L.A. Promise Zone Update: Life Lessons Inside and Outside

April 7, 2016

More than 100 members of the Los Angeles giving community convened on April 7 for a briefing and tour of the L.A. Promise Zone, which was designated by President Obama in 2014.


[Pictured above: Luke Tate, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Mobility with YPI staff and members of the youth panel, Gracie and Miguel.]

We hosted three panels featuring the public sector, foundation leaders, and youth who have benefited from our programs. Miguel was part of the youth panel, originally a 9th grader at Promise Zone charter school, APEX Academy, and now part of YPI’s opportunity youth programs.

Without being able to spend much quality time with his father, Miguel missed out on having a positive male role model. On the morning of our event, Miguel realized he didn’t know how to tie a tie. He looked it up on YouTube but couldn’t get it to look right. Eventually, he went to a neighbor for help.

After Miguel’s panel, Mayor Garcetti gave him the lesson of a lifetime: personally teaching him how to knot his tie!

Now 21, Miguel is earning his GED through YPI’s YouthSource and Education Department and is studying at the Abraham Friedman Occupational Center. He plans to have his own contracting business one day, and will no doubt be wearing perfectly knotted ties. Of the moment, Miguel said:

“Mayor Garcetti is a very humble man. Surprisingly, on that day, he gave me a lesson I [had] missed out on — how to knot my tie for the occasion. It’s something I’ll look back on for the rest of my life.”

Watch the video:

Learn more about the Promise Zone

Read the OpEd by Dixon Slingerland and Antonia Hernandez

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