|   Featured Grantee, News

In a world where every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive having access to resources is pivotal. L.L. Foundation for Youth was able to have a significant impact on the lives of students at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation. L.L. Foundation for Youth supported students in grades 9-12, particularly those navigating emotional, learning, and developmental disabilities. This work has become a beacon of hope for these students, empowering them to pursue their dreams and contribute meaningfully to society.

Central to this support is the provision of part-time job coaches, who serve as mentors for students venturing into community employment. Through their partnership with L.L. Foundation for Youth they were able to hire these necessary supports. These coaches play a multifaceted role, guiding students through the intricacies of the workplace while equipping them with crucial skills for success. From honing problem-solving abilities to mastering time management, students are given the tools they need to overcome challenges and thrive in their roles. These job coaches go beyond mere employment preparation; they also assist students in exploring their individual interests and abilities. Through personalized guidance, they identify each student’s unique strengths and tailor support accordingly, laying the groundwork for future success. This holistic approach ensures that every student receives the necessary guidance to thrive, whether in the workforce or beyond.

Furthermore, the impact of the ECF extends beyond the classroom and workplace. Their support has enabled their Kayne Eras School to launch a groundbreaking Work Readiness Transition Program, providing high school seniors with invaluable paid work experience at ECF’s Exceptional Building in Inglewood, CA. Through this program, students who may have never previously held employment are gaining essential skills, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment. By addressing logistical barriers such as transportation, the foundation ensures that these opportunities are accessible to all students, regardless of their circumstances.

Together, L.L. Foundation for Youth and ECF are not only expanding job prospects but also fostering a culture of empowerment and possibility for students with disabilities.

  |   Featured Grantee

In the heart of Little Tokyo, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) serves as a vital nexus for promoting Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture. With unwavering support from the L.L. Foundation for Youth, JACCC has embarked on a transformative initiative, waiving fees for 25 young adults to explore various Japanese art forms over two years. This partnership aims to empower these individuals with skills and arts-based leadership as they transition into adulthood.

Through immersive programs and mentorship from community elders, participants are not only mastering traditional techniques but also deepening their connection to their heritage. The nurturing environment of JACCC fosters collaboration and camaraderie, transcending cultural boundaries and creating a network of support among participants.

Central to this initiative is the mentorship provided by seasoned practitioners, who pass down centuries-old traditions and instill values of discipline and creativity. As participants absorb these teachings, they become stewards of their cultural legacy, poised to carry it forward into the future.

As these young adults embark on their journey, they carry with them the invaluable lessons and experiences gained through their immersion in Japanese arts and culture. With newfound skills and perspectives, they are poised to become leaders within their communities, bridging cultures and inspiring others to embrace diversity and creativity.

  |   Featured Grantee

The Children’s Ranch Foundation introduces an animal caretaking initiative designed for children, teenagers, and young adults with diverse abilities, including those tackling learning, social/emotional, and developmental challenges. Crafted by a dedicated team of women specializing in therapeutic horsemanship, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, and special education, their community program offers tailored lessons to meet the unique needs of each student. Beyond traditional horseback riding programs, the focus extends to the care of various animals such as horses, rabbits, chickens, and guinea pigs, fostering emotional awareness and creating a common language for families.

The impact of the L.L. Foundation for Youth has been instrumental in advancing their mission. Their full funding of the Lulu Xochi Calderon Program stands as a testament to their commitment. This initiative provided 12 young adults facing significant developmental, social/emotional, and learning challenges with the opportunity to work at the Ranch for over 5 months. The young adults experienced substantial benefits from this support, including access to a dedicated space and responsive support staff attuned to their specific needs.

This collaboration not only expanded the reach of their program but also underscored the Foundation’s dedication to creating transformative opportunities for those overcoming unique challenges. The partnership between The Children’s Ranch Foundation and the L.L. Foundation for Youth exemplifies the power of collective efforts in fostering positive change and providing meaningful experiences for young individuals navigating developmental journeys.

  |   Featured Grantee

Foundation For Women Warriors (FWW) is a distinguished organization with a deep-rooted commitment to supporting women veterans and their children, recognizing the distinct set of challenges that women face in the military. In a historically male-dominated sphere, the experiences of women in the armed forces often go unnoticed and unaddressed. For more than a century, FWW has been at the forefront of offering unwavering support to empower and uplift women who have served their country, both during their military service and in the transition to civilian life.

