Why We Were Founded

The After School Program, was developed by Rochelle Lether in September of 2009 . It arose out of a dual need for safety and affordable child care for the families of our students. The program also provided elements such as intervention for lower level students and extracurricular activities for at-risk youth. From its formation, the program became successful in both financial and participant growth, as well as positive stakeholder feedback.

Big Up Kidz was founded and launched as its own 501(c)3, by Rochelle Lether in the Summer of 2010. In 2012, Big Up Kidz was the only program in the Los Angeles region to receive the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. Thus, growing the program by two-thirds in student participation and doubling its financial resources.

With the loss of 21st CCLC in 2017, significant changes were implemented to the funding structure. Because 21st CCLC had been the primary source of funding for Big Up Kidz’ Out-of-School hours program,Program fees were instituted to offset the loss of 21st CCLC support.

Today, Big Up Kidz continues to operate in and is seeking partnerships with new schools and organizations along the way. Big Up Kidz currently serves over 175 students and adults with Before School Programs, After School Programs, Summer Camps and High School Internships. Each year, at least 70% of Big Up Kidz students demonstrate improvements to academic performance, social skills and self-confidence. Big Up Kidz is proud to work and serve in the communities that benefit from our program!