August 8, 2018

Today we look back at two of our earlier charities...America Scores LA and the Hollywood Police Activities League.

In 1999 the United Nations passed a resolution that 12 August be declared International Youth Day every year.  And that day is coming up.  The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.

"Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth.  Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence."

Adrian and Geoff Wilson
Adrian and Geoff Wilson

Non-school hours represent the single largest block of time in the lives of American children and youth.  More than 20 million children and youth live in communities of concentrated poverty, many of them attending schools with high dropout rates. Quality afterschool programs keep students safe, inspire them to learn and help working families, and they can improve prospects for children and youth growing up in impoverished communities. 

America SCORES LA was founded in 2002 to address the need for quality after-school programs in the Palms area, one of Los Angeles’ socio-economically under-resourced communities.  ASLA provides a safe after-school alternative in an area where youth centers, libraries and parks are noticeably absent. Their overall goal is to cultivate the literacy and leadership skills that enable urban youth to excel in school and in life. 

America SCORES partners with urban schools to provide a high quality, team-based program that integrates soccer, poetry, and service- learning. Their innovative approach improves students’ health, academic achievement, and civic engagement.

Adrian visited America Scores LA last year and talked with Executive Director Geoff Wilson.


Adrian with Kitty Gordillo and Valerie Lord
Adrian with Kitty Gordillo and Valerie Lord

Violence is the second leading cause of death for young people in America and the leading cause of death for young people in every major city.

Juvenile violence and crime triple in the hour immediately after school, yet 1 in 5 kids are left on their own during these hours.  Three out of four parents agree that afterschool programs give them peace of mind about their children when they are at work.

The County and City of Los Angeles are the “gang capital” of the nation.  There are more than 450 active gangs in the City of Los Angeles. Many of these gangs have been in existence for over 50 years. These gangs have a combined membership of over 45,000 individuals.

The Hollywood Police Activities League (Hollywood PAL), a community-based crime prevention program, provides young people with positive alternatives to gangs and drugs. Through interaction with police officers in recreational, educational, athletic and fine arts activities, young people are given the opportunity to form healthy, positive attitudes toward the police, the society and the laws they represent.

Program activities include a highly-regarded martial arts program, soccer, Hollywood Fit Club, Junior Police Academy, the Youth Leadership Council, and the PAL College Scholarship Program, as well as monthly special activities and field trips. 

Last year, Adrian had the opportunity to sit down with Kitty Gordillo, Executive Director and Valerie Lord, Outgoing Executive Director.