Our Mission


United Parents and Students (UPAS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to empowering communities to become powerful self-advocates for quality schools and sustainable neighborhood revitalization. UPAS partners with local public schools and community-based organizations to create training centers that teach families the formal skills of community organizing and authentic civic engagement.

Our History

The Evolution of Educational Reform


Organize. Advocate. Act

Partners and Affiliate Programs

Since 2011, Green Dot has partnered with over 50 organizations to provide programs and services to further our goal of engaging parents.

These organizations have offered hundreds of workshops to teach parents practical skills and tools to aid in the development and advancement of their families.

Our partner organizations include:

A Place Called Home

All People’s Community Center

American Heart Association

Broadway Federal Bank

California Hospital Medical Center

Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.

Champions for Change Children’s Collective

Community Financial Resources Center

Facing History and Ourselves

GRYD: Gang Reduction Youth Development

Haven Neighborhood Services Hoop Foundation

Kinecta Federal Credit Union LA Care

Los Angeles Community College

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Los Angeles Police Department

Little Company of Mary Multicultural Service Center

Neighborhood Housing Service

New Futuro

Norwood Healthy Start

PCI: People for Community Improvement

PFLAG: Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

PIQE: Parent Institute for Quality Education


St. John’s Well Child & Family Center

St. Vincent Medical Center Shields for Families

South Bay Family Health Care Street Positive

Watts Century Latino Organization

Watts Gang Taskforce

Watts Healthcare Corporation

We Care Outreach Ministries

West Athens-Westmont

Community Taskforce Worksite

Wellness LA




As sure as power tends to corrupt, so too does powerlessness. When you view power as a community instrumentality (as opposed to solely an individual one), then powerlessness precedes poverty. The fundamental reason that our communities lack the services and infrastructure we need and deserve is because we lack the power successfully to demand them. Indeed, according to the late philosopher Hannah Arendt, a collective public voice is THE source of political power. Such a collective voice is necessary in the communities UPAS serves.

UPAS was founded to help families address the factors outside school boundaries that not only pose barriers to learning, but also inhibit local quality of life as a whole. It works to build organizations that assemble a powerful collective voice by and for the residents of underserved communities to demand positive social change. It defines organizing as developing a collective of people to learn the skills of public life in order to make demands of people with power to affect positive social change in our communities.

Broad-based organizing is an approach to effecting social change through community organizing, which generates long-term power for community members and develops permanent structures and systems for organizing. Unlike other forms of organizing and social action, broad-based organizers serve and engage diverse groups of community members who want to work in solidarity for mutual self-interest and support them in building power to act effectively in public.

Meet the Leadership Team


Ceci Vasquez


Gloria Jackson


Bob Guzman


Jade Thornton

larry circle[4]

Larry Fondation

Executive Director, United Parents and Students

Larry Fondation is the Executive Director of United Parents and Students, an affiliate of Green Dot Public Schools National. Prior to UPAS, Larry Fondation was the Director of Community Engagement for Green Dot Public Schools for five years. He worked for more than a decade as a lead organizer for the Industrial Areas Foundation, the community organizing network founded by Saul Alinksy. He has focused his organizing primarily in South and East Los Angeles. In addition, Fondation is the author of five books of fiction, as well as numerous pieces of short fiction and journalism, which have been published internationally. Fondation and his wife live in Silver Lake; they have three daughters.

Board of Directors

Allison Bajracharya
Erika Toriz
Gabriel Sanchez


Contact Us

1150 S Olive, Ste 1340
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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