State Budget Investment Will Fund Facilities Improvements and Expand Access to Services for Underserved Individuals in the West San Fernando Valley
- Dana Alpert
- Legislative/Communications Assistant
LOS ANGELES, CA — Today, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) presented a novelty check to the Alliance for Community Empowerment (ACE) symbolizing the recent appropriation in the state budget of $500,000 towards vital capital improvements at the Canoga Park-based nonprofit.
“The Alliance for Community Empowerment has done an extraordinary job of inspiring young people to transform their lives and strengthen our community,” said Assemblymember Gabriel. “I am thrilled to have secured $500,000 in the state budget to support their vital work and I am so grateful for everything they do to uplift individuals and families in the West San Fernando Valley.”
“We are grateful for Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel's unwavering commitment to uplifting our community,” said Michelle Fuentes-Miranda, Founder and President of ACE. “This impactful financial support will allow ACE the opportunity to create a more inclusive, safe, and accessible center as we serve the most vulnerable in our West Valley community, while we move toward a healthy, thriving, and stable future.”
ACE is a community-based nonprofit in the West San Fernando Valley that provides education, workforce, and gang intervention programming integrated with counseling, mentoring, and other support services to underserved students and families. The organization was established in 2013, when Canoga Park was identified as an underserved neighborhood with high rates of poverty, educational challenges, and unemployment among individuals ages 14 to 25. It remains one of the few nonprofits to specialize in serving this demographic in the West San Fernando Valley.
ACE’s three primary programs are YouthBuild, which provides tutoring, counseling, and college preparation for individuals ages 16-24; GRYD (Gang Reduction & Youth Development), a city-wide program that works to reduce gang-related crime and violence through counseling, case management, court advocacy; and SECTOR (Skills and Experiences for the Careers of Tomorrow), which offers career pathways and family-sustaining wages for individuals impacted by the justice system.
Since its inception, the nonprofit has uplifted thousands of community members around the West Valley. This past spring, ACE celebrated its eighth class of YouthBuild graduates and participants who had completed the GRYD program, as well as its first class of Parenting Course graduates. Over 179 young people have graduated from the YouthBuild program alone since ACE was established, part of one of the nonprofit’s six programs that serve hundreds of individuals and their families every year.