Started in 1990, Rosie Espinoza founded Rosie’s Garage, a nationally recognized after-school tutoring program of La Habra Neighborhood Housing Services. Rosie was concerned with the growing gang activity and low educational level that the local children were attaining.
Through Rosie’s Garage, children can have a safe place where they can learn and grow. Free tutoring for low income and children living in poverty are provided in this environment.
Through this program, Rosie and her staff have helped improve grade averages of the children, improve their attitude towards school and themselves, involve parents in their children’s education and schools and build a sense of community and decrease crime and gang activity in the local neighborhoods.
From evaluations of the program, children who participated at Rosie’s Garage had on average, increased their writing abilities by 2.1 grade levels and 2.9 grade levels in math. With great successes, Rosie’s Garage has been featured on CBS Evening News and the Presidents Points of Light Volunteer Award.
For the over 1,000 students who have worked with Rosie and her staff, they have had an alternative place to go afterschool. Steering children away from the streets and into a safe environment like this is the main goal of the program.
In 1997, they opened a second tutoring site in a nearby neighborhood, where educational programs were consolidated in 2005 in a former gang house. Rosie’s Garage was also recently incorporated as a nonprofit organization, funded by private donations, foundation grants and an annual 5K run to benefit scholarships for Espinoza’s children.
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