academic and social-emotional education that fosters creative problem-solving and innovation in order to promote school readiness.
We provide social-emotional wraparound support to parents and our communities to promote well-being, and support students’ academic and social success.
We partner with and uplift communities that connect children, youth, and families to education and resources to lead and succeed. We engage in advocacy and policy efforts to improve service delivery systems.
For over 42 years, PLN has partnered with children and their families to provide a comprehensive, holistic approach. As a result, we encourage families to engage with PLN in multiple ways and enroll in as many services as possible.
in 7th Grade Math Results at Para Los Niños Charter Middle School
Paid hours of internships by youth building their careers in our Youth Workforce Services program
Boxes distributed through Best Start, PILA, and our Peace & Healing Center
Parents attended workshops supporting the well-being of their families
In grocery gift cards distributed to youth and families
Of children going into kindergarten achieved all school readiness benchmarks on 2022-2023 DRDP assessments
Hours of mental health support administered to children and families
– Pedro J. Martí, Para Los Niños
Former Board Member and
2020 Caruso Familia Award Honoree
Para Los Niños is committed to supporting communities and families that are negatively impacted by the conditions in which they live, work, and play.
These conditions, known as social determinants of health (SDOH), are divided into five categories: economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and environment, and social and community context. Poverty, housing instability, literacy and language, access to health services, crime and violence, food insecurity, and discrimination – all are negative impacts one can face through their SDOH, and these are also some of the greatest issues the families of PLN face.
Education Access and Quality
A core part of PLN’s work is to provide excellent education to children as young as six weeks old through eighth grade. However, PLN also supports youth throughout high school and college entry and acts as a resource for parents and guardians seeking educational services.
Health Care Access and Quality
The pandemic exposed serious inequities in health care systems across the U.S., but the work of our promotoras in our communities was already strong as early as 2018. Today, PLN partners with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to continue to break barriers and build community access to quality health care.
Our goal is to disrupt generational poverty and give children and youth the foundation to lead successful lives through academics and social emotional skills. Further, we partner with the entire family to address setbacks and to help families overcome obstacles and move forward.
Social Community Context
The connections we have with those around us are crucial to our health and well-being. PLN’s approach is relationship based to help children, youth, and families build connections within their homes and in their communities. PLN understands how safe and caring relationships mitigate some of the negative impact of trauma and stress.
Neighborhood and Built Environment
Many PLN families live in neighborhoods that have high rates of violence, unsafe air or water, and other safety and health risks. Our goal is to help residents advocate for systems change, uplift the voices of the marginalized, and make space for them to catalyze the change they want to see in their communities.
Para Los Niños was founded on Skid Row, so supporting the unhoused community is part of our foundation. While the majority of those who reside in the area are single men or women, for the families who lose their homes, or are recent immigrants waiting for asylum, or for the children born into poverty – there is only one crisis shelter who will accept them: Union Rescue Mission (URM). Recognizing URM’s role as a home to many children on Skid Row, Para Los Niños approached URM and formed a partnership to support resident families. PLN’s mental health team serves URM families and children with no documentation or insurance required.
Further, the PLN mental health team spearheaded
the Skid Row Collaborative in partnership with fellow agencies to better share the resources and process for housing support with case managers and service providers across the county. PLN Best Start Region 1 also focused primarily
on housing this year, to address the rising concerns of residents. After accessing participants it was found that afford-ability, lack of adequate housing, and quality of housing itself, were overwhelmingly the primary concerns of PLN communities.
Due to our location and partnership with URM, the children staying there also attend our schools. In fact, at our early education center on 6th Street, 89% of parents identified as unhoused. In addition, PLN Charter Middle School is the “home school” for URM 6-8th graders; nearly 10% of the CMS student population identify
With our robust family support services and social workers on site, we have initiatives designed to welcome students and provide them with laundry access; new clothes; snacks; free meals; and trusted, safe adults with whom to build relationships. Our organization has strong intervention systems and fully integrated supports across our mental health, school staff, and clinical services to support children and families experiencing homelessness through academics, linkages, concrete supports, and even financial support to find a home and build a stable, connected environment.
Families outside of PLN schools provided Mental Health Support Services through agreement with Union Rescue Mission
Families participated in free playgroups at Union Rescue Mission run by Para Los Niños PILA program to build stronger parent child bonds and play safely and freely
Distributed to families at risk of losing their home – funded through The Dr. Ruth Milman and Dr. Frederick Schiff Foundation
– Martha, Para Los Niños client and mom of three who was at Union Rescue Mission experiencing homelessness, now in long term housing.
