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Stories of Everyday Heroes

Stories of Everyday Heroes

The Florence – Firestone Neighborhood

The unincorporated area of Florence-Firestone located in South Los Angeles is a seriously disadvantaged community with a high number of families living in poverty (32%), with a large number of residents not in the labor force (50%).  Seven out of ten residents over 25 lack a high school education, a rate twice that of Los Angeles City and County of Los Angeles. Florence-Firestone also has one of the highest rates of crime and violence in the County of Los Angeles.  The general unrest in the area has generated local and national media coverage.

The Florence-Firestone Stories of Everyday Heroes project brings to light the accomplishments of everyday people that are making improvements to this community. These are people that have a connection to Florence-Firestone, whether they grew up there, live there, or work there. The County of Los Angeles Public Library, in partnership with the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders and the Florence-Firestone/Walnut Park Chamber of Commerce, is presenting these “everyday hero” stories through videos, photos, and narrative featured on the Florence-Firestone Stories of Everyday Heroes website. These stories demonstrate how everyday people are engaging in their community and making concrete, positive changes for the betterment of all.

ERICA ORTEGA

erica ortega

Erica Ortega is a longtime resident of the Florence-Firestone community. Growing up in Florence-Firestone, Erica has seen many changes in the community over the years. Erica vividly recalls the 1992 LA Riots with candor and humor.  She is currently a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders where she maintains the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders website.

Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Florence-Firestone Community Garden
Human Services Association

GLORIA MEDINA

gloria medina

Gloria Medina lives in the Florence-Firestone area with her family. Gloria is currently president of the Florence Firestone Merchants Association. Gloria is a strong advocate for women entrepreneurs and has helped to organize the Business Expo for Women Only for the past two years. Gloria’s strong commitment to make the Florence-Firestone community a better place for both business and community makes her an everyday hero.

Lives in the Florence-Firestone area
Founder/CEO – Florence Firestone Merchants Association
Advisory Board Member at Florence Firestone Community Leaders

CELICA QUINONES

celica quinones

Celica Quinones family moved to the Florence-Firestone area in 1978. After graduating from college, Celica returned to Florence-Firestone community. She has many family and friends who currently live and work in the community. Celica works as Assistant Deputy to County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Assistant Deputy to County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Florence-Firestone Community Garden

ARTHUR JONES

art jones

ARTHUR JONES

Arthur (Art) Jones is a longtime resident of the Florence-Firestone community. Art is Past President of the Florence-Firestone Leadership Community Leaders and is actively involved in community organizing. Art retired from the County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department where he made lifelong friends. Art Jones story continues to inspire the next generation of community leaders.

Member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Community Activist

WILLIAM ALLEN

William Allen sitting at a desk

William Allen moved back to Florence-Firestone and participates in local neighborhood watch programs and the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders. He is a Vietnam Veteran and uses his military training and skills to provide leadership within the community. Mr. Allen volunteers his time by mentoring local youth basketball teams. He is also helping to meet the needs of the community and address its concerns as a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders.

Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Community advocate
Military Veteran

PAULA TREJO

Paula Trejo

Paula Trejo grew up in the Florence-Firestone community and returned to raise her family. She maintains an enthusiastic and positive attitude as a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders. As the current President of the organization, Paula is helping to meet the needs and address the concerns of the Florence-Firestone Community by providing information and connecting services and resources to the local area’s residents and businesses.

Grew up in Florence-Firestone
Raised children within the community
President of Florence-Firestone Community Leaders, Volunteer
Advocate for community involvement
Importance of education and the Florence-Firestone image

WILLIAM ALLEN

Rick Aldridge accepting award

William Allen moved back to Florence-Firestone and participates in local neighborhood watch programs and the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders. He is a Vietnam Veteran and uses his military training and skills to provide leadership within the community. Mr. Allen volunteers his time by mentoring local youth basketball teams. He is also helping to meet the needs of the community and address its concerns as a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders.

Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Community advocate
Military Veteran

JONATHAN P. BELL

Jonathan Pacheco Bell

Jonathan Pacheco Bell has been involved with the Florence-Firestone community since 2005. Beginning his career in Code Enforcement, Mr. Bell addresses local concerns in the Florence-Firestone area. As an active member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders, Mr. Bell helps connect community members with government services and meet the needs of the community.

Works in City Planning for County of Los Angeles
Member of Florence-Firestone Community Leaders, Volunteer
Community advocate

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