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South LA’s Hidden Gems

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of South LA’s gems below.

Jacob Adams

My education journey began as a Teach For America corps member. I taught the first-grade teacher in Brownsville, Brooklyn. My school was one of the highest performing schools in NYC, despite being in a high-poverty community where over 95% of our students received free or reduced lunch. Read more>>

Cas Epps

Dreaded Cas was born in 1993 at Georgia Baptist Hospital (now known as Atlanta Medical Center). As I grew up during grade school I developed a love for music. I began learning instruments such as the piano, clarinet, and violin. In middle school, I began playing percussion and fell much deeper in love with the drumline. Read more>>

Omar Salas Zamora

I grew up in a small dusty Last Picture Show-like town in the Central Valley of California known for its poisonous air and bakeries that refuse business to same-sex couples. I was the youngest of four children and a decade younger than my closest brother which I think created a logic in my head that I was an only child since I was so far apart from my siblings. Read more>>

Tony LoRe

Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC) was founded in 2001 by Tony LoRe. Originally a successful businessman, Tony found his life’s passion in working with young people. Tony answered that calling and sold his business to dedicate his life to helping kids and transforming culture. Read more>>

Alan Willis

My start in music was in high school, as a bass player, in a metal band with my best friends. We played all over Southern California, in various venues such as Chain Reaction and the Whisky A Go-Go. Once we graduated from high school, each member moved on to different places for college. In college, I found my love for producing. Read more>>

Ashalee Nicole Fann

I began my journey at the age of four taking ballet classes twice a week in Westwood California. I continued training in ballet until my pre-teen years when my ballet teachers had encouraged my grandmother to explore other styles of dance. I simply did not have the body type but they recognized that I was extremely talented. Read more>>

Ronnie Munoz

I started cooking at a young age with my aunt. When she would babysit my younger brother and I, she would have me pick out a recipe from a very old family style cookbook and we would make that dish from scratch. I can’t exactly pinpoint the exact moment I decided to be a chef. Read more>>

Briana Nieves

I was born in Los Angeles CA, to two Hard-working parents just different ends of the spectrum, my mother was a nurse and cosmetologist and my father a man of many trades. They instilled education and hard work into me at a very young age. Read more>>

Jen Cui

I’m in the health and wellness industry because of my own struggles with depression and anxiety in the past. I remember having my first suicidal thoughts in 5th grade, not knowing what it really meant, but just wanting to escape life. Those thoughts just became more frequent in middle school. Read more>>

Antwon King

Born in Inglewood and raised in Los Angeles, California Antwon King was born to do music. His mother and father were both avid music lovers and always played music in the house. Soul and R&B tunes blasted from the stereo constantly which made his appreciation for music grow. Read more>>

Tajh Amir

If I had to determine who, or what my first love was it would be the art of music without a doubt. For as long as I can remember, besides sports, music was my only other outlet and get away from the hardships of life. My grandmother passed away when I was four years old. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Jane

    October 9, 2019 at 03:32

    JBalloonFiesta is a hand made shop run by an great woman with an amazing story

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