PLN’s Youth Workforce Services program guides youth, ages 14 to 24, on the path to success in education and the workforce. For many YWS students, this path leads them back to PLN to help serve kids like them who deserve guidance, support, and relationships to unlock their full potential. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find staff at PLN who were a part of PLN schools or services when they were younger. PLN is proud of the number of PLN alumni who return to join the mission and pave the way for more children, youth, and families to succeed. Darlene and Beto are both YWS graduates who work at PLN to transform communities and build a brighter future for children, youth, and families.
“We found the layout and design of your site to be nurturing and stimulating for early learning. It was clear that the children were settling into their routines well as they are being guided by a dedicated team of professionals.”
Donors from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
California Community Foundation
Caruso Family Foundation
Diane and Dorothy Brooks Foundation
The Rose Hills Foundation
United Way of Greater Los Angeles
Casey Family Programs
J. B. & Emily Van Nuys Charities
The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation
The Dr. Ruth Milman and
Dr. Frederick Schiff Foundation
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
Baptist Service Corporation
Andrea and Blake Brown
Dwight Stuart Youth Fund
My Code Media
National Charity League Los Angeles
The Kaplan Family Fund
Walter J. and Holly O. Thomson Foundation
Change A Life Foundation
Ann Daly and John Gustafson
Fineshriber Family Foundation
Madeleine Heil and Sean Petersen
Kautz Family Foundation
Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation
Leonard Hill Charitable Trust
Adria and Pedro Martí
Janet Moss and Bill Panzera†
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Ross Stores Inc.
Southern California Grantmakers
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation*
The Mindel Family Foundation
Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation
Holly and Albert Baril
Lorraine* and Joe Berchtold
The California State University Office of the Chancellor
Citizens Business Bank
Great Public Schools Now
Cathy* and Ed Hession†
Judith and Donald Katz†
Linda and Kenneth Millman
Payden & Rygel
Richard Eaton Foundation
The Louis L. Borick Foundation
The Walt Disney Company
Walter* Parkes and Laurie MacDonald Charitable Foundation
Gail and George Baril
Blue Shield of California
Kelly and Bill* Burton
Alexander J. Caruso
Hana and Kelvin Davis
Susan* and Scott Edelman
Electronic Arts Inc.
Ford Motor Company Fund & Community Services
Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation
Johnny Carson Foundation
Lisa and Victor Kohn
Gail Lees and David Joslyn
Marjorie* and Steven Lewis
MUFG Union Bank Foundation
Pedro J. Pizarro and Monica D. Kohler
Beverly and Fredric Reichel
Sullivan Curtis Monroe
Insurance Services, LLC
The Minc Family Fund
Webcor Construction LP
The William H. Hannon Foundation
Winebaum Family Foundation*
Cindy* and Jake Winebaum
In Honor of Elise Zebrack
Alperstein, Simon, Farkas, Gillin & Scott, LLP
Angelo and Jack Angelo
Arch Insurance Group Inc.
ArentFox Schiff LLP
Landon Johnson and Camilo* Becdach
Boarding House Mentors
Cotton On USA, Inc.*
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
Anna May and Tim Feige
First 5 LA
Robert and Alene Gelbard
Greenberg Traurig, LLP*
Joan Hansen and Alan Wilken
Guy and Kendra Langer
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Cold Storage Company
Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation
Lucille Ellis Simon Foundation
Barbara and Roy March
Mary Ann and Murray* McQueen
Gregory and Maureen Morrison
Lindsey Garcia and Parker* Morse
Jill and Mark* Pan
Pensieve Foods LLC
Rebecca* and Matthew Rich
Linda and Michael Rosen
Rachel Fiset and Ronnie* Roy
Harry N. Scheiber
Share Family Donor Advised Fund
Susan Shieldkret and David Dull
The Carol and James Collins Foundation*
The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation
The Melvoin Foundation
Kathy and Charles Toppino
Fran and John* Wasley†
Malin* Wong and James Kissane
Janini and Michael Wunderman
Laura Fry and Scott Altman
Burning Torch Inc.
