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A Place Called Home works to empower underserved youth

Juliana D. Norwood | 12/12/2012, 5 p.m.

A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central Los Angeles where underserved youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education, arts, and well-being; and are inspired to make a meaningful difference in their community and the world.

The nonprofit provides educational programs, counseling, mentoring, music, dance, art classes and a recreation and athletic department.

"One-on-one attention is at the heart of all A Place Called Home programs and activities," said media relations representative Scott Culbertson. "This reflects the belief that each member arrives at our center with skills and abilities that have not fully been realized. As youth participate in our programs, they discover their interests and talents."

A Place Called Home (APCH) strives to help youth achieve a better sense of themselves and the world around them. The goal is to increase the likelihood that they will stay in school and go on to higher education and viable jobs.

The organization has numerous programs which offer enrichment services using proven models to increase youth performance and behaviors socially and academically. These programs include:

* Educational Services where the nonprofit provides tutoring, literacy, math, science and a drop-out recovery program through LAUSD
* Health, Nutrition and Well-Being that offers nutritious meals and snacks, counseling and health resources
* Community & Volunteer Initiatives to empower parents toward advocacy and recruiting volunteers to help with APCH's mission
* Creative Expression provides training in music, dance and fine arts
* Recreation/Athletics provides physical education and sports
* Bridge to the Future offers transitional opportunities for teens to enter into a healthy adulthood
In the next five years, A Place Called Home is striving to impact the community with:
* A decline in violent and gang-related activities
* An increase in high school graduates
* An increase in college entrants and graduates
* An increase in gainfully employed community members
* Better awareness of health issues in community
* A community give-back campaign where community contributes to the success of APCH
* All programs certified as "model" or "ideal" for after-school programming
* Community activists who fight for their rights in housing, jobs and other issues
* A community with more technological access, learning ability and success
* Thousands more children reaching their academic, creative and social potential through APCH programs

The organization is planning to hold A Place Called Home for the Holidays on Thursday, Dec. 20, which it calls a fun and festive day for hundreds of South Central families in need. The community event will feature Santa Clause, snow, music, refreshments, including hot cocoa, and a gift distribution for all attendees. A Place Called Home for the Holidays will be held at the organization's headquarters at 2830 S. Central Ave, Los Angeles, and is free and open to the public. There are also sponsorship and volunteer opportunities available for the event. To volunteer email volunteer@apch.org and to sponsor email info@apch.org.

For more information on the organization www.apch.org.