HOLA and Dept of Recreation and Parks to Celebrate Westlake Area Community Youth Graduates

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) will host SWAP/MEET, a public gathering and exchange that will feature art work created by HOLA’s Visual Arts students and local artists.

Online PR News – 08-June-2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will hold a Community Graduation to celebrate the accomplishments of elementary, middle, high school, college AND graduate school graduates in the West Lake Area of Los Angeles. Many of the graduates are the first in their families to graduate from high school and go off to college and special acknowledgement will be given to those students who are graduating from college and graduate school. This year, thanks to the generous support of several funders, HOLA will distribute nearly $250,000 in college scholarships to graduating seniors. The Community Graduation will be held in Lafayette Park from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. HOLA Board President Jeff Le Sage will deliver the keynote address. The festive celebration will include musical performances, the marching of the color guard and presentation of certificates to all of the graduates. The Lafayette Recreation Center is a result of the historic public-private partnership between HOLA and the Department of Recreation and Parks to transform Lafayette Park into a versatile campus that provides exceptional academic, arts, recreation and athletic programs to the surrounding community. The Community Graduation exemplifies the community benefit and highlights the educational and enrichment accomplishments that are achieved when best in class partners and individuals come together to help solve larger societal problems. “Our Community Graduation symbolizes the true power of such partnerships and it will be a prideful moment for the entire community,” said Tony Brown, Executive Director of HOLA. “Over 150 community members and city officials will assemble to honor the graduates who are committed to giving back and working together to find solutions to the challenges we face as a community."

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
For more than two decades, HOLA has provided thousands of at-risk youth with free and exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics, including a vibrant and growing visual arts department, a world-class youth orchestra program, a full college prep program and sports leagues. HOLA offers youth the opportunity to break the generational cycle of poverty and pursue their dreams. Although 90% of HOLA's families live at or below the poverty line and graduation rates are persistently low in our neighborhood schools, this past year all of the students who graduated from our high school program are now pursuing their post-secondary education at colleges nationwide. HOLA is a national model of social change, poised to make a larger impact for years to come. www.heartofla.org.

City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department
The Department of Recreation and Parks maintains over 15,710 acres of parkland with over 400 neighborhood and regional parks, 184 recreation centers and facilities, 368 children’s play areas, 321 tennis courts, 256 ball fields, 31 senior centers, 13 golf courses, nine dog parks, 18 skate parks, 12 museums and an urban forest of one million trees. The Department also provides after school, day care and athletic programs for children and teens, including basketball, volleyball, softball and flag football leagues. For more information about Department of Recreation and Parks events, activities, services, programs, and facilities, go to www.laparks.org, or call 311, or (213) 202-2700.