Mr. Oscar de la Torre is currently the founder and director of the Pico Youth & Family Center (PYFC) in Santa Monica. Prior to founding the PYFC, Mr. de la Torre worked at Santa Monica High as an Outreach Specialist where he implemented tutoring programs, a leadership academy and violence prevention initiatives.
A lifelong resident of the Pico Neighborhood, Oscar founded the PYFC with the belief that youth violence is a product of various social and economic factors that contribute to feelings of inferiority, powerlessness and hopelessness.
His hope is that the PYFC provides quality services to youth and simultaneously works to develop the leadership capacity of low income communities so that the solutions of the people become institutionalized. Oscar completed his Masters degree in Public Administration at the University of Texas at Austin.
Alex Aldana, product of the Pico Neighborhood serves as PYFC’s Outreach Specialist. His relationship with PYFC began with his involvement in the Youth Leadership Council and coordinating various poetry slams and mentoring programs back in 2002 when the center opened.
Since then, Alex continues to enjoy working with the PYFC community and supporting the youth. In 2006, Alex and a collective group founded the One Nation Hip Hop Summit, which is now in its 4th year of existence (www.onenationhiphop.org). Mr. Aldana’s life long goal would be to open up his own cultural and art center in the most needed areas of Los Angeles.
Ramon Romo was born in the city of Santa Monica, CA. In his senior year of high school he became involved with the Film and Graphics course at the Pico Youth & Family Center. He was intrigued by the design software and became motivated to continue his education in the art media direction .
In 2009 he enrolled in the Art Institute of Los Angeles, California and graduated in December of 2011. Ramon now teaches the Graphic Design and Motion Graphics course at the Pico Youth & Family Center.
He teaches youth all the design, motion and animation software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, Flash and After Effects. Ramon also designs the center’s flyers for all their yearly events such as the Dia de los Muertos, Cesar E. Chavez day, and the Hope and Unity Awards Gala.
Julian Anthony Ayala aka SoulReal (Former participant of the Pico Youth & Family Center) was born in Venice and raised in Santa Monica. Attended the schools in Santa Monica including Will Rodgers, John Adams, Santa Monica High, And Santa Monica College. He Also attended M.I. (Musician’s Institute) where he learn how to be proficient in standard music software and an efficient independent music artist.
Julian has passion for music and social advocacy and believes in the organization’s motto, peace,unity, and social justice. He has been creating music professionally since 2004 as a participant, he played a major roll in the creation of all the compilation albums that the PYFC has released thus far.Growing up in the Pico neighborhood and coming from a low-income family, he understands the importance of the PYFC and the music program. Hip Hop and the PYFC saved countless of lives, including this young man’s life. A proud member of the Pico Youth & Family Center.