New Beginnings

January 7, 2016

What’s New

Our Biggest Holiday Carnival Yet!

If you were there, you witnessed the long lines of children and their families at KYCC’s 22nd Annual Holiday Carnival. Lisa was amazed that there were already people lined up when she arrived at 6:30 a.m.! Our 2015 Holiday Carnival had over 3,000 participants (an increase of 500 since last year), 1,400 toys and over 20 raffle prizes, including Sanrio (staff fave) stuffed animals and bikes. More than 200 volunteers came out this year at our newer, bigger site at Leo Politi Elementary School. A BIG thank you to our staff volunteers, many of whom worked DOUBLE shifts on that sunny Saturday of giving back to our community!

ES Beautifies Pico Boulevard

On Sat. Dec. 12, ES transformed the Pico barricades on Elden and Magnolia Aves. and Arapahoe St. There were many hands behind this effort, including CD1, LA-Más who provided the beautiful and functional design, and Dunn-Edwards Paints for donating supplies. We couldn’t have done it without dozens of our volunteers and friends, including the fathers and sons at Loyola High School’s Father’s Club!

Johng Ho Named 2016-17 Stanton Fellow

Our very own Executive Director Johng Ho Song was awarded the Durfee Foundation’s 2016-17 Stanton Fellowship in December. As a Stanton Fellow, Johng Ho will take the next two years “to think deeply about the community issues, and to implement solutions that will improve life for the people of L.A.”

Prior to the Stanton Fellowship, Johng Ho was a 2009 recipient of the Stanton Sabbatical, which offers leaders in the Los Angeles nonprofit community stipends to “travel, reflect and renew” themselves to better serve their organizations.

The Durfee Foundation was established in 1960, and is named in honor of the late Dorothy Durfee Avery and her husband, the late R. Stanton Avery. The foundation has awarded more than $30 million in grants, primarily in the Los Angeles region.

New Hires

Lena Pereira
Environmental Services – Program Assistant

Lena Pereira comes to KYCC from Whole Foods Market where she was working in marketing and community relations for the last eight years. Prior to that she worked in the sports industry – doing sales for Nike and community relations for the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Sparks. She graduated from San Diego State University and the University of San Francisco. Lena has lived all over California – a Sacramento native and now an Eagle Rock resident. She is passionate about environmental sustainability, natural and organic foods, vinyl records and traveling the world – this photo of her was taken in Australia earlier this year!


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Frank Lee

Dear KYCC family,

It has been a great honor and privilege to have been a part of the KYCC family, even if it was for a short time. Before working at KYCC, it was difficult to find a place that felt like home. Not only did I find a home at KYCC, I found people that were genuine, open-minded, accepting, funny, thoughtful, motivated, and caring.  The relationships I made at KYCC will stay with me forever and I hope I brought the same positive energy during my time here.

Working alongside all of you has taught me what it takes to make a positive impact on the lives in our communities.  As I embark on my journey to become a person that can create positive change in our communities, I will always keep in mind the dedication and passion that all of you have for the work you do.

Thank you to the CED team for the laughs and allowing me to be my strange self.  You guys really made work enjoyable and entertaining.  I think planning the All Staff with you guys showed me how beautifully random you all are. Thank you to the Wilton family for all the lunchtime conversations, snack conferences, and laughs. The positive vibes from you guys really made me look forward to work in the mornings. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work alongside people outside of CED.  Thank you to the KOA family for answering all of my questions and laughing at all (most) of my off-center jokes.  I’ll miss the coffee and the never-ending pastries on the kitchen table.

Thank you everyone for the unforgettable experience.  I hope we cross paths again in the future. Please stay in touch!

Employee Spotlight

Danielle Joo – Assistant Instructor

Please Tell Me About Yourself?
My name is Danielle. I am 22 years old. I recently just graduated from UCLA (BRUINS IN DA HOUSE)!

