City of Los Angeles Black Women's Day Honorees 2017

From left: Kira Tyler, Luopu Malakpa, Mia Carrington, Marissa Jackson, Issa Rae, and Kiana Drake


On February 21, 2017, the City of Los Angles recognized actress Issa Rae and City Year Los Angeles staff and AmeriCorps members for the various ways in which we work to uplift our communities. The event was a celebration in honor of Black Women's Day, hosted by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

“On Black Women’s Day, I am proud to honor Issa Rae as an exemplary role model and a shining example of the many stories and storytellers of South Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Harris-Dawson.  

As an inspiring producer-actress-writer,  Issa Rae is committed to representing the richness of the Los Angeles communities she calls home while paving the way for women of color in television. Her HBO series Insecure has earned her a Golden Globe nomination and is all filmed in Los Angeles, near the communities we serve.

“The dedication of City Year and the five women we honored here today ensure that our young people have the village they need to grow and become the best Angelenos they can be,” said Councilmember Harris-Dawson. 

The City Year AmeriCorps members and staff honored at the event are exemplary leaders among our corps. Mia Carrington, Kiana Drake, Marissa Jackson, Luopu Malakpa, Kira Tyler lead with open hearts and minds, diligently working hard to improve the people and communities they serve.

Get to know the City Year AmeriCorps members and staff honorees, currently serving as positive role models, mentors, and tutors for the students of South Los Angeles.

AmeriCorps member and her manager

Mia Carrington, AmeriCorps Member, 107th Street Elementary School 

Mia is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and moved to Los Angeles from Virginia to serve. She has been dedicated to community service for over a decade and would like to be a teacher in the communities we serve one day. She also currently serves as the English Language Arts Coordinator at 107th Street Elementary School.

AmeriCorps member tutoring students

Kiana Drake, AmeriCorps Member, Gompers Middle School 

Kiana is only 19 years old and moved to Los Angeles from Las Vegas, NV. She has provided more academic support, in small groups or in a 1:1 setting, than any other AmeriCorps member on her team. She serves as the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator for her team and is simultaneously enrolled as a full-time online student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

AmeriCorps Program Manager in South LA

Marissa Jackson, Senior Program Manager, Alain Leroy Locke College Preparatory Academy

Marissa served as a Team Leader at Markham Middle School in 2012-2013, worked as a Program Manager at Markham Middle School in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, and is currently the Senior Program Manager at Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory Academy. A graduate of Hope College in Holland, MI, Marissa is a beaming soul with a bachelor’s degree in social work and minor in dance. Under her management, 100% of Locke teachers who work with City Year agree, or strongly agree, that the CY team has improved the overall academic performance of their students.

AmeriCorps member excited for service

Luopu Malakpa, AmeriCorps Team Leader, Barack Obama Global Preparatory 

Luopu served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Milwaukee, WI in the 2015-2016 school year. She returned to serve as a Team Leader for the 2016-2017 school year in Los Angeles, CA. She is currently co-planning the inaugural Social Justice Week at Barack Obama Global Preparatory Academy. In addition to designing her team’s after-school enrichment curriculum, 100% of her students are on pace to hit academic growth targets in math and English Language Arts.

AmeriCorps member greeting students

Kira Tyler, AmeriCorps Member, 99th Street Elementary School

Also only 19 years old, Kira joins us all the way from Boston, MA. An astounding 100% of the students she supports are on track for academic growth in math and English Language Arts. She is the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator for her team and is currently applying to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Issa Rae City Year L.A. City Hall

Thank you, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson!


For more #makebetterhappen inspiration, please check out:

Roosevelt High School male AmeriCorps members

The Ultimate Leadership Experience

These AmeriCorps members share why they are invested in service and what service has invested in them.


Teacher from City Year Los Angeles



Ms. Fortier: "It is important for our students to have these great role models that never give up"

Partner teacher of seven years, Ms. Fortier of Gompers Middle School is passionate about students (and collaboration). 

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