Damián Mazzotta, Board of Directors Chair
Dear LA’s BEST Community,
Bringing Community Together around caring for children is a valuable measure of our impact. We weave community into the fabric of our afterschool and summer programs because a sense of belonging, with shared goals and purpose, increases one’s agency and self-efficacy. Building Community Together with LA’s BEST students, families, staff and partners helps nurture kindness and develop advocates for equity throughout Los Angeles.
As you will read in this year’s annual report, our year-round enrichment programming with students – including arts, sports, dance, nutrition, wellness, STEM, digital learning, literacy and academic support – is developed to foster teamwork and a sense of community. Our citywide events like Dance & Drill Team Showcase and tournament sports were revitalized to tackle COVID pandemic isolation. We believe it’s working. Families are showing up as instrumental members of the LA’s BEST Community.
In-person training and Summerland brought our staff together. Staff not only learned new skills, but they also connected to support each other that helped deepen their commitment to students and the future of education in Los Angeles. Our annual staff awards recognized the incredible accomplishments and dedication of our community. I invite you to read more about the winners here in the Impact Stories section of our website.
We build community together through our partnerships with the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the philanthropic private sector. The impact and scale of our work last year, reaching students from 197 schools, their families and our workforce, was possible thanks to these partners. Admiration and many thanks to LA’s BEST nonprofit staff and our operations team led by Chief Operating Officer Dee Ann Rivera for instilling community for all our stakeholders across Los Angeles.
I am grateful for the leadership within the LA’s BEST community. It is when we come together that we are stronger and our collective efforts reverberate throughout Los Angeles, providing generational benefits.
Thank you for Building Community Together. I hope you see your support and solidarity reflected in this year‘s annual report and I look forward to continuing to build together