YALLA, the Senate District 38 Non-Profit of the Year / East County Californian

By Matthew Sandfort
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The California Association of Nonprofits had its inaugural “Nonprofit Day” celebration to recognize and honor the importance of nonprofit organizations to the state and the economy, as well as their impacts on the communities they serve.  To help with this, each member of the State Assembly and State Senate picked a nonprofit organization from their district to honor.

East County’s local state Senator Joel Anderson picked YALLA – Youth and Leaders Living Actively, and Anderson recently visited YALLA to personally congratulate the organization by presenting Sarah Tuakli Cooper, YALLA’s Interim Executive Director and her team with a Senate Resolution to proclaim the organization as the Senate District 38 Nonprofit of the Year 2016. Anderson excitedly shared, “Sarah, Mark and their team have made this organization a source of empowerment and motivation for children who are new to our community, and I am honored to give them this recognition.”

Located in El Cajon, YALLA is a college preparatory organization that uses both soccer and academic programs to help refugee and immigrant youths to be motivated and achieve success.  For the College Bound students, YALLA helps with college applications, financial aid, and scholarships.  It partners with the Cajon Valley Union School District to help administrate the New Beginnings program, designed for refugee children and adults to help with their transition to the United States.  They also have a K-8 scholar-athlete academy to help prepare students for high school not just through personalized curriculum, but also strengthening their confidence.  Finally, their soccer club competes in the largest youth league in San Diego and teaches self-reliance, teamwork, and player development.

To watch Anderson’s presentation and learn more about YALLA, visit: https://youtu.be/89iySsjDlbA

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