Over the past 20 years, CHAMPIONS IN SERVICE San Fernando Valley/Greater Los Angeles has been helping at-risk youth stay in school and steer away from gang involvement. CIS focuses on addressing two major community problems:the dropout crisis and youth violence.
BOBBY ARIAS Co-founder and President of Champions in Service.
PASTOR RUDY TRUJILLO began working with youth in the San Francisco’s Mission District in the summer of 1980 which led to the developing and understanding of the power of a spiritual intervention and it’s power to transform, restore, reclaim and rebuilt fallen humanity, while in San Francisco and conducting outreaches into the neighborhoods, projects and the Streets of San Francisco we realized that in some cases we needed to take a more holistic approach for a greater outcome.
Pastor Rudy’s experience in addressing this issue of gang involvement began to broaden in understanding after coming on staff with Communities In Schools under the direction of Bobby Arias MSW, MPA beginning with the LA Bridges Program while working with at risk youth attending Maclay Middle School. In 2007 Pastor Rudy was brought on board at the inception of the City Los Angeles GRYD Program provided through the Mayor Office which addresses gang violence in a comprehensive and coordinated way throughout the City.
Through the understanding of the gang culture. and the practice of early prevention and intervention we have witnessed first hand a greater outcome in our community. Pastor Rudy has said that “this experience over the last 12 years with the GRYD while working with Charter Schools, Probation within the LAUSD along with working with MSW Interns candidates has really shaped the philosophy of the need to be faith-base driven while connecting community resources and services for transformational impact on families”.
SAMUEL LAZALDE is a native of Los Angeles born into an environment filled with gang violence, leading him to Juvenile Hall, Juvenile encampments, and ultimately a hospital bed with a gunshot wound. He shifted his detrimental trajectory by earning his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California and working in various capacities for the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office. Currently Samuel is working with Communities In Schools, where he hopes to continue being of instrumental service to the very change he would like to see across Los Angeles. In his free time, Samuel indulges in the noble art of pugilism and has used the opportunity to mentor young men exiting the prison system.