C.C.E.O. YouthBuild

C.C.E.O. YouthBuild
5021 Lennox Blvd
Lennox, CA 90304
Tel: (310) 225-3060

John Muir Staff

Laura Hirshfield
Lead Teacher
Tim Mendelsohn
 Petra Mandic
Century Center for Economic Opportunity (CCEO) was established in 1979 by pioneering community developers who were passionate about equal employment opportunity and workforce development. From 1979-1994, CCEO monitored the hiring practices of all projects related to the construction of the I-105 century freeway. CCEO enforced state mandates requiring that a certain a percentage of workers were women and minorities who lived in the surrounding communities of the freeway project. This created a large, grassroots effort to recruit eligible workers from the local communities.

After the completion of the I-105 Century Freeway, CCEO continued its community development work with a new focus. Working with local communities and construction projects, CCEO applied to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) YouthBuild grant to continue their mission. YouthBuild is a program that enables high school dropouts a second chance to earn their high school diploma or G.E.D. while simultaneously offering construction training. As one of the original grantees of the DOL YouthBuild grant, CCEO became one of the first YouthBuild programs in the country.

CCEO YouthBuild operated for 14 years in Gardena and moved to Lennox in 2010. Through the years, as CCEO received various grants and established new partnerships, our YouthBuild program has significantly expanded.

Currently, CCEO YouthBuild offers high school dropouts, ages 16-24, a second chance to earn their high school diplomas, vocational training, AmeriCorps scholarships, leadership and life skills, college and work readiness. CCEO YouthBuild also offers its graduates extensive alumni support services.


Our Mission is to empower underserved young adults to rebuild their lives and communities through leadership, education and technical training.

It is our hope that one day we will live in a world where our vision can come to fruition: empowered young adults lead and uplift their communities to create a more socially just society.

CCEO Staff

Alicia Ayala 
Academic Counselor/Registrar
Paul L. Watson III
Leadership & Mentoring Manager
VanRay Murphy
Senior Case Manager
Ana Saucedo
Finance and Human Resources Manager
Mario Gonzalez
Projects Coordinator
Kirk Henry
Construction Manager