City First Bank*
Dutton Testamentary Trust
Katie Mercer and Jorge Fernandez
Friars Charitable Foundation
Glaser Weil LLP
Los Angeles Water & Power Employees’ Association
McKinsey & Company*
Janet and Patrick Moore
Eleanor and Glenn Padnick
Ruth & Sonny Singer Foundation
Samaritana Medical Clinic
Albert J. Schwartz
Sony Pictures Television
The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation
William Van Noll
Rachel and Paul Vogel
Mary Jane Wagle
Albatross Charitable Foundation
American Business Bank
Beauty Industry West
Carl B. Beverly
Krysten A. Brennan
California Fashion Foundation
Martha and Tim Catlin
Clare and Warren Dern
Christine and Tony Digiovanni
Gail and Michael Feuer
Kristin and Brian Ford
Naya Bloom and Andrew Furedi
Marianne and Ronald Furedi
Michael L. Galindo
Gloria Gerace and Thomas Mone
Marcos Cruz Gonzalez
Mark L. Hamilton
R. Christine Hershey and Susan Van Horn
Lindsay and Nick Hutchinson
Richard P. Krafsur
Kelly and Matthew Levy
Melissa and Peter Lopez
Christina Mariscal Pasten
McAllister & Quinn
Michael and Susan Horn Family Foundation
Ayana and Mike Moulton
Victoria Shier and Andrei* Muresianu†
Anna M. Nicola
Sarah Angel and Dan Nieman
Nina and Fabian Oberfeld
Theresa M. and Timothy J. Ortez
Simone and Patrick Purcell
Namrita and Dennis Puri
Melita and Stuart Riddle
Richard H. Sander and Fiona A. Harrison
Santa Barbara Foundation
Steven and Laura Mayer Family Foundation
Millie and Donald Strasser
Lisa and Mike Tan
Mimi and Jose* Tejada
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
The Coral Group
The Kleiner Cohen Foundation
The Los Angeles Flower Market
The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
Carrie and Peter Tilton
Diana and Robert Walker
John T. Walsh, III
Cynthia Watts and Andy Jen
Caroline Welch and Dan Siegel
Wellesley Advisors Inc.
Sarah Wick and Robert Padnick
It was over 25 years ago that Bill Panzera first heard of Para Los Niños from a friend in a running club. It was an instant connection though when Bill met the students, “It started with the children – just fantastic, and then meeting the employees. I was impressed to find that many employees were former students there. This certainly made me feel better about the organization” Bill shared of his experiences over the years visiting.
After several visits, Bill encouraged his partner, Janet Moss, to support PLN as well. Janet worked in the garment district for many years, which fostered a sense of kinship with PLN families. “The Textile Association of Los Angeles hosted a Christmas party every year for downtown schools, and PLN was included,” shares Janet. “It was so rewarding to see their faces as the event – but it was always about the kids!”
“Over time we got to meet more students and employees and felt that our money was being well used,” Bill continues. Today Bill and Janet are Futuro Family members and continue to be champions of PLN.
– Bill Panzera and Janet Moss,
PLN Donors for 25 years, Futuro Family Members
As a company, Arch Insurance aims to support and uplift the communities it serves. It was important for Arch Insurance to be a part of something bigger than themselves and to support communities marginalized by society due to income and race. “We saw the nurturing and dedication from the staff and teachers to ensure a safe and inclusive environment,” shares John Washington, Vice President of Arch Insurance Group and dedicated volunteer. “For the people involved, its not a job – it’s a mission to make sure the kids are learning and loved.”
Inspired by their initial visit, Arch coordinated with staff and teachers to “adopt” PLN Charter Elementary School’s first-grade class in 2018. Since then, Arch Insurance employees have visited the class regularly, reading with students and supporting teachers with their curriculum. In 2020, when the pandemic necessitated distance learning, Arch continued with their commitment and even supported with fundraising to ensure students had all they needed to be successful from home.
Each year, Arch has found more ways to support their class and partner with PLN. In 2022, John joined PLN’s annual benefit host committee and had the privilege of introducing one of the students from his “adopted” class on stage to recite a poem.
PLN is immensely grateful for the support and dedication of Arch Insurance employees. Their partnership is an example of how rewarding the commitment to young minds is for the students and for volunteers alike.
Thank you to all our donors July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
Lorraine and Joe Berchtold*
Giorgio O. Bosso
Kelly and Bill Burton*
Caruso Family Foundation*
CBS Media Ventures*
Cotton On USA, Inc.*
Ann Daly and John Gustafson
Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel
Susan and Scott Edelman*
El Charro Restaurant
Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien Annaguey LLP
Hensel Phelps Construction Co.
