Back to December

December 1, 2015


  1. What’s New
  2. New Hires
  3. Employee Spotlight
  4. Client Spotlight
  5. Birthdays and KYCC Anniversaries
  6. Community News
  7. Open Positions
  8. Take Note!

What’s New

Volunteer for the Holiday Carnival

KYCC’s annual holiday carnival is coming up on December 18th at Leo Politi Elementary School. Last year’s carnival brought out 2,600 people who came to join in the festivities which included carnival games, musical performances, activities, and a special visit from Santa Claus, where each child received a brand new toy. Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Volunteer! All volunteers must volunteer by Dec 9th, and priority placement goes to those who register first. Free hot breakfast and lunch is provided. Shift times are 8a-12:30p, 11:30a-4p, or 8am-4pm. Sign up here. 
  • Note your attendance and share the facebook page.
  • Volunteer to gift wrap! Those 2,600 gifts don’t wrap themselves! Gift wrapping will take place Mon, Dec 7 – Thurs, Dec 10, and Mon, Dec 14 – Thurs, Dec 17 at Wilton (2nd floor) from 4 – 7pm. We are looking for leads who are willing to take charge of volunteers and coordinate gift-wrapping for the day. Food will be provided! Or just come to gift wrap. If interested in leading a session, please sign up here.


ES Partners with Local Organizations to Plant Trees

With support from CalFire, City Plants and the Bureau of Sanitation, ES joined local residents With Love Market and Café, West Adams High School, Magnolia Place and the Mayor’s Volunteer Corps to plant 19 trees along Vermont Avenue on Sat. Nov. 21. With Love Market was our main partner in getting this planting organized, and they will continue to take care of the nine trees on their side of Vermont Ave. KYCC will work with West Adams High School to help maintain the 10 trees on the school side of the street; the trees were the Senior Gift Project from the graduating seniors to the school! We were happy that John Choi from CA State Senator De Leon’s office, and Jennifer Pope from Mayor Garcetti’s office, were able to join us at this event!

2015.11.21 ES With Love planting-low res-007

Financial Wellness at KYCC

150439_903378934780_141138611_nFinancial Wellness Starts at Tax Time
For many working families, financial well-being starts at tax time. KYCC’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program ensures families don’t pay for expensive filing fees, have an accurate return prepared, and claim thousands of dollars in tax credits.

For the very first time, California will provide an additional credit called the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CA EITC) to working families. The CA EITC, modeled after the federal EITC, can be as high as $2,653 in 2015 and $6,242 in 2016. It has been proven to be the nation’s most effective program to combat poverty. More volunteers are needed so more working families can claim these vital tax credits and access other social services at KYCC.

There are three simple ways you can get involved with KYCC’s free tax preparation services:

  1. Encourage clients to have their taxes prepared for free. Clients can either prepare their own return for free or book an appointment by visiting or by calling (323) 909-1975.
  2. Prepare your own taxes for free or book an appointment with a tax specialist by visiting or by calling (323) 909-1975.
  3. Volunteering is fun! Serve as a tax preparer, greeter or translator for Los Angeles’s largest community tax preparation program. Contact Audrey at

Staff and clients can also take advantage of KYCC’s Tax Time Savings program. Save $400 in 7 months to receive a free $100 incentive. Contact to sign-up for Tax Time Savings.

lynda_logo-460x232We now have a subscription to, hands-down one of the best sources for online learning. has exceptional videos on a large variety of topics including video editing, personal money management, productivity tools, and likely every software you use. Check out the full library of over 4,100 video courses and nerd out on this Christmas break. Use their mobile apps to learn while traveling or at a cafe.

Since we’ll be sharing one login, we need to coordinate carefully. Before using, please check and fill out this use tracking sheet. You must reserve your time in advance (one minute is still in advance, if available). Login details are on the sheet. A link to the sheet is also on the technical support page of this site. Be sure to log out when you’re finished!

New Hires

Cehila Santiago
Prevention Education – Program Assistant

Cehila Santiago loves being part of the KYCC family. She started volunteering for the VITA program in 2008 after graduating from high school. She attended Cal State LA and received a B.S. in Business Administration. After graduating, she joined the VITA program as a Site Assistant. She is now the Program Assistant for the Prevention Education Unit and works closely with Edith Bedolla. Cehila loves helping others, being part of a team, and finds it very rewarding to be part of the big difference KYCC is making in the community. She enjoys taking long hikes, exploring cafes and finding new delicious food to eat. She also enjoys exploring the city. (Free hidden treasures are her favorite!)

Martin Gonzalez
Environmental Services – Environmental Specialist

Martin began working with KYCC as an Environmental Specialist for the graffiti removal program on Nov. 12. Before coming to KYCC, Martin started working at age 14 as an at-risk youth in Echo Park with a nonprofit organization called Central City Action Committee, which kept him off the streets and out of trouble. Around the age of 26, he started working as a Supervisor at the L.A. Conservation Corps, where he applied his skills and worked his way up to Program Coordinator for the Graffiti Removal Program.  Martin likes to spend his spare time with his family, and go to theme parks and movies. He loves helping others.

Employee Spotlight

JoeChoPixJoseph Cho – Kids Town

Please tell us about yourself.
Hello. My parents named me Joe Cho and I love eating and sleeping. Sometimes I have a hard time choosing what I love more. I think anything braised or stewed become instant personal favorites. I also love carbs. 

I come from the film music industry, where I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with renowned film composers. The 16-hour days cut into my sleep schedule and my time to cook delicious stews, so I’m rethinking that situation. I still work on films on weekends and when I have time, so I hopefully haven’t burned too many bridges on that side of the world.

