Child and Family Services

Learning Lab

Under the direction of Simon Gee, the Learning Lab at Hathaway-Sycamores Family Resource Center in Highland Park, serves at risk youth in the Northeast Los Angeles area by providing a safe place to study after school. The children and youth use the lab space and computers to print and complete homework assignments. The youth also receive tutoring individually and in small groups.

Elisha Marquez has been receiving services and working hard at the Learning Lab for the last two years. The Eagle Rock High School senior’s hard work has definitely paid off. “I’m going to be a tree! I’m going to Stanford!” Elisha exclaimed, “A billion of my sincerest thanks to Hathaway-Sycamores. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Not only was Elisha accepted to Stanford, she will be attending with a full scholarship in the amount of $228,000. As the Learning Lab’s Simon Gee noted, “Elisha is going to change her life.”

This center is open to students from 7 to 18 years old, Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 9pm, and Saturdays from 8am to 12pm. 19 local public schools refer students to the lab, and it is the only free resource of this type in the Highland Park community. Every day about 30 students show up for open lab and tutoring.  The learning lab serves about 250 students a year, and there is typically a waiting list of about 500 students to use this center.  The lab has been able to offer summer programs in SAT prep, pre algebra and biology prep due to volunteers from the community, and when funding is available, the lab is able to expand its tutoring services. The Learning Lab has data that shows an improvement of one or more letter grades with the students they work with on a continual basis.

Emily Cardinas, 2010 Posse Foundation Scholarship winner with Simon Gee

Click here to watch the KCBS News story about the Learning Lab’s Simon Gee.

Read more Learning Lab student success stories:

Valentino Gonzalez headed to Harvard

Donald Kaplan wins a Posse Scholarship

Connor Dorothy reports on life at MIT