Young men prepare to serve as ushers at West Angeles CDC’s 23rd annual Awards Gala. (Courtesy photo)

West Angeles Community Development Corporation’s Young N’ LA (YNLA) program is a leadership development program that focuses on assisting young men to graduate from high school and teaches them 21st century skills that will prepare them for today’s workforce.

The YNLA program targets young men between the ages of 14 to 21 who reside in South Los Angeles and are low-income. The program offers each participant academic support, life skills, job preparation, training and placement, and entrepreneurial development.

Throughout the academic year, participants are engaged in group tutoring, a series of professional development workshops and a host of other activities geared toward preparing the next generation for success.

The Los Angeles Sparks have an initiative they sponsor called “Court-Time.” Due to low ticket sales, the L.A. Sparks organization sells game tickets through Court-Time. The Sparks give game tickets to non-profit organizations to sell and for every 130 tickets sold, they will allot one-hour of court time to that organization. Literally hitting the streets and selling tickets after church services at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, young people doubled that amount and in collaboration with Chucos Youth Justice Coalition, sold 260 tickets and were allotted 2 hours of court-time!

The two organizations also organized a basketball tournament on June 6, where two other youth programs were invited to play in this exciting competition. The entire event yielded a win/win for YNLA’s partnership with Chucos and the L.A. Sparks women’s professional basketball team.

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