Who we are

mission statement

preparing Los Angeles students for success in college, career, and life.

To improve academic achievement as well as college and career access and success for students in the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy, SLATE-Z and beyond

vision statement

Students are successful in college, career and life by reducing education inequities and opportunity gaps.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the LA Promise Fund, we believe that education remains one of the most powerful tools to break century-old cycles of oppression, violence and poverty for students, their families, and communities. We believe education can chisel away at racism by teaching diverse histories and perspectives and by disrupting a predominately white male perspective that has excluded and actively erased the voices and contributions of people of color. Institutionalized racism and systemic injustice pervade many aspects of society today, especially for our African American students and families. We are committed to eradicating racism within our organization, raising our voice against racism, and uplifting our South LA community and beyond.

Click Here to Learn How We Have Put This Into Action

meet the la promise fund

Megan Chernin

Board Co-Chair

Stephen Prough

Salem Partners
Board Co-Chair

Cathy Bender

Amazon Web Services

Paul de Bernier

Mayer Brown LLP

Donnell Beverly, Jr.

Russell Westbrook Enterprises

Ivelisse Estrada

Univision, Retired

Andrea Foggy-Paxton

Entrepreneur in Residence
Education Leaders of Color

Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor of Los Angeles
Honorary Board Member

Dean Hallett

Hallett Leadership

Elizabeth Mann

Mann Legal Team

Frank Marshall

The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Brian McNamee

Amgen, Retired

Simon Osborn

Goldman Sachs

Ali Powell


Melissa Stephens

Ares Management

Alison Temple

Wild Card Creative Group

Jaime Ernesto Uzeta

Public Allies

Danielle Vick

Citi Private Bank, Retired

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook Enterprises


Veronica Melvin


Michelle Cheang Ed. D.

Chief Advancement Officer

Kyle Miller

Chief Strategic Officer

Donna Jacobson

Chief Academic Officer

Carla Yorke

Chief Program Officer

Liliana Vasquez

Chief Operations Officer


Leslie Aaronson

Director of Career Pathway Connections

Antonia Arguelles

School Business Operations Manager
Russell Westbrook Why Not? Middle School

Gisela Ariza

Associate Director of School Improvement

Wendy Ayuso

Community Representative

Kristen Balagtas

Office Manager / Executive Assistant

Lawrence Berment

Director of Information Technology

Renee Bixby

ABE Lab Technician / Site Coordinator,
Orange County Distribution Center

Monica Cardona

Director of Family & Community Outreach

Charles Daroy

Technology Manager

Sarah Escajeda

Associate Director of Parent Engagement

Jasmine Evans

Black College Success Initiative Academic Advisor

Brenda Gomez

People & Operations Manager

Lori Hashimoto

Operations Manager

Janice Herbert

School Business Operations Manager,
Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy High School

Luz Hernandez

ABE Lab Technician / Site Coordinator,
California State University, Channel Island Distribution Center

Christina Korn

Associate Director of Arts Programs

Kirk Kirkwood Ed.D

Senior Director of College Success

Gina Lutcher

Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy High School

Yazmin Mendez

Associate Director of Youth Leadership

Camly Nguyen

Associate Director of Data & Analytics

Alex Rincon

Associate Director, Career Pathway Connections

Daisy Rodriguez

Black College Success Initiative Academic Advisor

Flor Romero

Associate Director, Career Pathway Connections

Justin Shahbaz

Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy Middle School

Karin Steinhauer

ABE Site Coordinator/Lead Lab Technician, Pierce College Distribution Center

David Spitz

Director of Finance

Jade Stevens

Director of Communications

Giovanna Tomat-Kelly

ABE Site Coordinator/Lab Technician, Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator Distribution Center

Nina Torres

Black College Success Initiative Academic Advisor

Leslie Tresun Ed.D

Director of Grant Management

Chris Valenzuela

Data & Analytics Manager

Stacy Zamora

ABE Site Coordinator/Lab Technician, LA Trade Tech College Distribution Center


The LA Promise Fund would like to thank all of its donors for their generous support and give special recognition to our partners that contributed over $10,000 in the last year. We are especially grateful to Amgen, a longtime sponsor that has made considerable contributions to the organization’s fiscal and organizational health.


$100,000 and over

20th Century Fox


The Albertsons Companies Foundation

Amgen Foundation

Annenberg Foundation

Marina Berti & Steven Prough

Louise Bryson Family Foundation

California Community Foundation

Chernin Family Foundation

Entertainment Industry Foundation

Food Research Action Committee (FRAC)

Getty Foundation

Guess? Foundation

JMB Realty Corporation

Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall

Kissick Family Foundation

Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams Family Foundation


$50,000 to $100,000


California Emerging Technology Fund

The California Endowment

Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg

Cheryl Saban Self-Worth Foundation

County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors

Flora Family Foundation

Mellody Hobson & George Lucas

Goldman Sachs Gives

Ghada & Ray Irani Family Foundation

Joseph Drown Foundation

Kevin Sharer

NoVo Foundation

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

$25,000 to $50,000

Ares Operations

Boeing Company

Citi Bank


Dwight Stuart Youth Fund

The Green Foundation

Susan & Robert Kozlowski of L.I.F.T. Foundation


Jill & Brian McNamee


The Moriah Fund


Ressler/Gertz Family Foundation

United Way

Wells Fargo

$10,000 to $25,000

Bain & Co.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Frank Baxter

Allison & Bennett Rosenthal

Giancarla Berti

Bloom Hergott

Boston Consulting Group

CAA Foundation

Americo Cascella TTEE

City National Bank

Eos Foundation

Dean Hallett

Hauptman Family Foundation

Home Box Office (HBO)

Maria Hummer-Tuttle

JP Morgan Chase

Kaiser Permanente

Meredith & David Kaplan

Martha & Bruce Karsh Family Foundation

Latham & Watkins

Los Angeles Clippers Foundation

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)


Morgan Stanley

NBC Universal

Pacific Gas & Electric

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

Robert Day Foundation

David Sachs


Schultz Family Foundation

Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas)

Alison Temple



Vanguard Group


William Morris Endeavor (WME)

Mark Zucker

$5,000 to $10,000

SoCal Edison