Olasteo, is one of my favorite non profits here in LA. I have been to a trip with the students and it’s just a life changing experience for the students.
Olasteo, you are changing the world! We will never stop supporting you so please keep up your incredible work.
As a two time alumna I can wholeheartedly say OLASTEO is a life changing organization. OLASTEO first served me in 2018 when I was a close minded 16 year old who had never flew out of state. After my first trip to Washington D.C. I completely changed as a person having gained so much knowledge throughout the D.C trip. Not to mention the life long bonds and friendships I built with other students and OLASTEO staff. Thanks to this amazing non-profit, I was able to learn things I had never learned in school, explore college campuses and grow an interest in wanting to pursue higher education, and become an advocate for social change. Every kid deserves the experience OLASTEO has to offer. Words alone cannot nearly describe how impactful and necessary OLASTEO is for kids.
I have been part of olasteo since 2018, going to Washington DC and exploring something new. I went again the following year and still liked learning new things that I was not able to do the year before. Olasteo opened my eyes to a greater world outside of Watts.
I’m extremely proud to be an OLASTEO supporter and donor. I greatly admire this company’s dedication to fulfill their mission in empowering students. The time and effort that they put back into the community is immeasurable.
OLASTEO serves as an inspiration to all. I am a proud lifetime donor and would encourage all to support this amazing company.
If you haven’t already, please look out for Olasteo’s Feature Speaker Series. My daughter and I attended the virtual event with Carlotta Walls LaNier and read her book “A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School” before the start of her 6th grade school year. This is one of many virtual speaker events that my daughter and I have been able to attend to continue learning together.
OLASTEO has been such an incredible non-profit to work with and be a part of. Not only is OLASTEO empowering our youth here in Los Angeles with experiences that will forever change them , we are able to see first hand where our donations are going which I find quite rare with other non-profits. Aaron & Ceci are such passionate leaders and it is inspiring to see how they are affecting our younger generation. I encourage everyone to be a part of the OLASTEO community and become a catalyst member if you aren't already!
I have had the pleasure of working with both Arron and Ceci (at separate times) in the technology department at a major non-profit hospital. I know them to be smart and caring people invested in helping to expose students to life in a way that helps them to walk a mile in others’ shoes. With understanding comes empathy. “Our lives as seen through each other” is a mantra they take to heart, and I have been happy to support this effort over the years.
Olasteo has done a tremendous job pivoting efforts during the pandemic to continue its mission in expanding the world to the students it serves. The guests in the speaker series conducted over the last year have been timely, relevant and inspirational. The updates and newsletters provided by the organization are concise but artfully created. As a Donor, I am confident my contributions are thoughtfully being used.
Ever since I joined Olasteo, I have never encountered a bad experience and have been given useful information that I would never forget! This program gives you many new opportunities and makes you feel included and a part of something great. I’ll forever be part of this program and I am excited about future events.
GREAT mission, GREAT team! the CLOZTALK team is honored to call this org a partner & promote its good work!
>> Jonny Imerman, co-founder
I have been a part of numerous non-profits and I believe the most impact I will have will be with OLASTEO. Understanding that access to opportunities and exposure to various experiences are limited in many areas, we have and continue to bring these moments to underrepresented areas. Even in during the pandemic, OLASTEO has been able to bring important voices, local community awareness and great messaging to young scholars. I am enthusiastic to continue the good work the founders have started.
The combination of growing up in SouthEast LA, as well as teaching and coaching high schoolers in Watts, allows me to have a certain respect and admiration for leaders engaging with these very special scholars. I took Watts students to Washington DC in the 80s! I am very proud to be a reoccurring OLASTEO donor - the tradition of giving back to this community that is so close to my heart makes a difference in my life!
I have had the honor of serving on the OLASTEO Board of Directors since it was founded. Although we're a small organization, we are large in passion and impact. The Executive Director (and Co-Founder) is one of the most passionate people I have ever worked with. As a leader, his vision pushes us to keep growing to impact more students each year. By empowering students to serve as catalysts for social impact, we are setting up our youth to be the leaders and changemakers of tomorrow.
To be able to have the opportunity to travel to places like Washington, D.C, and outside of California is an incredible experience that I have never had before. When I was on the airplane for the first time as it was ready to depart to D.C. I was filled with excitement and joy to be able to catch a glimpse of what traveling looks like in an airplane. It was an unforgettable experience! When we arrived in Washington, D.C, we explored various museums, memorials, monuments, and the food at D.C was pleasing. Not to forget to mention that we also had Dydine Umunyana alongside us exploring, and I was enlightened to meet her in person. I learned that on this trip, there is more out there in the world to explore and learn. I want to be that person who can witness what's out there more than what meets the eye. With great appreciation for OLASTEO, I'm beyond thankful that they were able to provide me this opportunity. It has been life-changing and sets a path for discovery.
