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COMMUNITY NEWS: MID-CITY

Mid-City : Holden's Pay Raise Goes to Youth Group

January 09, 1994

The All American Youth Foundation received a $2,500 check last week from City Councilman Nate Holden, who donated the money he would have received from a 5% pay increase.

All of the city's 18 elected officials agreed to waive the raise or donate it to community groups.

Holden's donation will help the youth center at 5373 W. Pico Blvd. fund its after-school programs and classes, said director Otto Jackson.

The center runs an after-school program for latchkey children called Home Alone, in which children are picked up after school and provided with tutors who help with homework, Jackson said.

The center also offers a variety of classes, including karate, arts and crafts, and beauty and modeling, in addition to a weekly Youth View session during which students can talk about issues of concern.

"This is a good program serving so many kids right in the heart of my district," Holden said. "It's helping kids get involved in positive activities in the community, but it's just not adequately funded. I wanted to show my commitment by . . . making the donation."

Between 40 and 50 children visit the center each day, Jackson said. "It's better that they hang out here rather than on the streets," he said. "It doesn't take much for a kid to get into a gang. This can be their home away from home."

Although Jackson is thankful for Holden's donation, the center, run by volunteers, needs additional funding to keep going, he said.

"We work hard and we're blessed, but we need funding," Jackson said.

The center, which took a holiday break, will resume its youth programs later this month and is planning to begin a free lunch program for senior citizens, Jackson said.

Information: (213) 857-0130.

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