Para Los Niños

Excellent Education. Powerful Families. Strong Communities.

aka PLN   |   Los Angeles, CA   |


We believe in the children, youth, and families we serve. Our model fosters pathways to success through excellence in education, powerful families, and strong communities for children and youth to thrive.

Ruling year info


President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Drew Furedi

Main address

5000 Hollywood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027 USA

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NTEE code info

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Family Services (P40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 1979, the Los Angeles Times published an in-depth investigative story about the plight of children living in the Skid Row area of Downtown Los Angeles. After reading the article, Tanya Tull, an experienced social worker and teacher, was moved to act. Her vision was to create the first children's social service agency on Skid Row. In 1980, she secured a $5,000 grant and leased a 5,000- square-foot former warehouse in the heart of Skid Row. The space was renovated and licensed to operate as a childcare facility. That same year, their doors opened to 50 children from the Skid Row neighborhood—and Para Los Niños was born.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Para Los Niños Programs

PLN annually serves 6,000 children, youth, and their families through the following programs:

1) EARLY EDUCATION. We provide quality early education that increases school readiness and prepares 436 low-income children (ages 0-5) for success in kindergarten at seven centers located in Downtown Los Angeles/Skid Row, Pico-Union, Cypress Park, East Hollywood, and Burbank. Our full-day program is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily;

2) CHARTER SCHOOLS & AFTER-SCHOOL. We serve nearly 1,000 students at three charter schools: PLN Gratts Primary Center (TK-1st), Charter Elementary School (TK-5th), and Charter Middle School (6-8th). We also offer an extended learning program at each school site serving 700 students during the school year and 450 students during the summer;

3) MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. As the only children’s mental health provider on Skid Row, we provide evidence-based mental health services to nearly 430 children from low-income families each year. PLN therapists are also on-site at our school campuses to assist our students;

4) FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES. Each year, we assist 1,000 families by providing in-home counseling and case management, crisis intervention and help with basic needs;

5) YOUTH WORKFORCE SERVICES. We prepare nearly 2,000 youth (ages 10 to 24) for success in post-secondary education and the workforce; and

6) PARENT AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. We facilitate parent and community engagement programs through Senderos Al Bienestar (Pathways to Wellness) and Best Start Metro LA, of which PLN is the lead agency. These programs engage approximately 1,200 parents annually.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Council on Accreditation (COA) [for Children and Family Services] - Accreditation 2008


Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award 2008

Bank of America

Affiliations & memberships

National Council of La Raza (NCLR) - Affiliate

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In 2018-19, Para Los Niños implemented its new five-year strategic plan, supported by the WHH Foundation and Great Public Schools Now. The new strategic plan focuses on developing internal capacity in the areas of human capital development and data fluency, and guiding PLN’s work to accelerate improvement trajectory and position PLN to explore growth and deeper impact. As a result, PLN has updated its mission, vision and values. We envision thriving children and youth, excellent education, powerful families, and strong communities. Our core values are excellence, constant learning, teamwork, community, inclusion and trust. Para Los Niños’ organizational goals can be divided into four Program and four Systems goals, as follows:

Program/Outcome Goals
1. PLN children and youth are physically, socially and emotionally healthy.
2. PLN families and communities are engaged and empowered.
3. PLN children and youth are developmentally and academically successful, and ready for the future.
4. PLN leaders execute on an org-wide vision, implement aligned goals, and maintain a culture of compassion and excellence.

Systems/Input Goals
1. Leaders have what they need to lead effective, successful teams.
2. Staff have what they need to provide excellent services.
3. PLN is financially thriving.
4. PLN has a clear growth plan.

Para Los Niños (PLN) places education at the core of our mission to break the cycle of poverty. We operate seven Early Education Centers and three Charter Schools serving nearly 1,500 low-income children (ages six weeks to 14 years), and we prepare another 2,000 youth (ages 10-24) annually for success in post-secondary education and the workforce with a focus on drop-out recovery and prevention. As we also emphasize the importance of strong family and community relationships, we offer a range of support services and community engagement opportunities to our children, youth and families.

