El Monte Community Tour: Creating a seamless pathway, cradle to college
// By Jacqueline Brennan
A bus station. Higher education. Healthier neighborhoods. They’re all connected to a unique effort to create a college-going culture, healthier neighborhoods, and sustainable social change, and you’ll learn how on LA Inside & Out’s El Monte Community Tour.
Located east of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley, El Monte is the focus of a collective of multi-year, place-based initiatives intended to create a college-going culture and healthier neighborhoods among its predominantly Latino and Asian immigrant families. The El Monte Promise Foundation coordinates the locally-run effort — which includes parents, students, and community leaders from three school districts, colleges, local governments, businesses, nonprofits, and private foundations — to coordinate systems and mobilize resources for the educational benefit of area students. The California Community Foundation originally established the El Monte Community Building Initiative to invest $10 million dollars over ten years to increase educational standards, resources, and opportunities in the El Monte region.
The El Monte “collective impact” tour kicks off at the El Monte Bus Terminal, which connects the San Gabriel Valley to downtown LA and is known as one of the country’s busiest bus stations. According to Christina Davila, Project Manager for the El Monte Promise Foundation, “The terminal is a high-traffic hub that connects bus and rail, and a huge connection to public transportation for residents and students.”
Because bicycles are the mode of transportation for many area students and residents, Davila says the tour will highlight investments in greenways and urban upgrade efforts to the area’s physical space, intended to create more opportunities for safe pedestrian and bike pathways.
Tour stops will include a visit to the Jeff Seymour Family Center, home to the El Monte Promise Foundation, and the hub for a number of resources for individuals, families, and the community, as well as a full range of health services, school intervention and homelessness assistance, and job placement services.
Additionally, the tour will make stops at:
- Mariposa Park – Highlighting community work to increase and improve green and open space
- Little Libraries – A volunteer-led initiative to build 40 little libraries in the region to increase access to books and build healthy reading habits
- Mountain View High School Food Forest – A youth-driven “food forest” with fruit trees and garden beds to introduce more fruits and vegetables to their peers and community.
LA Inside & Out tours are half-day immersion experiences where you’ll actively participate in a journey into dynamic LA neighborhoods where real changework is happening, and be inspired by what you learn to create real change in your community, too.
To sign up for this LA Inside & Out tour, check the box beside El Monte when you register for Upswell.