LETTERS from the CHAIRMAN of the BOARD
and OUR PRESIDENT & CEO
A LETTER FROM OUR CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Dear Members of the Para Los Niños Community,
I am pleased to report this past year has been a time of great strength and resilience at Para Los Niños. Achievement was up at our 3 charter schools and 6 preschools, new leadership was brought in across our charter schools, and we expanded the academic and socio-emotional resources focused on the children in our schools. Our Youth Workforce Services and Best Start Metro LA programs continued to be models of success, our Mental Health program received significant increases in funding, we undertook major facilities upgrades to one of our preschools and our mental health building, and we completed the sale of our headquarters building, creating a solid cash reserve.
We also saw a change in leadership within the last few months. After nearly five years at the helm, CEO Martine Singer has moved on. We thank Martine for her service and wish her the very best. Fortunately, Martine assembled an extraordinary executive team and the Board quickly realized it was in the best interest of Para Los Niños to elevate an internal candidate from the team to the role of CEO so as to assure the continued smooth implementation of the strategic plan adopted last year. As a result, we were delighted to be able to have Drew Furedi, EdD, our Superintendent of Schools, step into the role of CEO as of November 1, 2016. Drew brings more than two decades of experience as a leader of schools and innovator in education. We are thrilled to have him as CEO.
We also marked our 35th anniversary this past year. We celebrated with a gala tribute to all the children Para Los Niños has helped over the decades. In the process, we were again reminded of the power of what our organization does and has done for more than three and a half decades to help the neediest children of our city. You will find a few stories of those children throughout this annual report.
Finally, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you all for your continued support and passion for what we do.
Chairman of the Board
A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT & CEO
Dear Para Los Niños Family,
I am honored and humbled to take on this role at an exciting time for Para Los Niños. To lead an organization like PLN is a tremendous privilege and responsibility and I thank you for the opportunity.
As you know, Para Los Niños is one of L.A.’s oldest and most successful education and social service agencies. It is a symbol of hope and community for families often in desperate need of both.
As you can see through the stories in this annual report, Para Los Niños has been changing the lives of children living in poverty for 35 years, and today we are providing a deeper array of services and resources for those children and their families than ever before.
Our vision is to increasingly integrate the unmatched experience we have in mental health and social services with the educational offerings we have in our schools. Our model blends the knowledge and structure provided through school with the socio-emotional and material support our families need. This allows us to create a powerful engine to help our families and their communities break the cycle of poverty. That is the path we embarked upon with our strategic plan last year and it is the path we will continue to follow.
Last, but not least, I want to thank everyone at Para Los Niños — the Board, our staff, the Executive team—as well as our supporters, both philanthropic and otherwise, for the tremendous support I have received in my new role. Leading an organization such as Para Los Niños is a collective effort and working shoulder to shoulder we will build on 35 years of extraordinary service. Thank you all.
President & Chief Executive Officer