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One America - Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center

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One America

Program: Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, Los Angeles, CA
Contact(s): Linda Broadous Miles, Executive Director: (213) 756-7203
Purpose: To provide educational, recreational and cultural programs for youths

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center was founded by Myrtle Faye Rumph, a woman whose son Al Wooten Jr., was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in South Central Los Angeles. Determined that her son's death not be in vain, Mrs. Rumph used her life's savings to found the center in May 1990 to provide young people with programs that will enhance their educational and personal lives. Initially, the center worked with four youths, and attendance has steadily grown with the help of sponsors and publicity from the news media.

Program Operations

A coalition of 15 nonprofit and business organizations work with the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. The center, operating in predominantly black, riot-scarred South Central Los Angeles, currently offers many after-school programs designed to give the local kids the best chance to succeed and become positive members of society. Activities include: receiving guidance counseling, studying African American history, going on field trips, engaging in creative and performing arts, as well as developing an alternative high school on the premises for kids who are unable to perform at public school due to safety or personal reasons. Participants in the program engage in academic tutoring whereby they receive assistance from volunteers, mentors, tutors and educators to improve their educational and vocational learning. The teachers at the centers are volunteers, mostly professional men and women who give up an afternoon or evening to teach classes in reading, spelling and black history.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The first four students who entered the program in 1990 are now enrolled in college. In 1992, the center expanded from its original home to a larger storefront. More than 50 kids a day attend the program, which operates six days a week.

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