To name a few things that make me really happy besides God, my family, and friends…I love the sound of leaves rustling in the wind. I love waking up before my alarm. I love movies that can make me hysterically laugh and cry. I love finding people I can comfortably be in silence with. I love discovering foods that complement Hot Cheetos; my favorite so far being gim to da bap (gimbap).  

What stands out the most about KYCC?
The staff. Everyone that I work with at KYCC lives a life beyond money and themselves. It’s pretty special to be a part of a team who would all give up their entire Saturday to bring the joy of opening presents to kids who may have not been able to experience it this Christmas.

My position in Clinical Services sometimes calls for me to go out and meet people from different schools and agencies, and one thing that I feel every single time is that our staff and our work environment of mutual respect and care are truly special.   

What do you love the most about your job?
We help people. People who are often misunderstood.

It’s easy to assume that the kids who always know the answer or do their homework work harder or care more about their learning than the ones that don’t. It’s easy to assume people who don’t take steps to receive the mental health care they need are not responsible or lack willpower. But working at Menlo with kids who come from previously homeless or displaced families and working in Clinical with people who lack the resources to seek proper treatment on their own has stretched me to challenge those assumptions and direct my attention instead towards breaking these stigmas and finding practical ways to help them.

I just love that at the end of the day, I can lie in bed and go to sleep knowing that I did something for someone today.  Whether it be through teaching my kids how to multiply or even a simple high-five, my job allows me endless opportunities to love and serve my kids. 

What do you tell other people about KYCC?
Like everything. The second thing I love most about my job is the fact that I can confidently tell people what I am a part of. It amazes me how much KYCC does for our community.  When I volunteered at KYCC as a high school student, I thought KYCC was just an after-school program.  It wasn’t until I started working here that I found out about our Environmental Services unit, our Clinical Services unit, or our Prevention Education services.  

“KYCC’s success isn’t measured by how much profit we make but the services we give,” Johng Ho said, during the executive director’s orientation the other day. I almost cried. 

What is one long-term goal?
I want to buy my parents a nice home in the suburbs with a back yard.  

Please fill in the blank
I love nothing more in this world than Jesus 

Volunteer Spotlight

Viky Reyes

My name is Viky Reyes, I am 31 years old. I have four children; the oldest is 13, my two middle daughters are 10 and 8, and my youngest son is 5 years old. I was born in Mexico and immigrated to this country in 2001.

Tell me how you first got involved.
I got involved with KYCC through the Prevention Education unit. I started attending the Prevention Community Council meetings with Gennesis. I have since then also attended the Creating Lasting Family Connections Drug and Alcohol Prevention classes.

What was your first impression of KYCC?
When I was first introduced to KYCC, I thought they just taught drug and alcohol prevention, but then quickly I learned there were so many other services the agency provided. I thought it was good because I knew I was going to have the ability to learn more. I was also excited about meeting more people within my community.

When you last volunteered, how did that make you feel?
The last event I was at was the community clean up that we had around Vista Charter Middle School.  It made me feel good because we were keeping the community clean and we were just lending a helping hand. I also felt a sense of pride in teaching my kids to not throw trash and also instilling the importance of helping others and the communities that they are a part of.

What do you wish other people knew about KYCC?
People should know that it is good to get involved because you learn more for yourself.  If more people get involved, we will be able to make a larger impact.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about volunteering?
I think to have involvement from different kinds of people in the community is important so that the agency is able to continue doing its work.

What’s it like to be a volunteer for KYCC?
I would tell someone that it is important for them to get involved because you are able to makes changes and that KYCC helps you to make those changes. I would say that KYCC has helped me to be a leader in our community and that it helps us to have the support that enables us to making lasting changes that we want to see in our school communities.

What motivates you to volunteer?
I am motivated by my kids, even though I might be tired because I work full time. I think it is important that my children see that I care and that I will always be involved in their lives through school. I want people to know that it is possible, and that there is time for everything. As parents, our involvement in their lives is extremely important, and I want my children also to do that in their children’s lives in the future.

