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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Puente Learning Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training, Youth Development Programs

Mission: People United to Enrich the Neighborhood Through Education. PUENTE is also the Spanish word for bridge. Education is the bridge that empowers lives and builds thriving communities.

Target demographics: Founded in Boyle Heights in 1985 by Sister Jennie Lechtenberg, PUENTE Learning Center began as a tutoring program for elementary school children without the resources to excel in school. Over the last 35 years, PUENTE has served over 110,000 individuals, enabling children to develop a lifelong love of learning, helping parents succeed in their role as their children’s first and most important teachers, supporting youth as they move toward high school graduation and beyond, and assisting adults in need of English-language fluency and modern workforce skills.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Through our multi-generational approach to education, we had a measurable impact on over 2,000 students and their families.

Geographic areas served: Boyle Heights is among the most socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles County.

Programs: Children - PUENTE provides over 200 students with high-quality education, through Preschool, Charter School, After School, and Summer Enrichment. We welcomed our inaugural 2nd grade class as the Charter School continues its phased expansion. Youth - PUENTE is closing the achievement gap for low-income students from Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles as they persist through high school and post-secondary education. Adults - Over 1,000 adult students come annually to PUENTE to become more self-sufficient and excel. PUENTE provides technical training, improved skills, and increased employability. Community - PUENTE is a resource for families to access the services they need to flourish, including financial literacy workshops, citizenship test prep, parent support groups, and free health screenings.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Puente Learning Center is a great school in our community. What really sets it apart is the personal interest that they demonstrate every single day to all. From the teachers, to the staff, and especially their leadership personnel, that sets the example, their care and attention is the reason why all of our 3 children attended Puente, with our youngest one still enrolled. It is no surprise the effect the education provided to all the children at Puente helps them in a positive and enriching way. We strongly recommend and support this great school.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This school is great the teachers really care about the students. I feel safe that my kids are at Puente.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the Career Fair and was impressed with the diversity of fields represented on the panel. I was blown away by the motivated students who showed up to learn about career options on a Saturday Morning and asked insightful questions. This is an excellent opportunity to have available to local high school students.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi all -- This school has been a great place for me, my grand daughters, and for my neighbors to learn, to meet others, and to forge tight bonds within the community.

Originally i was only planning on taking a course during one summer in 2017 to repair computers. Since then, I've taken courses in network, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Google Suite, SWAY, Paint 3D and computer virtualization. I have volunteered as a parking attendant, booth setup personnel, craft booth rep, holiday booth rep, and even as Santa Claus. And here I am - still - 3 years later.

I even recommended PUENTE Learning Center to others in the area: supermarkets; libraries; and at bus stops. I tell them the staff is great and that they offer a lot of beneficial courses such as citizenship, English, GED, and computers .

I just can get enough of this school. I am already registered for this fall session,

I do hope this place keeps growing and continues to provide these courses and bring back the network and PC Repair classes. Though some students may not seek a CompTIA A+ certification, the knowledge they do receive helps them at home and with neighbors to either establish a home network or repair computers as needed.

Thanks you for this opportunity that allowed me to tell you about this great establishment and second home to me and others. Thx,

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a parent and student at this school and I am so happy for the services. I can drop off my son at school and go upstairs to my computer class. My child is learning and growing and I am too. There is no other school like this in East La. thank you PUENTE I don’t know what I would do with out you.

Lissa C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Puente Learning Center (PLC) has helped me to advance in my technological learning. I have learned and I am certified in the following programs: Microsoft ~ Word, Powerpoint, and Paint 3-D. I am also learning programs from the Google Suite. I am certified in the
Google Slides program. PLC has opened my knowledge and its opening doors for me to get a better job in the future.

1 Gracie F.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Hello! I took a class at PUENTE Learning Center this summer. I hadn't taken a class in years. My experience was very enlightening; even though I work with computers daily. I was amazed at how much there is to learn. I really appreciated my instructor Mr. Gomez for his knowledge in teaching and he's very thorough and explains step by step and will go back if he needs to. Thank you Mr. Gomez for a wonderful experience. I definitely enjoyed my summer class with you. I know there is still lots to learn.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

During this Summer (in this pandemic time), I took a Summer Class, it was a Digital Computer Class.

Since classes are online in these days, so sad that we can't be in the classroom, I am more a visual, listener person I have to learn to used the laptop and the tools from the Summer Class.

The instructor shows us how to used Zoom, that was new to me this year, I have heard about it in Facebook with family and friends. So I learned that this Summer and I also learned Microsoft Paint 3D and Microsoft Sway and Google Photos. This is something new to me that I have never knew it existed and that it is free and we and do this on your laptop or computer.

The instructor asks us to do assignments and here is my photo example from Microsoft Paint 3D. No one is perfect in life. I learn the tools and colors and textures in Microsoft Paint 3D that I never knew about. It was fun making this project.

I love the school. The staff is very helpful, respectful and very nice people. May God bless and take care of the staff and their families in these pandemic times.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was invited by a friend of mine to attend the online class for adult at first i was hesitant to do it because we do working full time as DSP we do take care of 4i level that is a tough job as we all know because we are dealing of care giving to special needs and need a focus attention on how to deal with their behaviors of our clients but then when the class started i was amazed and i like it and it’s new to me and i was really interested to learn more and i talked to my administrator if we could attend the class for 1 hour and then he said it’s ok as long as you take care of our clients and we’re good.and then 1 day my boss came in and am being honest to her so i told her that we are studying online for adult and it’s all about digital skills and how to do 3D paint and etc. and then she told us and to my friend i am interested too to learn because she don’t know also how to use digital skills in the computer.So that’s my story to tell you about how i know Puente Learning Center it’s a big help for us to do like this online class specially us whom has little knowledge about using digital skills and during this time of Pandemic it’s a great opportunity for us as a frontliners too to indulge ourselves into another level of learning and exposing ourselves to digital world safely thru this kind of studying class online we learned how to use zoom a virtual learning to meet up with our professors and classmates by doing this was a great and productive and also our professor was very helpful and very patience in us all they gave there very Best to teach us all As much as possible and done our projects carefully and Thank you to professor Antonio Gomez for all the Help..and to sir J.P. The rest of all the Teachers who thought us...

Advisor

Rating: 5

It has been a great, experience in Puente learning skill center for me and still continues to be, I recommend it to all those who are looking to complete there GED or obtain there high school diploma. We have some of the best teachers here at Puente.

1 Nayeli Sarai R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Really caring and great school . Teachers make sure to get each child involve and parents. Make learning fun for kids. Easy to follow instructions. My son had smooth transition to his first year of starting school , teachers and staff patient and attentive .

1 Jackie O.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Very helpful in these hard times, We really appreciate all the help!!