Al Wooten Jr. Youth and Adult Cultural-Educational Center

Rating: 5 stars   9 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 9106 S Western Ave Los Angeles CA 90047 USA

Mission: The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center is a neighborhood approach to the revitalization and empowerment of a community in crisis. We provide a safe, nurturing environment committed to good citizenship and academic excellence.
Results: There is a direct correlation between education and crime. Studies such as the United Way Common Good Forecaster point to education as a key factor in expanding opportunities and reducing the kind of criminal behavior that led to the murder of Al Wooten, Jr. The Wooten Center provides free homework assistance, project-based tutorials in reading, writing, math and science, poetry, world languages, sports and recreation, field trips, SAT-prep classes and college advisement to assist students in completing college enrollment and financial aid applications. The impact is students less likely to commit or suffer violence, better prepared to graduate from high school and college and go on to lead productive lives.
Target demographics: Boys and girls ages 8-18
Direct beneficiaries per year: 400+
Geographic areas served: South Los Angeles area
Programs: CollegeTrek Afterschool Program College preparation should not wait for high school. CollegeTrek starts at grade 3 in preparing students to adopt the skills needed to complete their journey to higher education. Our reading, writing, math and science labs and our poetry, world languages, field trips, sports and other activities are based on the A-G requirements needed at many institutions for high school graduation and college enrollment. Instruction is also based on California state content standards for grade level achievement. Students are encouraged to perform above grade level and to explore advanced studies in science and other disciplines. Academic instruction comprises the majority of our activities, with a minimum three hours of homework and tutoring available daily from 2-5pm, followed by sports and recreation from 5-6pm. Our Mission Possible tutorial labs are guided by our STEP model: Self-directed, Team-oriented, Experiential and Project-based. Students receive assignments based on their grade levels, projects to demonstrate their assignments, and drills based on their individual needs. The project-based learning approach teaches the arts of critical thinking, investigation and analysis. In addition, all students in grades 3-12 complete a College Plan outlining their plans for higher education. College Days are held on the first Friday to introduce our kids to college life and career choices. Plans are underway to expand our CollegeTrack program to be held at the center for students starting at grade 9. All afterschool teachers are either college graduates or students. Interns from schools including USC, Pepperdine and Los Angeles Community College also volunteer to provide additional support and mentors for our students. Other services include transportation, which is available from several public school campuses in South Los Angeles and Inglewood. Students engage in financial literacy through the Wooten Bank, which teaches how to save and write checks using their Wooten Dollars earned for participation in class Summer Fun Camp Summer Fun Camp is an 8-week, full-day program providing academic enrichment and recreational activities for boys and girls ages 8-14. CollegeTrack College Readiness Program CollegeTrack provides free SAT-prep instruction and one-on-one advisement and workshops for completing college, financial aid and scholarship applications and high school graduation requirements. Visits to college campuses and financial aid workshops for students and parents are also provided at no cost. SAT classes and college advisement are provided at area high schools in day classes and afterschool. CollegeTrack instructors are college graduates who have achieved high scores on the SAT and who are sensitive to the needs of our students, many of whom represent the first generation in their family to attend college. In June 2011, 199 CollegeTrack students graduated from high school and enrolled in a college or university, some 90% to a 4-year institution. Street Soldiers Street Soldiers is a discussion group presenting ways to avoid gang activity, to lead safe and productive lives.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Tau Beta Omega Graduate Chapter (Marina del Rey, CA) and my chapter works with the middle school girls at the center for our national organization program, Emerging Young Leaders (EYL). When I'm at the center, I'm consistently impressed by the passion and dedication of those who work there and the excitement of their students to be there. The center staff truly LOVES the kids they serve and are unwavering in their commitment to advocate for their educational enrichment. The work being done at the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center positively impacts the local community and changes the lives of all who attend.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My child has been apart of the center for about four years now and this is the best afterschool/summer program she has attended! During a presentation a couple of years ago the children had to describe how they felt about the Center and my daughter Shaylee's word was 'Love'. This is what Shaylee said "I feel loved when I'm at the Center, like I'm apart of a family when I'm here". I cried hearing her speak about the Center, because as a mother you need to know forsure you made the right choice of who is watching over your child. There is so much more I could say, like the learning experiences, home work help so thats finsih when we get home, college prep , the great field trips and allowing my daughter to be a Teen Helpler during the summer. She was so very proud, she said it felt like she had a real job. I would like to thank The Al Wooten Center, the staff, the Founder, the Board and Ms. Namoi for all they do. Sharee Alexander

