Cheers West Edition


Darryl Foster, a former veteran and inmate, recently signed up to be a mentor for students in a PVJOBS construction class.

The nonprofit PVJOBS, which stands for Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services, hosted a mentor mixer last month where volunteers could sign up to support students through the first 90 days of a program.

Foster wanted to help because PVJOBS gave him “an opportunity when no one else would.”

PVJOBS provides training programs in construction for students, veterans and high-risk individuals to help them find employment.

Ron Dowell

A lifelong resident of Watts and Compton, Ron L. Dowell is a recipient of this year’s Emerging Voices Fellowship.

The fellowship is a seven-month literary mentorship program that helps writers launch professional careers.

Dowell has worked with the Los Angeles County for 38 years, and uses his perspective on local urban communities to inform his stories.

He holds two master’s degrees in criminal justice and emergency services administration from Cal State Long Beach.

Lenee Richards

Lenee Richards, the communications director for nonprofit LeadersUp, was recently voted onto STEAM:CODERS’ advisory board.

STEAM:CODERS is an organization that teaches underserved communities science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Before joining LeadersUp, Richards worked with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles as a community engagement specialist, organizing grassroots campaigns that reached more than 300,000 Angelenos.

Richards graduated from Virginia State University with a bachelor’s in communications and went on to work in Washington, D.C. with Fenton Communications after graduating.

Compiled by Dorany Pineda.

Cheers! features the everyday accomplishments of everyday people in South Los Angeles. To submit an item, send an email (with picture) to