Cathleen and Edwin Hession*
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Judith and Donald Katz
Liza and Chris Katzer
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Clippers Foundation
Los Angeles Cold Storage Company
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation
Malibu Beach Inn
Adria and Pedro Martí
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Mona and Tony Nicholas
Olive & June
Ross Stores Inc.
Sony Pictures Television
Target Corporate Headquarters
The Beverly Hills Hotel
The Beverly Hilton
The Los Angeles Lakers, Inc.
The Magic Castle
The Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation
The Walt Disney Company
Universal Studios Hollywood
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
*Indicates Board Affiliated Giving
The volunteer program is still growing, and we are always looking for individuals, corporations, foundations, and employee groups to support through in-kind gifts and time – whether you prefer a single day or service or mentoring a youth for years, there is an opportunity for you!
443 volunteers over the year across PLN sites
36 volunteer events
3,530 hours of support
Blue Shield Promise
Campbell Hall School
Maria Cos- Olivera
Cecilia- Karen W’emedi
LA County’s Military & Veterans Affairs Office
Los Encinos School
Milken Community School
Mira Costa High School
National Charity League
Argelia Nava- Massey
United Talent Agency
USC Catholic Center
“As clinicians, we might plant the seed but sometimes we don’t get to see the full impact. It’s slow work… But we have parents here that start coming to us in preschool and go all the way through charter and still come back to us because… we’ve built that trust.”
Evelyn Cumpian is the Para Los Niños Mental Health Coordinator for Early Headstart and Headstart Schools. Across seven locations, Cumpian provides support to PLN students, their families, and their teachers. Among her many services are social-emotional student assessments, school and home observations, and mental health consultations for instructors.
“Our [teacher consultations] are really about understanding the inner self. How are they showing up, their state of mind in the classroom because we know how you present yourself really dictates how you are present for our kiddos.”
Prior to Cumpian’s 11 years with PLN, she worked as a teacher at her children’s school. She was studying to be a nurse but found her calling in early education. Her journey with PLN began in South LA, working as a substitute teacher before progressing to head teacher, and then site supervisor. She acted as site supervisor for other PLN locations, where she met clinicians supporting students and families. Inspired, and with PLN’s full support, she returned to school to earn her MFT, becoming a licensed clinician herself.
“[The Vice President of Early Education] was super open and very flexible for me going to school and working. It’s just insane now that I’m thinking about it, but at the same time, I became Program Manager… I had a great team of other site supervisors.”
Cumpian has been PLN’s Mental Health Coordinator for three years and prides herself in the services she and her team provide.
“We have a lot of bilingual clinicians, which, I’ll be honest, is not something you see everywhere. That’s something great about PLN. We are accessible to the communities that we work with.”
of employees feel they are given the opportunity to make important decisions in their department
of employees feel they have opportunities to learn and grow at the organization
of employees have been at Para Los Niños five years or more
Created a social emotional wellness framework that crosses all programs and staff
Began an intentional diversity, equity, and inclusion plan for all staff and hired our first managing director of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging
Developed a leadership framework to launch a more robust growth and development process, including hiring our first associate director of employee engagement and experience
Articulated the PLN Theory of Change which formalizes how our mission, vision, and core values engender change through our programs for children, youth, and families
Designed the infrastructure for a data warehouse that will capture the impact and breadth of our services
For years, Ana, a parent of three Para Los Niños students, struggled to respond to her children’s emotional needs. From a young age, Ana endured unimaginable hardships. As a mother, she worked tirelessly to build a home that would not replicate those hardships.
However, despite her best efforts the trauma she experienced as a child impacted her relationship with her children. Knowing she had to address her underlying issues to better support her children emotionally, Ana sought help from PLN’s Mental Health team where she was connected to Daibelis Yerena, MFT. Through her sessions with Daibelis, Ana worked on regulating her emotions, building her communication skills, and developing a more positive approach to parenting.
“[My childhood] affected me because, without realizing it, I wasn’t very loving [to my children]. I was one of those moms who didn’t hug her children, the kind that thought it wasn’t necessary because I didn’t have it.”
Before therapy, Ana coped with her stress by establishing strict rules for her children, like demanding silence in the car instead of allowing conversation. Over time, Ana realized how this rule hindered her relationship with her children; they could not share exciting projects, new friends, or simple anecdotes from their day.
Today, Ana enjoys picking up her eldest daughter from college to hear about her day and welcomes her four-year-old daughter’s enthusiastic stories from class. Ana credits her work with Daibelis for her improvements in active listening and emotion regulation.