The UPK Career Development Initiative is receiving well-deserved recognition. Our program has been highlighted in podcasts and radio ads, news interviews, and an Early Care & Education press conference in partnership with the County of Los Angeles Department of Economic Opportunity and Second District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. The press conference was held on April 8, 2024, at the MAOF Lew Sands Weltor Center. We appreciate Sonia Guerrero and MAOF staff for graciously hosting the press conference.

Also on April 8, over 100 students began child development, infant-toddler, and/or Math 230 courses with our partnering colleges, El Camino College, West Los Angeles College, and East Los Angeles College. UPK-CDI is receiving recognition and making significant impacts in the ECE field.

April 8, 2024—Early Care & Education Press Conference

Among those pictured include County Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo and Chief Education Officer Dr. Maricela Ramirez; County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer; Luis Bautista, Sonja Robinson, Dr. Angela Capone, and Laura Reyes of LACOE HSEL; Dr. Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, Vicky Santos, and Sonia Guerrero of MAOF; and UPK-CDI program participants.


A special thanks to Darya Carranza for her interview with LAist!

Darya Carranza, CDI Assistant Teacher Pathway Participant (UCLA) at a park with her 20-month-old daughter, Angelina. Carranza is training to become an early childhood educator.

Darya is an HS/EHS parent at Plaza de la Raza Head Start. Darya is also the Correspondence Secretary for the LACOE Policy Council Executive Committee. Additionally, Darya recently graduated from the Assistant Teacher Pathway program in partnership with UCLA and has become an Assistant Teacher at Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. Please check out Darya’s interview at