Who We Are

Our Mission

As a faith-based nonprofit, Stars (formerly Lake Avenue Community Foundation) is unleashing the God-given potential of children, youth, and families in vulnerable communities, providing the tools necessary to thrive academically, emotionally, economically and spiritually.

The staff of Stars

Alex Rangel

Alex Rangel

Volunteer Program Assistant

Alma Cardenas

Alma Cardenas

Mentor Coach

Amy Cardenas

Amy Cardenas

College Success Coordinator

Beth Winton

Beth Winton

Volunteer Program Manager & Mentor Coach

Bryan Mayer

Bryan Mayer

High School Stars Program Manager & Mentor Coach

Christian Sanchez

Christian Sanchez

Middle School Stars Program Manager

Courtney Granados

Courtney Granados

Social Media and Digital AmeriCorps VISTA

Curt Gibson

Curt Gibson

Associate Director

Domingo Mota

Domingo Mota

Director of Mentoring Initiatives

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Director of Partnerships & Collaborations

Joelle Sabater

Joelle Sabater

Partnerships and Collaborations AmeriCorps VISTA

Kim Chinen

Kim Chinen

Development Coordinator

Maria Bowlin

Maria Bowlin

Stars 123 Program Manager

Nancy Stiles

Nancy Stiles

Executive Director

Perla Moreno

Perla Moreno

Stars 123 Program Leader

Rosa Ramirez

Rosa Ramirez

Mentor Coach

Samuel Newby

Samuel Newby

Manager of Operations

Talar Boshgezenyan

Talar Boshgezenyan

Middle School Stars Program Leader

Tonie Neuwirth

Tonie Neuwirth

Data Systems Coordinator

Whitney Martinez

Whitney Martinez

Executive Assistant & Stars 45 Program Leader

Our History

Lake Avenue Community Foundation is in Pasadena, CA

Since the founding on March 1, 2001, LACF has been dedicated to providing a wide variety of programs for youth and families from vulnerable communities in Pasadena.  STARS, an after-school program for elementary students started by a community member in 1996, was put under the auspices of LACF so that it could expand and develop.  LACF was able to expand the STARS program that first year through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation and in partnership with CORAL (Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning).  Since our beginning, LACF has seen steady growth:

2002:

Started Mentoring and Homeless Outreach programs.  Since its inception, 100% of the students who have participated in our Mentoring Program have graduated from high school.  More than 80% have gone on to attend a community college or four-year university.

2005:

Launched Teen MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) component of Mentoring.

2008:

Added Youth Violence Intervention component to Mentoring to reach out to gang-involved youth in the area.

2009:

Started the Middle and High School component of STARS and initiated Adopt-A-School at Blair School to bring volunteers and resources to the school.

2010:

Launched the Summer SKILLZ Credit Reclamation program in collaboration with Pasadena Unified School District, Flintridge Center, and other Pasadena-area organizations.  This program serves more than 100 students.

2011:

Completed an extensive strategic plan, including redesigning the Elementary STARS program and creating a Family Engagement position.

2012:

Began implementing the new Elementary STARS program and Family Engagement Specialist position.

2014:

Opened a second STARS elementary site called North STARS in partnership with Because You Matter (a non-profit started by Montrose Church).

Divided middle school and high school into two distinct programs to meet each age group’s needs.  HS program focuses on college readiness.