Ellie Hidalgo is dedicated to Boyle Heights, a Latino immigrant community just east of downtown Los Angeles, California, where she lives and works. Ellie graduated with a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, has a master’s in pastoral theology from Loyola Marymount University, and is a certified parenting instructor. She was a writer for The Tidings and worked at WXPN-FM public radio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For the past seven years, she has focused on teaching parenting classes in Spanish in her community. Ellie believes that working with parents to build and sustain a connection with one another and with their children is a key element in breaking the cycle of addiction and of domestic and gang violence in her neighborhood.
Ellie is a godmother to six children and was the foster parent to two young relatives during a time of crisis. She now directs the parent education program at Dolores Mission and for Promise Neighborhoods–Boyle Heights as part of a national initiative to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York. Among her responsibilities at Dolores Mission, Ellie co-facilitates a support group for survivors of violence, mostly family members who have lost a loved one to gang violence. At Dolores Mission, her programs include a support group for parents with adolescent or adult children who are in prison, and she initiates opportunities to use the principles of restorative justice between the two groups.
To learn more about the Promise Neighborhoods—Boyle Heights initiative, click here.