May is already an exciting month here at A Place Called Home as it features our annual GirlPower! Luncheon. BUT, this year is extra special because it’s also our BIRTHDAY MONTH! That’s right, APCH has officially turned 30, and there’s no better month to celebrate both of these occasions.
A Place Called Home’s legacy of exemplary female leadership began with our founder, Debrah Constance. Although she was working in real estate, after seeing the movie Stand and Deliver, Debrah was inspired to seek out opportunities to support youth in Los Angeles who needed it most, and in sticking with the movie plot, she reached out to a local teacher at Jefferson High School. Little did she know, it would be the beginning of something much bigger.
Debrah, along with brokers from her real estate firm, spent time with the students – putting on events and even starting a mentorship program that matched brokers with the youth. Debrah shares “I don’t know who benefited more, me and the brokers, or the children, but from those experiences emerged the mission of A Place Called Home before it even existed.”
When asked by a colleague what she really wanted to do with her life, Debrah shares, “My answer came out immediately – as strong and clear as anything I’d ever said: ‘All I really want to do is open a safe house for the children at Jefferson High School’.” So, Debrah left her job in real estate to dedicate her life to creating a safe space for youth in South Central amidst the aftermath of the LA Unrest. And thus, A Place Called Home was born.
On the first day, she says, “12 children walked into a South Central church directly across from [the school] and planted the seed that would be the birth of a safe haven for the thousands of children who followed in their footsteps.”
And she was right. A safe haven built from love, A Place Called Home has now served more than 20,000 young people and more than 150,000 South Central community members over the past 30 years. From a church basement to a 52,000 square foot campus encompassing two buildings, a basketball court, garden, theater, recording studio, and so much more, one thing remains consistent – that same love and commitment to our young people that Debrah embedded in the foundation of APCH in 1993.
Now, in 2023, Debrah’s legacy continues with our CEO, Noryama Cabot, and our C-Suite of all women! Talk about #girlpower, right?!
And speaking of GirlPower, on May 5th, we gathered for our annual celebration of the members of our APCH GirlPower program, along with this year’s inspiring honorees, Kathryn Frazier, CEO and Founder of Biz 3, and Lauri Brown, Global Creative Advertising Executive at Universal Pictures. Ashley Mackey of ABC7 also joined us as the emcee for the afternoon.
Throughout the event, we enjoyed performances by our APCH Band 29Live and the APCH Dance Company, and an incredible spoken word piece performed by our GirlPower Girls, along with moving remarks from our honorees, APCH staff, and other speakers. It was a wonderful afternoon filled with laughs, tears, and a whole lotta love! If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can check out the recording HERE. Trust us, it’s worth a watch!
The APCH GirlPower program provides our young women with a safe space to learn and grow together; to explore education and career paths, and address important topics like self-advocacy, relationships, and women’s health. Programs like these are the embodiment of the vision Debrah Constance had back in 1993 – nurturing and supporting our young people as they discover their identities and build exciting, purpose-filled futures for themselves.
With your help, we will continue to fulfill that vision, and empower not only young women, but all young people in South Central Los Angeles. Click here to make a donation to our Spring Fundraiser and help us reach our goal of raising $30,000 to support A Place Called Home.