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering with the Al Wooten, Jr. Center for 6 years now and count it amongst the most rewarding experiences in my life. The children are bright, engaging, funny & sweet. Cliff & the rest of the staff continually impress me with their passion & energy. They are doing wonderful work. I feel blessed to have the chance to spend time with these kids and this amazing organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering with the Wooten Ctr for over 15 years. The kids are great and Cliff running the place is a true Miracle Worker. He has earned the respect of the kids and it's clear that the children have benefited from not just attending the Wooten Ctr but have become great kids due to their direct relationship with Cliff.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Charles and I've been volunteering my time with the Al Wooten Jr Center for almost 8 years. I have found it to be a rewarding experience for me and the kids that I've come to know.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Carmie and i have been volunteering for about 10 years with the center. It has been a very rewarding experience. Specially, if a child comes up to you, years later and tells you what you have share with them,has changed their lives for the better. Wooten Center has helped so many kids and I hope they will be able to help more in the future.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Scott Miller and I am a Finance Professor at Pepperdine University. I have been actively involved with the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center for almost a year. My experience has been truly amazing in every single capacity. The patience, dedication and love shown by the staff is unparalleled. They work hard to keep the kids involved in a variety of activities and events and always do so with a warm smile. The positive impact of the Wooten Center’s work with the children is almost immediately visible. It is very rewarding to watch each of the kids grow and improve in almost every aspect of their lives. Naomi McSwain is a very talented and effective leader. Very few organizations can match the compassionate and effective environment that the Wooten Center has to offer. I enjoy volunteering my time at this organization on a regular basis because I know my time will be spent efficiently and it will have a large, lasting impact on the lives of many kids in the Los Angeles community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Fengyi Zhang. I am a international student at the Laguage Academy of USC. I am a 24-year-old Chinese. I am very glad to share my pleasent time in Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center as a volunteer. This January, after viewing the home page of Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center on Facebook, my husband, Haoyang Wen and I found that it is such a good place where we can spend time with children, make some contribution to them, and can also improve our English. With a little anxiety about our lack of English ability and work experience, we went to the Center and mentioned about our willing of being volunteers to Mrs. McSwain. Her kindness and the warm Al Wooden family relieve our nerves immediately. In the past three monthes, we have worked with so much fun whether as athletic assistant or as homework tutor. Nowadays, Mrs. McSwain will offer us a wonderful chance to give Chinese lessons to the students in the center. We are so looking foward to propagandize our own culture to all the children here. Thank for all the staff and children in Al Wooden family . You guys make our lives so colorful. We love you so much!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Oralia Pacheco I had the honor to work with one special member; Vanessa Rojo. She constanly came to my high school during my eleventh and twelve grade, to help us prepair for the SAT. I had an amazing time learning a variety of techniques that I knew were going to benefit me. The knowledge she provided my peers and I was inmense because coming from a low income family I knew I was not able to afford a course with such strength. I wanted to do well in the SAT and taking part of this program I was able to raise my score aproximately 300 points. Later I took part of one on one counselor guidence in order to make successful decisions when applying to Universities. I really apreciate all the help, I recieved and I know other students benefited from this course and guidence. Thank you Al Wooten Center for helping me obtain acceptance to Universities.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar