LOS ANGELES -- Today Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed Eric Gurna as the next President and CEO of LA's BEST, the successful citywide after school program started under Mayor Tom Bradley.
Gurna will succeed LA’s BEST founding President and CEO Carla Sanger, who is retiring after 26 years of leading an organization that serves 29,000 students every afternoon at 195 elementary school sites in LA neighborhoods most vulnerable to gangs, drugs, crime and at schools with the lowest student test scores.
Mayor Garcetti has supported LA’s BEST since his time as on City Council, and praised the creative growth of the organization and its support of our city's students.
"LA’S BEST is a program that works. When kids have a safe place to go after school, crime drops, test scores go up, and our city becomes more competitive and more livable," said Mayor Garcetti. "LA's BEST's success is thanks in large part to President and CEO Carla Sanger-- a visionary leader, chosen by Mayor Tom Bradley, who has rewarded our city and the more than 350,000 students with her brilliance and relentless advocacy for our youth. Carla is leaving LA's BEST in good hands with incoming CEO Eric Gurna, an experienced leader who has dedicated his career to serving children. With Eric and his talented staff, I know the future for LA's BEST will be very bright and more children will have safe places to learn, play and grow after school."
Gurna previously served as President and CEO of Development Without Limits, an organization he founded that helps educators provide an engaging learning experience for young people in after school programs. He also worked at the Harlem Children's Zone and LA's BEST earlier in his career.
Mayor Garcetti also thanked outgoing Board of Directors Chairman Sir Marvin Suomi for his leadership and guidance at LA's BEST. He will be succeeded by Christopher Dusseault, a law partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
About LA’S BEST
LA's BEST - Better Educated Students for Tomorrow - is a nationally recognized after school education, enrichment and recreation program serving more than 29,000 children with the greatest needs and fewest resources throughout the City of Los Angeles. LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program provides a safe haven for children ages 5 to 12 at 195 elementary school sites each day during the critical hours after school — at no cost to parents. Established in 1988, LA's BEST is a partnership including the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the private sector. LA’s BEST is part of Beyond the Bell, whose mission is to ensure that all children and youth in LAUSD have access to high quality, safe and supervised academic, enrichment, and recreation programs that inspire learning and achievement beyond the regular school day. For more information, please visit www.lasbest.org.