How did you learn about KYCC?
Back in the day, my grandpa used to live in KYCC housing until he saved enough to purchase a condo in Torrance. I always knew about KYCC, but didn’t know the level of outreach and depth of their programs until I started working at Kids Town. Shout out to Ashley Kim and teacher Lisa who gave me the rundown with a very welcoming and informative orientation.

What do you love most about your job?
The vitality I get from the children. I think it’s reversing the effects of free radicals on my complexion. But honestly, it’s the children. There really is no other reason. Their creativity in finding practical solutions to logistical dilemmas is truly fascinating and an endless source of inspiration. 

What do you tell other people about KYCC?
Only the best things. Honestly I think we need some kind of marketing department or we need to turbo charge our existing division. (Just kidding!)  I talk about all the programs and wonderful work KYCC does. Everyone is aware of our organization, but most people I talk to are clueless about the true extent of our programs. 

What is one long-term goal?
My long-term goals fair towards the slightly unattainable, but it would be something along the lines of doing my best to become selfless and be a more giving individual. Increase my capacity for empathy and effectively teach others how to be sensitive to the needs of others. 

Client Spotlight

Familia Sandoval

Familia Sandoval consists of Mario Sandoval (Father), Patricia Ramos (Mother) and Kevin Sandoval (Youth). Kevin is a GRYD client who is participating in the Middle School Program and attends our weekly Boys Group on Fridays. The parents are also active KYCC program participants. This past weekend, the Sandovals participated in the HomeWalk as part of Team KYCC!

Please tell us about yourself. 
We are a normal, hard-working family trying to make ends meet. Mario is working as a construction worker and Patricia cooks meals from home that she sells and caters to local businesses. Kevin is an 8
th grader trying to be the first in his family to culminate from middle school.    

First memory of KYCC.
We had never been to a center like Menlo, let alone receive any support from a program. It was very new to us.  When we entered Menlo, we liked the fact that it was very clean and very professional looking.  We didn’t know what to expect, but we enjoyed that the staff was very nice to our family.

What do you wish other families knew about KYCC?
We wish they knew that KYCC is a place that helps families.  A place where parents learn to become better parents and children work hard to become better than their parents.

What makes KYCC special?
It’s a safe place that keeps kids away from the dangers of the streets.  It’s a place where they have role models to learn from and strive to be like one day.

Birthdays and KYCC Anniversaries


  • Dec. 1 – Maribel Amaya
  • Dec. 7 – Frank Lee
  • Dec. 19 – Lisa Kim
  • Dec. 19 – Paula Escobar
  • Dec. 20 – Sue Jong Park
  • Dec. 25 – Irene Almaraz
  • Dec. 29 – Doris Valenzuela
  • Dec. 29 – Hyosun Baek
  • Dec. 30 – Brenda Ramos

Work Anniversaries

  • Dec. 2 – 2 years – Carlos De Santiago
  • Dec. 10 – 2 years – Sungbok Lee
  • Dec. 16 – 2 years – Grace Park

Community News

Hoilday season is here! Celebrate the merry season with the slough of events happening around Los Angeles!


REINDEER ROMP - Come see Santa’s reindeer at the L.A. Zoo starting November 27!

DOWNTOWN ON ICE! - Make like Kim Yuna and hit some double axels in Pershing Square! “Downtown on Ice is the original Los Angeles outdoor ice rink, featuring a 4,500 square-foot rink of real ice that's set up on Pershing Square in front of the landmark Millennium Biltmore Hotel.”

FREE TOURS OF LA - Rather save some money this season and go on a holiday staycation? TOUR LA FOR FREE!!

MAC & CHEESE SMACKDOWN - From classic cheddar to fancy lobster-stuffed, build community with fellow Mac lovers at this awesome tasting event.

LAS POSADAS AT OLVERA STREET - Come celebrate a cultural tradition on a historical L.A. site. “Each year from Dec. 16 until Christmas Eve, Olvera Street merchants and their families walk through El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument in a ceremonial re-enactment of Joseph and Mary’s nine-night search for sanctuary. The tradition features a procession with sing-alongs and piñata breaking, and is one of the oldest events in the city.”

ARCHERY LESSONS IN PASADENA - Has The Hunger Games inspired you to take up archery and plan the revolt against Panem? Take some entry-level archery lessons now! It is open to all ages, and the first class is FREE!

And here are some other headlines you might have missed:

Open Positions

Have some talented and driven friends? Let them know about our open positions.

  • CED - VITA Site Assistant
  • CED - VITA Site Coordinator
  • CED - Consumer Program Assistant (Americorps)
  • CS - Counselor III
  • ES - Community Engagement Coordinator
  • ES - Community Beautification Coordinator
  • ES - Energy Conservation Trainee
  • KT - Kids Town Preschool Director
  • PE - Community Organizer (Bilingual Korean)
  • PE - Prevention Education Coordinator
  • YS - Academic Assistant Instructor
  • YS - Middle School Instructor

Take Note!

ChooseHealthLA Kids recently released a new campaign, Water: The Healthiest Choice. The campaign aims to increase parents’ knowledge of the health benefits of drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Health experts recommend reducing or eliminating sugary drinks from our diet and replacing them with water, unsweetened beverages and/or lowfat or nonfat milk.

As you may know, Para Los Niños is addressing early childhood obesity by focusing on the unhealthy food and beverage advertising in our community. We’re working to increase community awareness of unhealthy food and beverage ads, talking with community members about food advertising, and engaging with people who can influence the type of advertisements in our community. The Water: The Healthiest Choice campaign is another way to support the work we’re doing to promote healthy eating and active living for our children.

Visit or for more information about the Water: The Healthiest Choice campaign and Choose Health LA Kids.

Champions aren't made in the ring, they are merely recognized there. - Unknown

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