The profound impact of FWW’s mission is further amplified through partnerships with organizations like L.L. Foundation for Youth (LLFY). LLFY takes immense pride in aligning with FWW’s legacy, enabling them to provide critical resources to women warriors. Specifically, LLFY has played a crucial role in offering emergency financial assistance and child care stipends to women veterans aged 18-26. This support has proven to be a lifeline for many, preventing homelessness and significantly enhancing their personal and economic well-being.

The Foundation for Women Warriors is indispensable due to its tailored focus on the needs of women veterans and their families. Their comprehensive support programs encompass a wide spectrum of services, ranging from educational and financial assistance to housing support and assistance in transitioning to civilian life. By improving the quality of life for women warriors, FWW not only empowers these brave individuals but also extends a promise of better opportunities and brighter prospects to their children. Through their dedicated work, FWW serves as a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change in the lives of those who have served their country with honor and distinction.

  |   Featured Grantee

Since 1942, Didi Hirsch has been serving communities in Southern California. They aim to promote mental wellness, prevent suicide, and break through the stigmas associated with mental illness. Didi Hirsch’s work spans beyond their clinical work in mental health as they have several programs and initiatives dedicated to serving their diverse communities. These partnerships expand access to mental health care and drive innovation in addressing mental health challenges. Their commitment to mental health shows through their comprehensive services, dedication to diversity, and community engagement efforts. 

Emerging adulthood is marked by growth, change, and at times strong emotions. The Didi Hirsch Teen Line acknowledges this sensitive time and acts as a safe space for teens in crisis. The Teen Line is a space for teens to seek support, resources, and hope through professionally trained teen counselors. L.L. Foundation for Youth was able to support Didi Hirsch through providing support to facilitate their Mental Health Services’ Teen Line.  The teen counselors go through extensive training with licensed professionals that teach them skills like crisis management and suicide assessment. These trained teen counselors are available on a hotline from 6-10PM PST every night to respond to calls, text, and emails from other teens in need. Being able to speak with another teen provides powerful support for teens in crisis. The Teen Line program also provides education opportunities for parents and caregivers on mental health and warning signs of suicide. The Teen Line is so unique because it is a space that enables teens to get support by other teenagers who can empathize with them. This approach fosters an additional sense of safety and understanding that can be difficult to achieve during these sensitive times in one’s life. 

The Teen Line program is essential because it aims to help teens tackle the issues that tend to emerge in this part of their lives and provide hope. Didi Hirsch has trained over 2,000 high school students to be figures in their communities through providing a safe space and mental health support. L.L. Foundation for Youth is proud to partner with such an impactful organization.  

  |   Featured Grantee

L.L. Foundation for Youth has provided Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services with a grant of $100,000.00. OYHFS has been dedicated to helping children in and at risk of foster care achieve success at home, at school, and beyond for over a century. In response to the fragmented services experienced by many youth in the child welfare system, OYHFS provides a full continuum of care that supports youth over time, across all levels of care, and into adulthood.

The funding from this grant, along with additional funding and contracts, has enabled the organization to renovate old dormitories, modernize its facilities, and provide affordable and safe transitional housing for former foster youth, along with a community garden, large kitchen, and recreation facilities. Additionally, OYHFS has successfully implemented a program with case management support centered around wellness, education, relationships, and career. With the program in place and the housing almost completed, OYHFS was able to accept the contract offered by LA County Child and Family Services for providing transitional housing for 18+-year-old foster youth and allowing them to serve more young adults.

We are really very appreciative of LLFY Foundation. It has been transformative for us: it was the right gift, the right size, at the right time. It lined up.

Todd Sosna, Ph.D., CEO

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