There are many obstacles facing children today -- especially children in low-income communities. These include poverty, low self esteem, loss of self-control and focus, alcohol and drug abuse, gang violence, lack of quality nutrition, obesity, and single parent/broken families.  These, and many other types of hurdles, can prevent a child from reaching his or her full potential.

Specific to California, the Children’s Defense Fund[1] reported in May 2009 that:

  • A child is born into poverty every 5 minutes
  • A child is abused or neglected every 6 minutes
  • A child or teen is killed by gunfire every 20 hours
  • 77% of public school 4th graders are reading below grade level
  • 7% of 16- to 19-year olds are not enrolled in school and are not high school graduates

In the county of Los Angeles:

  • 35% of children are estimated to be living in poverty[2]
  • There are over 1,108 gangs with 85,298 members of which 40% (34,119) are estimated to be under age 18[3]
  • 27.4% of Los Angeles county 5th graders are obese[4]
  • The LA County High School graduation rate is 60% and for LAUSD the number drops to 52% !!!

It is important to bear in mind that the children included in the above statistics come to school carrying their burdens and issues with them, yet our schools are expected to reach and teach all children with a standardized curriculum, achieve state standards and do well on state-mandated tests.  Furthermore, schools are often overcrowded, understaffed and in need of support and enrichment programs.


We, at P.S. I Love You Foundation, believe if children develop strong emotional, physical and social well-being skills early in life, this can reduce the chances of - and perhaps prevent – these children from growing up depressed, violent, turning to gangs for support, dropping out of school, or using drugs to cope.  

P.S. I Love You’s goal is to empower and inspire these children by teaching skills to help them in their everyday lives, to reduce stress, to influence successful individuals and help them develop healthy minds, positive attitudes and strong bodies.

[1] Children’s Defense Fund website, Children in California Report,

[2] LA Daily News, Child Poverty up in nation, Los Angeles County, September 16, 2010

[3] Winton, Richard, LA Times, LA Gangs in LA’s Neighborhoods, May 13, 2005

[4] Los Angeles County Services for Transition Age Youth: Programs, Data and Recommendations, 2005

[5] Education Week website, District Graduation Rate Map Tool,

[6] Education Week website, District Graduation Rate Map Tool,