In January, 2018, tragedy touched one of LAYC’s own: Nicole Hanrahan, Executive Director of LAYC Career Academy Public Charter School and former LAYC Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Operating Officer, experienced a devastating fire at her home. In her family’s time of need, however, Nicole and her husband’s thoughts turned to how they could help others. On Facebook, Nicole made her appeal:

We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support we have received after our family home burned down. So many of you have asked what you can do to support us. We now have some thoughts.

If we have learned anything from this fire, it is how lucky we are. We were unharmed. We have good insurance. We have good jobs and an amazing community. We will be fundamentally OK. There are so many people who live through a fire, become homeless, and are left with truly nothing. In these cases, the fire changes the trajectory of the lives of an entire family. I have seen this happen with homeless teenagers that I have known during my time at Latin American Youth Center and LAYC Career Academy. It is devastating.

The best thing you can do for us is to help a homeless kid by donating to LAYC or the Career Academy. Ten dollars can buy socks and underwear for a teen who does not have any; $500 is a security deposit for a room in a house. Any donation would greatly help kids who truly, truly need it.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us in so many ways during a really hard time. You have lifted our spirits so much. We are so grateful.

Nicole and Daren

Nicole’s generous spirit, always on display at the Career Academy, shines through as she shifts the focus of her friends and family to youth who need their support. Career Academy was founded in 2011 by employees of LAYC to meet the severe unmet demand for academic options combined with career-preparation for older youth, for whom traditional high schools were not effective. Prior to joining LAYC, Nicole most recently served as a Director at Community Wealth Ventures (CWV) where she helped nonprofits and foundations build social enterprises and improve organizational sustainability. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in public policy from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

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