Updates Week of June 27, 2022

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First generation Asian American restaurant owner CuiLing Qiu (pictured above, center) has operated Ling Ling BBQ Fast Food on Ord Street in Chinatown since 2019. Having been in operation for only three months when COVID-19 hit, Qiu’s restaurant was forced to stop in-door dining service and offer to-go or delivery orders only to her customers. In May 2022, the Hollywood BusinessSource Center assisted Qiu in securing a $5,000 small business grant that helped her to sustain the business.  


Qiu was very happy that the City launched the Comeback Checks Program. Due to a language barrier, limited technology resources and knowledge of the program, she turned to the Hollywood BusinessSource Center for help. Elaine Pang (above, left) with the Hollywood BusinessSource Center was able to assist Qiu.


“My first language is Chinese Cantonese and I am not tech savvy. When I saw the email from the city, I thought it was another junk email. That’s why I reached out to Elaine who provides in-language technical assistance and can help me apply for the grant,” Qiu said.


Elaine assisted Qiu in completing the online application. Once Qiu was selected as grantee, Elaine helped Qiu gather all supporting documents, such as her photo ID, past tax returns, business license and uploaded them to the application portal.


Qiu received the $5,000 grant in early May. She was able to sustain the business, retain two employees and hire two additional part-time employees with the grant!


EWDD’s BusinesssSource Centers connect business owners with key resources to assist in their financial recovery from COVID-19. To learn more and find your local BSC, visit: bit.ly/LABusinessSource.  

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EWDD’s network of 14 YouthSource Centers (YSCs) are dedicated to providing key resources for young Angelenos to succeed. Services include college prep, tutoring, mentoring and counseling and career exploration. This week, Para Los Niños, operator of the Northeast and Westlake/Central LA YSCs, shares stories celebrating the college graduation of several PLN youth participants. PLN’s strategic goals include offering support to YouthSource participants through college and graduation.

Maria Odalis Marcos was part of the PLN Central YouthSource program in 2018.

She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Maria received college access support and guidance and participated in a summer internship every summer.

Maria says, “Thank you PLN for all the support you gave me in high school and how you helped me make the decision of going to Berkeley. It was hard at first, but I worked hard and remembered how much people at PLN believed in me. I finally was able to do well in my classes, got my first A (mid-way in my college journey) and now I can say that I love it!”

Armando Garcia was a student in PLN’s YouthSource program in the Class of 2016.

During his time in the YSC program, Armando was selected to go to the STEM Youth Summit hosted by PLN partner organization, UnidosUS.

While at the youth summit, Armando had the opportunity to visit the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas, which inspired him to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering. This year, in 2022 he graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering! 

Gilberto “Beto” Ochoa was a student in PLN’s Central YouthSource program in the Class of 2018.

While in the program, Beto was highly engaged in PLN’s college access program and received support with his college applications, financial aid applications, and support with applying for additional scholarships. He was also selected to participate in the UnidosUS National Conference in Washington DC as a student leader.

This year, he graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. His goal now is to follow in the footsteps of his mentors at PLN and give back to students by supporting them in their higher educational goals.

Naydelli Mendoza was a student in PLN’s YouthSource program in 2018.

As a student in the program, Naydelli received support and guidance with the college application process. This year she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California. During the midst of the pandemic, Naydelli worked as a COVID-19 Community Ambassador and then within PLN’s Youth Workforce Service department as a Summer Youth Employment Specialist. She recently worked with PLN on a project with USC to mentor middle school students interested in pursuing careers in STEM.

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If you have any questions, comments, or wish to have a contribution considered for inclusion in an upcoming "Updates," please feel free to contact Jamie Francisco at (213) 744-9048 or Jamie.Francisco@lacity.org