I have the privilege of being able to say that I am one of the first students to be impacted deeply by OLASTEO. I had never been on an airplane let alone, left California and summer of 2016, OLASTEO awarded me the opportunity to travel to Poland with Eva Moses Kor. We toured the concentration camps and I was enlightened by Eva's message of forgiveness. I learned that forgiveness is a method of self healing and I now have a different perspective on life. Additionally, even after my trip to Poland, OLASTEO has continued to support me academically and socially by providing mentorship and other opportunities like the virtual speaker sessions. Overall OLASTEO has been life changing and I have seen many other students that have also been deeply impacted by their opportunities.
It's heartwarming to watch these amazing students build friendships and embrace new experiences that open their eyes to so many opportunities they deserve.
Looking back, one of my favorite experiences as a chaperone in OLASTEO's Washington, DC trip was the Georgetown University tour. OLASTEO brought inspiration, hope and new dreams to the minds of these students through this university campus experience. I listened to these students consider applying to this school, ask questions about the educational advantages and activities of campus life. Watching the hope, excitement and positive outlook toward their future ignite as they toured the campus was absolutely wonderful!
OLASTEO does more than offer experiences and tools for positive change and growth. Through their partnership with College Track Watts, they help provide a strong foundation of support, mentorship and friendship for students of diverse backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. OLASTEO can help manifest the change needed to create an all-inclusive world of equal opportunity.
I am an OLASTEO board member assisting with fundraising, marketing strategies, and most rewardingly educational experiences for our scholars. OLASTEO is an authentic and truly community engaging organziation; and just really a difference making non profit for students in Watts/South LA specifically. The leadership from our Founders and Board is unwavering, and we truly buy into our mission, values, and purpose. I would highly recommend parterning with, and considering OLASTEO for philanthropy.
My wife and I were fortunate enough to see first hand the life altering opportunities OLASTEO makes available to its students. Joining an incredible overseas trip highlighted by an enthralling, yet sobering multi-day tour gave us all a chance to not only reflect on the power of perseverance but that of compassion and forgiveness as well. It was without a doubt one of the most compelling experiences of my life.
OLASTEO is dedicated to providing opportunities like this for countless underprivileged students, generating memories and experiences that will guide and shape them throughout their lives. I cannot think of a better organization to be associated with, and am grateful to be able to play a small part in their ongoing mission.
OLASTEO is grounded in it's dedication to enhancing the lives of all involved. Through educational trips and remote activities, community enrichment, and individual mentoring of students, they are able to have a lasting, positive impact on each and every child and young adult in the program. As a volunteer, it has been every bit as educational and fulfilling, and I hope to continue working with such a fine organization.
I had the opportunity to volunteer for OLASTEO on their 2019 trip to Washington D.C. While I have volunteered with other non-profits before, this was an altogether different experience. Having the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves with the OLASTEO scholars over several days and different types of activities allowed us to see the impact it was having through their eyes. I also appreciated that it was a great balance of serious educational experiences and fun activities. They take their mission very seriously and I felt that I walked away learning just as much as the scholars. I would recommend the experience to anyone who wants to be part of building up our next generation.
When I was first made aware of OLASTEO and its 'mission' by one the organization's co-founders a few years ago, I really had no grasp of how much of an impact that vision would have on not only me, but hundreds of aspiring students/donors across the nation.
The time spent and personal sacrifices made by my dear friends in order to give students life altering experiences whether it be virtually listening to a powerful speaker or if it was PC(Pre Covid) going on an unforgettable trip to with other student peers who share the same ideals,values and perspectives.
They, The OLASTEO FAMILY, continue to strive forward with verve and unbridled passion for their students' despite the logistical limitations COVID-19 has placed on our world as a whole.
I myself have been able to attend three of the most recent webcasts via Zoom without any previous knowledge of any of the guest speakers and have been utterly blown away after listening to each of their stories.
OLASTEO will always be held in the highest of regard by me because of the genuine GOOD its doing for so many.
My wife and I became aware of the OLASTEO mission when we accompanied a group of High School students on a trip to Washington DC to visit the historic museums reflecting their heritage and others. The students are from Watts in LA. For many, this was their first awareness of the life experiences of those that came before them. In addition, an on-going speakers program allows the students to listen to other‘a experiences in many ways similar or more challenging than their own. Working with College Track Watts, OLASTEO allows the affiliated students to see what they can overcome as they understand “Our Lives As Seen Through Each Other”.
Traveling abroad to the country of Poland was a privilege in itself, but what made my experience memorable and life changing with OLASTEO was seeing the world beyond the bubble I have been accustomed to. My experience with OLASTEO not only enhanced my perspective of the world but also value empathy/connection with others. I was able to learn about the morality of forgiveness (specially what it means for the oppressed) and meet so many people along the way with my accompanies friend.