January 2018 Volunteer Spotlight : Zulema Higareda

Starting in 2018 the Mar Vista Family Center would like to spotlight all of our talented students and staff.  Every month we will spotlight a new person acknowledging their work and documenting their time here.

This month we are spotlighting our volunteer Zulema Higareda.

She volunteers every Wednesday sharing her exemplary skills as a teacher and role model.

Zulema graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2015 with a double major in Spanish Studies and Psychology with a  minor in Education. Yet, her passion for helping others began as a young girl. Recognizing the opportunities her parents gave her, Zulema wants to work with others to help them reach their full potential.

January 31st 2018, is Zulema’s last day at the Mar Vista Family Center. She has the opportunity to travel to Panama with the Peace Corps. MVFC is sad to say goodbye but would like to thank Zulema for her time. Her ambitious, strong, and compassionate personality has positively impacted all those around her and we feel good knowing she will continue to impact lives internationally!

Good luck Zulema!

The Mar Vista Family Center receives grant from Bank of America

The Mar Vista Family Center (MVFC) is happy to announce that it has received a grant from the Bank of America to support our Community, Youth and Early Childhood Education programs. Bank of America has been a long time partner of MVFC – they have  hosted financial literacy classes for MVFC youth and adults and provided funding for our Kid’s Café Program. We are grateful for Bank of America’s support.

Early Childhood Education linked to Greater Financial Security in Young Adulthood

Want to know what breaks the cycle of poverty?


Here, at the Mar Vista Family Center, we provide accessible early childhood education to families in the community because we know that education is more than just academics. In a recent study reported by the Hechinger Report economists from the University of Notre Dame found that  Early Childhood’s Education is strongly correlated to increased financial security and improving life circumstances.

This report validates the 40 year long commitment Mar Vista has to improving community by empowering youth and families. For example 95% of our students in our By Youth For Youth Program go on to college. In today’s job market higher education is a strong indicator for salary increase and job opportunity. Furthermore, more than a hundred of our students are trained as youth leaders and take on leadership positions either at school or at the Mar Vista Family Center.

Strong educational support is not just about getting good grades.  Instead, it encourages students confidence, on taking responsibility, and problem solving so that they can grow up and become tenacious adults. These qualities result in more positive life circumstances and the ability to make a difference.

By Youth For Youth is Honored at LA City Hall






By Youth For Youth student, Alexa Gutierrez, was honored in Nury Martinez’s 4th annual ‘Latina Breakfast and Recognition’ for her work with the LGBTQ and Latinx community. She was chosen as District 11’s honoree for the event and was presented by Mike Bonin.

At the event, Bonin announced Gutierrez himself and described her exemplary leadership and achievements.

Alexa has worked at the AIDS Walk, is a member of the student board for BYFY, and works  to create a supportive space for LGBTQ students at Animo Highschool.




Hurricane Irma Bake Sale

Our girls coordinated a bake sale to support the recent Hurricane victims. As part of their service learning commitment they took time to research various charities helping the cause and chose to donate all proceeds to the American Red Cross.

They also took the time to bake and prepare all the treats served that day !

Friends and family joined after work and school to support the girls and their bake sale. We are all very proud of their handwork and kind hearts.