By addressing these factors of intellectual development and supportive environments, we build a strong foundation for children’s success in school and in life, and ultimately advance social and economic equity for the Latinx and other under-resourced communities of color we serve throughout Los Angeles.

Currently, PLN operates seven preschools and three charter schools serving 1,500 low-income children annually. Our youth workforce services program prepares 2,000 youth every year for success by focusing on dropout recovery and prevention and post-secondary education. Our comprehensive educational model incorporates three critical elements: high-quality education, family support, and parent/community engagement.

• In 2020, PLN was awarded the Los Angeles College Promise Works (LACP) grant to support 250 community college students at two Los Angeles Community College campuses. The LACP serves first-time college students with a comprehensive strategy designed to support scholars in completing a higher education degree or a workforce certification.

• 2020 marks Year 2 of PLN implementing an organization-wide Social Emotional Learning initiative across all three PLN charter schools, which build social and emotional skills and nurturing learning communities. With a grant from the Simpson PSB Fund, PLN was able to create sensory pathways in hallways throughout our two elementary schools, which will foster physical movement, touch, and other reactions linked to better focus, faster cognitive processing, more successful memory retention, and fewer behavioral issues.

• PLN successfully brought on a new Associate Director of External Affairs in November 2019 to spearhead Community Engagement Program efforts. The new Associate Director has led efforts in developing program strategies and partner relationships, such as tracking issues facing the communities we serve and interfacing with legislatures for the organization.

• In June 2019, due to our expertise, reputation and ties to the community, LACOE awarded PLN two new Early Head Start sites that will feed into our existing Head Start program in East Hollywood. This will increase the number of infants and toddlers we serve from 36 to 117 in program year 2019-20.

• On May 15, 2019, Para Los Niños hosted its 2019 Annual Benefit: Pathways to Success and raised more than $450,000 to continue providing support to our children and families.

• In September 2018, Para Los Niños was awarded $8M, over four years, by the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to be the lead agency for the Innovations 2 Community Resilience Initiative. The Initiative aims to address and reduce the impact of trauma among residents and school communities in 12 identified zip codes in Supervisorial District 1 surrounding downtown LA.

• In May 2018, First 5 LA awarded PLN $5.9M over two years to lead Best Start Region 1, one of five, two-tiered Regional Best Start strategies throughout LA County. Tier 1 includes: to regionally build organizational capacity, mobilize regional resources, develop shared learning networks and develop and participate in Regional advocacy. Tier 2 includes: to locally build resident and agency leadership, communication and outreach strategies, local resource mobilization and local advocacy, and develop community-led change strategies and interventions. Region 1 makes up the Best Start Communities of Metro LA (which we currently oversee), East LA, Southeast LA and El Monte/South El Monte.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,


Para Los Niños

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Para Los Niños

Board of directors
as of 5/2/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Marjorie E. Lewis

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (retired)

Cathy Hession

The Carol and James Collins Foundation

Mark Pan

Cotton On USA, Inc.

Pedro Martí

Rockefeller Capital

Andrei Muresianu

Capital World Investors

Marjorie Lewis

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Retired)

Cindy Winebaum

Women Helping Youth

Walter Parkes

Parkes + MacDonald Productions

Ronnie Roy


Jim Gilio

Sloane, Offer, Weber, and Derm, LLP

John Wasley

Spencer Stuart

Benjamin Kramer

Creative Artists Agency

Murray McQueen

Tribune Real Estate Holdings, LLC

Susan Edelman

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Retired)

Gabriel Robles

First Republic Bank

Sandra Aispuro

City First Broadway

Rick Caruso

Caruso Affiliated (Emeritus Board Member)

Lorraine Berchtold

Common Sense Media, Los Angeles

Andrew Herreria

CBS Studios

Josh Ludmir

Greenberg Traurig

Malin Wong

Guggenheim Partners

Bill Burton

Bryson Gillette

Andrei Muresianu

Capital World Investors

Rebecca Rich

Teach For All

Jose Tejada

Guaranteed Rate

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.