About South Central LAMP

Our Mission & Core Values

Our Mission is to provide programs that empower women and their families to reach their full  potential in a supportive, nurturing environment through education, building self-esteem, and strengthening community relationships.

Our Core Values are to

  • Empower women to advocate for themselves, their children and families;
  • Provide English language tools to effectively integrate into the community;
  • Instill positive parent and child interaction;
  • Promote early literacy and school readiness skills for children and their families; and
  • Maximize use of community resources that support South Central LAMP’s Mission.

A Little About Us

Our History

South Central Los Angeles Ministry Project (South Central LAMP) was founded in response to the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles by a collaboration of eight congregations of Catholic sisters. They canvassed the devastated neighborhood and asked how they could better support the community as it struggled to rebuild and survive. In their responses, the sisters heard a strong desire from mothers to enhance their parenting skills, improve their English literacy, and prepare their children for school and later success in life.

In dialogue with the local community, the founders developed family-centered programming that has grown to include Parenting Programs that empower women to advocate for themselves, their children, and their families; English as a Second Language programs that provide language skills for effective integration into the community; Childcare, Preschool, and Pre-Kindergarten programs that combine early literacy and school-readiness skills with parent participation, and which provide services while the mothers attend classes with confidence that their children are cared for in a warm learning environment; Health, wellness, and financial literacy seminars; Family Advocacy support to maximize access to community resources; and a Community Food Distribution program, run by South Central LAMP graduates.  All our programs are free of charge to our participants.

We believe that by investing in mothers, we are strengthening the entire family. Therefore, we empower the women we serve so that they become confident in themselves and their ability to be their child’s first teacher and advocate.



Our Founders

Daughters of Charity
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
Sisters of the Holy Faith – California Province
Sisters of the Holy Family
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Sisters of St. Louis
Sisters of Notre Dame
Sisters of Social Service
Society of the Holy Child Jesus

Our Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is our governing body, committed to interpreting the original vision of South Central LAMP’s founders to meet and respond to the current needs of the community through our agency’s social and educational programs. The Board of Trustees includes a member or lay delegate from each founding order and other professional lay persons.


Daniel Bir, Chair 
Principal, Polsinelli LLP

Mary FitzpatrickVice Chair 
Representative for the Society of the Holy Child Jesus

Cecilia Estrada, Secretary 
Representative for the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary

Teresita Rodriguez Ruiz, Treasurer  
Relationship Manager, V.P., Flagstar Bank


Mary Dolmage
Retired Teacher

Sr. Mary Genino, RSHM  
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary

Margaret Graf
General Counsel, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Mary Mansell
Retired School Administrator

Sr. Lisa Megaffin, SND
Director of Mission Advancement Services, Sisters of Notre Dame

Sr. Maureen O’Connor, CSJ
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Maria Elena Perales
Representative for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange

Mary Walden
Human Resources Expert, Expert Effect

Kayla Yokoyama Dodge
Co-Founder – E-commerce Company

Our Staff

South Central LAMP is proud of its staff of educators and administrators who together carry out our mission. Every day they commit to creating the best environment for the families and children we serve. Thanks to their hard work, the families know they are surrounded by a knowledgeable, talented and constant network of support.


Diana Z. Pinto, Executive Director
Samira Alvarez, Early Education and Program Manager
Nicole Cosand Burcham, Development Director
Jessie Hernandez, Adult Education and Programs Manager
Luz Saucedo, Office Manager


Celeste Jimenez, Office Assistant
Audrey Rudolph, Development Associate


Brandon Bautista, EXPL Teacher Assistant
Carolina Bautista, ECE Lead Teacher
Maria Cabrera, ECE Floater
Cesar Falcon, EXPL Teacher Assistant
Sr. Cathy Garcia, RSHM, ESL Coordinator & Instructor
Hannah Han, ESL Instructor
Maria L. Juarez, ECE Teacher Assistant
Mariela Lopez, ECE Teacher Assistant
Ilce Moreno, ECE Site Supervisor & EXPL Coordinator
Angelica Sandoval, ECE Teacher Assistant
Cecilia Sandoval, ECE Teacher Assistant
Angelica Salcido, Family Advocate & Parenting Instructor
Derek Sijder, ESL Instructor
Carla Silva, ECE Lead Teacher
Maria Solorzano, EXPL Teacher Assistant
Maria Soriano, ECE Lead Teacher

Our Parent Advisory Board

The Parent Advisory Board allows parents the opportunity to take an active role in the South Central LAMP program, establish a sense of program ownership, improve communication and develop leadership skills. Participation is voluntary, however more than 25 mothers have elected participate. The Parent Advisory Board meets regularly, provides input for program improvement and organizes events.