Centro CHA formed 27 years ago to advocate for the well-being of Hispanic children, youth and families in the Long Beach. In that time, the nonprofit has contributed to the improvement of the community through higher education, socio-economic development and arts and culture revitalization.
“For years, we’ve been creating art and showcasing our talents,” Jessica Quintana, Centro CHA executive director, said. “We’re born here and live here and we said we need to create an apparel brand.”
So, high school students and young adults, with the help of Jose Mercado, a graphic designer, created a logo and clothing line. It’s called Long Beach Por Vida (Long Beach for life) and the line had its launch party Saturday at the Centro CHA offices on Long Beach Boulevard.
“This is our first apparel launch and it’s to support second chances for job training, graphic arts and manufacturing clothing,” Quintana said. “They learned how to develop a logo from talking about how to create a brand."
Quintana said it is important that Hispanic youths have a space to get experience and have the opportunity to learn customer service and retail.
Some of the items in the apparel line include T-shirts, windbreakers, hats, socks and coffee mugs. You can shop online at lbporvida.com.
“We work with Long Beach State to develop social enterprise and run entrepreneur boot camps,” Quintana said. “It is very challenging for a nonprofit today. Our youth need economic support and places where they can be mentored.”
The goal of the apparel line is to help pay for youth job training programs and sponsor Long Beach youth to increase leadership and excellence.
“I’ve been involved with Centro CHA for 18 years,” Quintana said. “I’m from Long Beach. I’ve lived here 54 years. I know the experiences and the challenges of getting jobs and skills to start their careers.”