Culture & Civic Life
Watts Leadership Institute
A ten-year initiative of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Watts Leadership Institute (WLI) uses an innovative cohort-based model to d...
Your Special Day was founded in 2017 by Jacqueline Evans and her daughter Shekalia Johnson. The pair was inspired by Evans's own experience growing up in South Central Los Angeles with a single father who was chronically ill and partially disabled. Your Special Day is named after the organization's first program, which provides children between the ages of 5 and 12 who live with disabled or chronically ill parents a "special day" of youthful fun, free from their usual stressors and responsibilities.
In addition to this signature program, Your Special Day offers additional services to support the entire family. After a child experiences their special day, their family is automatically enrolled in the Nutrition 4 All program. Through this initiative, families receive baskets every other week complete with organic produce, kid-friendly recipes using the delivery's ingredients, and a nutrition information packet. Finally, the Bridge to Hope program is Your Special Day's extended services program that connects parents to educational and social service providers in the South Los Angeles area. These resources are critically important in bridging the gap between a parent's level of ability and often inaccessible activities such as homework assistance, recreation, discipline, and special events. Through this extensive programming, Your Special Day works towards a vision of the world in which all parents and children receive the support they need to thrive with dignity.
General Operating Support