El Nido Family Centers // October 2012 Newsletter
A Message from Our 
Executive Director




It has been a busy couple of months here at El Nido Family Centers and we are happy to share with you some of our recent successes. In this issue you can read about our recent Champions for Families Event, where we were able to raise funds to continue to support the programs that serve over 10,000 children, youth and families in some of the most disadvantaged and underserved communities in Los Angeles County.  


You can also read about the Back to School events we hosted, where hundreds of youth were able to participate in a variety of activities and go home with backpacks full of school supplies! 


Another of our dedicated alumni is highlighted in this issue. We congratulate him as he continues his education at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 


The holidays are fast approaching, so make sure to check out El Nido's Holiday Drive and Event to your right!


Please visit our website to learn more about us and how you might get more involved.


Thank you,

Liz Herrera     

Liz Herrera




El Nido Save the Date 


El Nido Family Centers' Sixth Annual Champions for Families Awards Dinner at the Skirball Cultural Center, Thursday, September 13, was a huge success on many levels. The event raised close to $45,000 to help maintain services that are crucial to El Nido's clients.


The Awards Dinner's theme was "87 Years of Cultivating Hope, Trust and Growth."  El Nido's youth were the stars of the evening, with their interactive exhibits including art, music and dance projects.  Alumni Clients shared their journey with moving remarks, addressing their struggles and challenges and their motivation for success.


Liz Herrera, El Nido Family Centers' Executive Director, received the
Lifetime Champion Award, for her 30 years of service to El Nido and the community.  El Nido was extremely pleased to honor KCET with a Community Impact Award.  KCET President Al Jerome, spoke about KCET's dedication and commitment to quality education and family programming.


The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation also received a Community Impact Award for improving the well-being of Los Angeles County residents by investing in quality nonprofit organizations responding to people's social, civic, cultural, health, and educational needs.  The Rita and Larry Carmen Family received the Outstanding Family Award for their dedication and commitment to helping others.


2012 Sponsors included: Kaiser Permanente, Rose Norton and Phillip Savenick Norton, Susie and Stuart Berton, Bonhill Productions, Marta and Fred Samulon, and Shell Oil.  El Nido thanks all the many supporters, friends and the Alumni Committee for making this year's Champions' event a huge success!


To view photos of this wonderful event, click here. 



  Backpack Drives Brought Smiles to Hundreds of El Nido Youth


In Pacoima, Kaiser Permanente

Made It All Happen



Over 400 El Nido Family Centers' youth at the El Nido FamilySource Center received brand new backpacks at a "Back to School Backpack Festival" held at Pacoima City Hall.  The backpacks, donated by Kaiser employees, were filled to the brim with school supplies for kids from K to 12th grade.  The festival also included food, games, art activities, face painting, storytelling, a live DJ and a Kaiser nutritionist who talked about healthy eating.



El Nido Family Centers believes that giving youth a good start gives them the confidence to have a successful school year.  Kaiser's support made this huge drive possible.  Hundreds of Kaiser employees from eight of their medical centers in Southern California participated by donating funds to purchase and assemble the backpacks and supplies.  Over 65 Kaiser staff volunteered their services on the day of the Backpack festival, see more photos here...




Glen Oaks Escrow Gives More Kids

A Good Start for the School Year




For the second year in a row, Glen Oaks Escrow generously donated backpacks to the El Nido FamilySource Center.  The students were treated to food and music while selecting their new backpacks for the start of school.  See more photos from the Glen Oaks Escrow backpack event..... 





GMB Gives Back in Compton




El Nido was also very fortunate to have the employee team at GMB, one of the largest designers and producers of automotive parts, donate backpacks to the high school students at our Compton Youth Program.




We thank our corporate friends for making the

school year brighter for so many of our youth. 



Meet Another Member of
El Nido's Alumni Committee


Our dynamic Alumni Committee includes ten former clients who are college graduates and/or are currently in college. They are excellent representatives of the agency and are mentors for current clients.
The alumni speak to client groups on a regular basis, serving as role models for what teens can achieve with commitment and support. They are inspirational and passionate advocates for our services. We are delighted to introduce another member of our Alumni Committee.







I am deeply committed to issues of social justice, and possess an insatiable desire for learning. Being a student has allowed me to truly discover my innate academic talents and abilities. 


I was referred to El Nido by my probation officer because of gang activity.  Through counseling I was able to recognize the poor choices I was making.  I saw the value of education and that I had the abilities to succeed academically.


I refuse to let adverse socioeconomic conditions limit the content of my dreams and professional aspirations.  El Nido's emotional support and academic scholarships have helped me in this pursuit. 


Having completed community college, I transferred to UC Santa Cruz this Fall to major in Sociology.  My goal is to get a PhD and teach at the college level.  I also plan on volunteering in the community to help with gang intervention and prevention. 




We look forward to introducing more
members of our amazing Alumni Committee
in our upcoming newsletters!




In This Issue
A Message from our Executive Director
El Nido's Annual Champions Event
Hundreds of Youth Receive Backpacks
Meet El Nido's Alumni!
 El Nido is Holding a Holiday Gift Drive
and Event!
(psst....predictions of snow
coming to the valley for the event!)
This holiday season El Nido Family Centers will hold a Holiday Drive and Event to provide gifts and community fun for 300 to 400 clients at our FamilySource Center in Pacoima.  We are collecting gifts for children ages 3 to 18 and hope to make this holiday season a little brighter for families who are struggling during these difficult economic times.  
The Holiday Event will provide an opportunity for families and community members to come together and celebrate the holidays with food, activities and gifts. 
If you or your organization would like to participate in this wonderful event by donating gifts and/or volunteering, please contact Hannah Farley at (818) 830-3646, extension 233 or hfarley@elnidofamilycenters.org.



Click here for more information!  

El Nido Family Centers
10200 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste 350
Mission Hills, California 91345
818.830.3646 ext. 261