Mentoring Young People in Los Angeles

Jonathan worked for years as a mentor at a South Central Los Angeles organization titled A Place Called Home ( ) — a long-time non-profit offering much-needed guidance and support to youth in the region.

apch logo

The Organization

The mission at A Place Called Home is to inspire, encourage, and support the young people in South Los Angeles in order to help them secure emotional, social, and economic success.

Who They Are

In Los Angeles in 1992, a period subsequently titled the “LA Unrest,” occurred: a crime epidemic that virtually ensured that the entire region of South Central LA would not be safe for children of any age. Just one year after those events, A Place Called Home opened its doors. APCH’s had a mission that was simple, yet simultaneously challenging: to provide gang-affected young people all across the region South Los Angeles a sanctuary far from the imperiling dangers — not to mention the temptations — of the streets.

Since that time, a flexible, multi-service center for young people in the community has evolved and grown in the area. Located at the intersection of 29th Street and South Central Ave, the center has thrived. For more than three decades, A Place Called Home aided young people from age 8 into their twenties that are located in South Central.

The APCH provides the kids and their families resources ranging from education to arts programs, job readiness, college scholarships, mental health counseling, civic engagement, mentorship, and more. At the core, they remain a place at which the area’s young people — most of whom face staggering challenges — have a chance to experience the features that ought to be a natural facet of childhood. To wit, the joy, safety, and opportunity they deserve.

The Four Key Objectives of Their Mission

  1. Increase the likelihood that members will remain in school, graduate, and go on to pursue higher learning and/or meaningful employment
  2. Increase each member’s capacity for positive, non-prejudicial and nonviolent interaction with peers, teachers, adults, family and community members
  3. Reduce members’ involvement or likelihood to be involved in criminal behavior or gang activity
  4. Empower members and inspire them to take ownership of their lives and to make a positive difference in their communities and in the world.

At APCH, young people strengthen their skills, develop their gifts, define their values, and build relationships and resources so that they may fulfill their goals and aspirations. During that process, they come to understand that their voices deserve to be heard, and that they can offer valuable contributions to make the planet a better place with justice and fairness for everyone.