Birthdays and KYCC Anniversaries


  • Jan. 14 – Jessica Figueroa
  • Jan. 17 – Danielle Joo
  • Jan. 31 – Mihae Jung

Work Anniversaries

  • Jan. 8 – 3 years – Edith Bedolla
  • Jan. 12 – 4 years – Doris Valenzuela
  • Jan. 13 – 2 years – Mayra Jimenez
  • Jan. 24 – 4 years – Alondra Meza
  • Jan. 30 – 1 year – Paula Escobar

Community News

Los Angeles Times tags along with LAPD Olympic Division to investigate issues of sexual assault around the “Doumi” industry of Koreatown’s nightlife.

Three immigrants that would forever reshape L.A.- including a Zapotec Indian who would revolutionize the restaurant industry, and the founder of Olympic Market — Los Angeles’s first large-scale Korean-owned  grocery store.

During the holiday cheer, Koreatown experienced some violence. Two gun-related incidents occurred in the past month (one a homicide near our Wilton site).

Iconic neighborhood restaurants of Koreatown, including Taylor’s!!

A mosque on Vermont between 4th & 5th Streets holds holiday giveaway, pushes back against growing anti-Islamic sentiment.

Open Positions

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

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

Take Note!

Take Charge of Your Professional Development this New Year!

It’s easy to get complacent about professional development when you’re employed.  If you already have a job, why should you go above and beyond to improve your skills, especially if it’s not required by your company?

However, now that we are facing the start of 2016, it may be time to think about how to take charge of your own professional development!  And making an effort to help yourself grow professionally will help you succeed – both in the short term and in the long term.  Also, if you don’t learn new skills and acquire new knowledge and experience, you’re likely to fall behind your peers, which could be detrimental when you look to change positions.  “If you don’t [focus on professional development], you won’t be marketable in your field in five years,” says Alexandra Levit, author of New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career.  “In this [employment] climate, you always have to be looking ahead to what is going to be required in your potential next role.”  Levit recommends focusing on transferable skills that are relevant across a variety of industries and positions.  That way, even if you can’t use them now, they’ll likely come in handy later.

Here are 5 ways to help yourself grow professionally even without the support of your company:

  1. Take a class. Just because you’re no longer in school doesn’t mean the classroom is off-limits. Plenty of universities offer classes for adults, often in the evening so you can attend around your job schedule.  Online classes are another convenient option.  Take a class on a topic that’s relevant for your job, or learn about something that’s totally unrelated for a change of pace.  Either way, you’re growing, which is the overarching goal.
  2. Seek out people who are on the career path you aspire to (including shadowing colleagues at your place of employment). Ask them how they got to where they are. With a little effort on social media, you can easily find out who holds a certain position – or who used to hold it – and reach out to them.  This may include finding colleagues within your company who do something you want to learn.  Especially if you stroke their ego a bit, people are often happy to talk about the path they took in their career, as well as what worked and what didn’t.  Learn from their successes and mistakes.
  3. Find a mentor. Take that find-a-successful-person goal one step further and identify someone who’s willing to give you guidance and advice. Even if you don’t feel comfortable calling that person a mentor, having someone to run ideas by who has more experience than you can go a long way toward helping you make the right decisions.  The key here is that they have to have an interest in helping you.
  4. Read. Devour books and articles and blogs within your niche, but also pick reads that are outside of your normal professional box. Read things that are outside of your own industry and experience, and then stop and think about, how can I relate that and apply it to my area of work?
  5. Attend a conference. Figure out which conference is most worthwhile for people who work in your target industry and go, even if it means using vacation time. Not only will you learn new skills, you’ll also make new contacts. We’d advise researching who’s going and connecting with those people on social media before the event, so you can arrange an in-person meeting and facilitate a stronger connection.

If you have any comments, suggestions, concerns, or questions feel free to contact us. Or join the discussion and leave a comment in the box below!

1 Comment

  • Reply Winter Winds – KYCC Connect February 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    […] you missed it last month we ran the first part in a 10 part series on how to pursue professional development. Here are 5 […]

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