February 2018

February 1, 2018

What’s New

Giving Tuesday and Annual Appeal Bring in Over $13,000!

New Hire

Chan Mi P. Hwang

My name is Chan Mi P. Hwang. I was born and raised in South Korea for 12 years until my family decided to immigrate to El Salvador. As I spent my teenage year in El Salvador attending International School, I had an opportunity to experience, learn and accept various cultures. After graduating from high school, I came to the United States to experience a wider world. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, focused in Accounting, from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. I also have a master’s degree in Educational Ministry from Calvin Theological Seminary in Michigan. After I graduated from my master’s program, I married my wonderful husband who is a junior high pastor. I lived in Michigan for nine years before my husband and I made a big move to California last September. I have worked in various fields including customer service, maintenance, religious education and administrative support. As I was looking for a new challenging job, I found Kids Town where I can apply my knowledge into practice by helping and supporting immigrant families, especially serving their little children. I am more than happy to be a part of Kids Town and a part of our children’s lives.


In Honor of Black History Month (February)

Glesteree “G” Blades
Human Resources Manager

Here are Five African American History Facts and Five Inventions:

Did you know that…

Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on Dr. Maya Angelou’s birthday (April 4, 1968).

Dr. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday after that date.

Wally Amos founder of “Famous Amos Cookies” worked as a Talent Agent for William Morris.

Alicia Keys was accepted to Columbia University on a full scholarship but decided to pursue a full-time music career instead.

Ann Lowe designed Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s wedding dress for her wedding to JFK.

Dr. Charles Drew pioneered the modern blood bank.

Dr. Daniel Hale Willams pioneered open-heart surgery.

Thomas Mensah pioneered the field of Fiber Optics.

Lonnie Johnson invented “The Super Soaker.”


Otis Boykin invented the Pacemaker.

Now you know!

February: National Cherry Month

In honor of National Cherry Month, KOA will have a “Make Your Own Cherry Pie” on Wednesday, February 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Come by and make a pie!


New Taiwanese Boba Place near KOA

Miguel’s Voice

Did you know…

When you look at your personal gmail account, our spam filter doesn’t work?

We’ve been hit twice by ransomware in the last few months. Both times it came in when staff clicked on links in their personal email accounts.

This cost us hundreds of hours of work and a bunch of lost data. Luckily our back-up system and tech support came to the rescue and we didn’t have to pay the ransom.

Please use your cell phone to check your personal email and never click on links you weren’t expecting.

Now you know!


Staff’s Favorite Food Spot(light)

Koreatown Plaza

By Vince Leus


A pseudo-love letter to Koreatown Plaza

(Author’s note: play the audio while you read the article)

There’s something universal while at the same time deeply personal about a food court. Maybe it’s the clanging of dishes, the deep screech of seat legs dragging against linoleum tile, or the cacophony of conversations bouncing from wall to wall, but I feel at home eating alone at the Koreatown Plaza, a shopping mall at Western Avenue and James M. Wood Street.

As a kid, my mom dragged me to the local shopping mall every Saturday so that she could enjoy her regular pastime: window-shopping. I dreaded going, but I put up with it so I could go to KB Toys (rest in peace, mall toy stores) and somehow convince my mom to buy me a toy.

The Koreatown Plaza food court is unique from other mall food courts. The pink-and-white floor tile and the neon signs hanging above each counter make it seem like you stepped into a time machine and entered 1985, and the food triggers memories of a “better time.” Offering mostly Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese fare, every shop has some dish that brings the nostalgia of childhood.

For me, that dish is the Katsu House’s chicken katsu. The standard breaded chicken cutlet, drenched in katsu sauce, brings me back to the Newpark Mall my mom dragged me to. My favorite food to eat was the katsu from the generic Japanese wok in the food court. Every time I walk into that food court I am reminded of those boring Saturdays at the mall with my mom, hoping that she would buy me the newest Pokémon game at the end of the day if I didn’t complain too much.

Koreatown Plaza is the perfect place to go to when you feel like being alone but not actually physically alone. There’s a comfort in being just another anonymous face among hundreds of (mostly seniors) people eating lunch and catching up with friends. I recommend grabbing lunch alone and people watching. You can learn a lot about humans and our peculiarities and maybe remember something about yourself that you had forgotten many years ago.

(Special shout-outs to the Spicy Sashimi salad at the sushi shop, and the rice cake skewers at Awoolim, and the naengmyun at Town Noodle.)

Birthdays and KYCC Anniversaries


  • Jan 13 – Valerie Mireles
  • Jan 13 – Yancy Mauricio
  • Jan 14 – Helen Ban
  • Jan 17 – Danielle Joo
  • Jan 17 – Jessica Ortega
  • Jan 27 – Steve Kang
  • Feb 1 – Iesha Smith
  • Feb 3 – Oscar Solano
  • Feb 7 – Melanie Villasenor
  • Feb 11 – Alice Lee
  • Feb 11 – Isaac Kim
  • Feb 18 – Edna Cedillos
  • Feb 18 – Kyungoei “Kay” Moon
  • Feb 18 – Seung Yoon
  • Feb 26 – Marla Roque
  • Feb 26 – May Kim
  • Feb 26 – Vince Leus
  • Feb 27 – Euriah Lee
  • Feb 28 – Peaches Chung

Work Anniversaries

  • Jan 2 – 4 years – Katherine Kim
  • Jan 3 – 1 year – Sarah Cho
  • Jan 3 – 1 year – Charvel Valenzuela
  • Jan 4 – 1 year – Michelle Kim
  • Jan 8 – 5 years – Edith Bedolla
  • Jan 12 – 6 years – Doris Valenzuela
  • Jan 24 – 6 years – Alondra Meza
  • Jan 26 – 2 years – Lidia Sebastian
  • Jan 28 – 2 years – Erik Lopez
  • Jan 28 – 2 years – Rumee Chung
  • Feb 4 – 5 years – Joanne Kim
  • Feb 21 – 1 year – Ginny Kim
  • Feb 22 – 1 year – Sarah Ko
  • Feb 27 – 1 year – Euriah Lee

Open Positions

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

  • Clinical – Clinical Supervisor
  • Clinical – Counselor III (Bilingual English-Korean)
  • Clinical – Counselor III (Bilingual English-Spanish)
  • CED – Retail Store Manager
  • Environmental – Clean Streets Specialist
  • Kids Town – Preschool Teacher
  • Prevention Education – Prevention Education Manager
  • Substance Use Disorder Services – Substance Use Disorder Services Manager
  • Youth Services – Youth Prevention Specialist

Take Note!

Your first question should not be “Will this work?” but rather “If this works, will it matter?”

– Unknown






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