Rosalinda Meza | Project manager
Rosalinda is a community and economic development manager at LA-Más currently leading the On Avalon project in Wilmington, CA. She recently worked at East LA Community Corporation (ELACC) as a program lead to the First Time Homebuyer Education Program where she met with over 300 families and individuals to guide them and prepare them for the biggest purchase of their life–their home. Rosalinda also extended her role at ELACC by supporting the Community Organizing and Real Estate Departments to learn about how affordable housing, equitable transit-oriented development and land use planning came together to create spaces where all families can thrive. Rosalinda holds a B.A. in Native American Studies and Spanish from the University of California, Davis and a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine.
Helen Leung | Community Liaison
Helen Leung is the Co-Executive Director at LA-Más and ensures that all projects create systemic change, especially at the intersection of community development and social equity. A native Angeleno and urban planner, Helen has extensive community-based and project management experience working for former Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti. Recently, Helen managed the transit and asset- building portfolios at Living Cities, a national funders collaborative. Helen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Nikki Polizzotto | LA-Más Fellow
Nikki is an aspiring urban planner with a keen interest in livable cities and public space. She received her undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Puget Sound in 2014 where she completed her senior thesis on the livability of downtown Tacoma. Her background in anthropology has developed her passion for using ethnographic methods to inform the planning and design of the built environment. Nikki will be attending USC for her master’s in urban planning this fall.
Alyssa Lopez | LA-Más Intern
Alyssa is currently a senior at Eagle Rock High School. As part of the LA Fund’s The Intern Project, she began as an intern at LA-Más in June. Alyssa has previously been a part of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy and is now a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council. She is planning to travel abroad in college and pursue a career in urban planning or journalism. During her free time, Alyssa enjoys participating in events at school, exploring the city, and reading outdoors.
Our Summer 2015 Avalon Ambassadors are local youth, all Wilmington residents and most attending Banning High School, who have been hired through the mayor’s summer youth employment program. They were primarily focused on outreach and feedback, and will be sure to keep us in touch with the Wilmington community.
Eric Lederhos has lived in Wilmington since the age of 6. He attended Banning High School and transferred to Winter YouthBuild in San Pedro. Eric will be attending LA Harbor College in the fall. His hobbies are playing guitar and skateboarding. Eric enjoys working in the community to make it a better one. His favorite thing about Wilmington is how the community comes together and helps each other out and all around cares for each other. Wilmington has a lot of pride and he’s proud to be a part of it.
Osvaldo Garcia was born and raised in Wilmington. He attended Phineas Banning High School and graduated from Winter YouthBuild in San Pedro. Now he will attend Harbor College, and study to become a vet assistant. In his spare time he likes to ride his skateboard and listen to music. His favorite thing about living in Wilmington is how strong people’s bonds are between one another.
Gabriela Medina | Field Deputy
As the Harbor City and Wilmington Field Deputy for Councilman Joe Buscaino, Gabriela Medina serves as the liaison between the City of Los Angeles and its constituency. She manages and coordinates the implementation of city services, community events, and works closely with other elected officials’ representatives, local businesses, and not for profit partners in the community. Her previous experience in working with youth allows her to serve as the Councilman’s youth liaison, ensuring that teens throughout the District are provided with opportunities that will strengthen their ability to become successful.
Gaby works collectively with residents and local non profit organizations to address quality of life issues, while promoting civic engagement and pride through efforts such as i Heart Wilmington. Most recently, Gaby led the renovation efforts at the Banning Park and Recreation Center which includes a new outdoor basketball court with lighting, external painting of the two main buildings, new picnic furniture, and newly resurfaced ADA parking lots. Bringing together Sharefest, private donors, the City of LA Department of Recreation & Parks, and hundreds of volunteers, a $1 million renovation was completed on May 2, 2015.