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Meet Chris Baccus of Concerned Citizens Community Involvement

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Baccus.

Baccus started his career with a strong education at Westchester High School and transitioned to the University of Southern California and Marshall School of Business where he completed the entrepreneur program his senior year. Coming from a family with over 100 years in business, Mr. Baccus has the goal of creating opportunities for himself, others and giving back to his community.

Beginning in 1991, he has worked on projects totaling approximately $50 million dollars in the real estate industry with low-income housing, rehab housing, ground-up single family home construction, and residential/commercial entitlement work. In 1992, he started in the education industry with LAUSD as a playground supervisor, coach, a K-12 teacher, and K-12 counselor. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Education, he worked on programs like Avid, Talent search, USC’s Neighborhood Initiative, and other programs to increase the success of students applying for college. He also worked in after school and Saturday school, via the Beyond the Bell program, helping over 500 students each week to improve in reading and math. Since 2011, he has worked as counseling faculty at Santa Monica College helping students of color transfer through programs like the African-American Collegiate Center and the Latino Center.

With the combination of business acumen and educational training this led him to being selected, in 2004, to serve as the volunteer executive director for Concerned Citizens Community Involvement (CCCI), a South Los Angeles based non-profit of the Southside Church of Christ started by Dr. Carl C. Baccus, whose mission is Health, Education, and Well-Being. With CCCI, he has raised over $60,000 for scholarships for community students that are attending college throughout the nation and incubated several opportunities including the Limitless STEM Academy and the Limitless Initiative.

KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (“KIPR”) and Concerned Citizens Community Involvement (“CCCI”), have entered into a partnership to create a joint Computer Science-STEM initiative for our nation’s inner cities by implementing “The Limitless STEM initiative,” targeting implementation into 25 U.S. cities and serving an estimated 2500 youth by 2018. In 2016 The Whitehouse identified The Limitless STEM Initiative as a key program in their #CSForAll (Computer Science For All) Campaign under the Obama Administration.

The Limitless Initiative’s purpose is to bridge the educational resource gap among South Los Angeles communities by empowering local students to learn and master cooperative learning skills, technical skills and to develop professional aptitudes and attitudes. Using the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics curriculum and educational services, excitement is built, knowledge, and a practical understanding of science, technology, engineering and math. In the competitive environment of the Botball Robotics tournaments, the students go toe to toe with children around the world and build pride in their ability to design, program, and develop technology to solve engineering problems. Limitless have served over 200 elementary and middle school students in three years and sent a team of 5 African-American students to the international competitions in 2015 & 2016. Mr. Baccus believes “To increase the diversity in the tech world a pipeline must extend to elementary and middle school ages, college is too late”. This is the goal of thelimitlessinitiative.org and cccinvolve.org. Next up CCCI will start on its first Affordable Housing Project with its development partner John Stanley, Inc in South Los Angeles to help the housing shortage in Los Angeles County.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In 2004, the impetus for me to start working with and using my talents to help others was in the name of my mother that passed in 2004. The first program I worked on was a scholarship fund in her name to help students for 4 years of their college education. That is how this journey started with a tragedy and we turned into positive energy. It was also during this time that I quit my job at LAUSD and starting working for myself in real estate development which gave me the courage and knowledge needed to circle back to affordable housing with CCCI. Not sure if I would have had the same motivation if not for the purpose I received to honor my mother’s legacy.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Concerned Citizens Community Involvement story. Tell us more about the business.
In 1978, Dr. Carl C. Baccus, father, innovator, humanitarian, and community leader founded the Concerned Citizens Community Involvement (CCCI) with the mission to promote health, education, and well-being in South Los Angeles and neighboring communities.

Spanning over 35 years, CCCI has been involved in educating over 1200 children through the former New Focus Christian School, feeding thousands through food programs, educating hundreds through seminars, and supporting area youth with scholarships. This effort has been supported by the founder Dr. Baccus and has been recognized by many city, county, state, and national figures including Bernard Parks, Maxine Waters, the Hahn family, Diane Watson, Tom Bradley, and Mark Ridley-Thomas to name a few.

Dr. Carl C. Baccus has been the minister of the Southside Church of Christ for over 50 years continuing to lead this congregation to higher heights and at the same time giving the direction of CCCI to the generation behind him. With a host of many volunteers, CCCI is now able to raise funds with low overhead cost which has a greater impact on the mission statement.

What is unique is that I work as a pro bono executive director. I have been blessed by other opportunities which allow me to understand how in giving I receive more than I ever put out.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck, I believe in being blessed. I focus on my relationship with God and how I have been given so much, the more I give time to others and great causes the more blessings I receive. God’s plan of receiving is first to give as stated “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Adrienne pryor

    January 11, 2018 at 10:07

    What a great foundation. What a great young man stepping out for a cause. We need more individuals as such this. Commitment deep down. I’m so proud of this. Keep it moving.

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