Our Story

Providing a Safe Space for Children

In August of 2008, Monique Graves was picking up her children from the bus stop. During her walk, she noticed interactions young people were having with each other. In front of the local school, she heard boys calling their female friends using derogatory names. In a nearby restaurant, she observed a girl lying to her mother about where she was going.

After a daughter’s friend kept asking her for help with her homework, a thought planted itself in Monique’s mind. A safe space for youth.

Our Current Services

Since 2009, Lauren’s House has been providing a safe space for children between the ages of five and eighteen in San Mateo County. Our mission is to prepare young people for success, regardless of their background. We believe there is no better time to shape tomorrow’s adults than today. In the words of Barack Obama, “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”

The services we provide include:

  • After school and summer programs for low-income and homeless children.
  • Services and programs to strengthen families.
  • Service learning opportunities.
  • Tutoring and mentoring.
  • Enrichment activities.
  • Healthy meals.

The Kind of Space We Are Working Toward

We believe to have maximum impact, it is essential we go to children, and provide on hands help in early childhood environments. This is why we are currently working on expanding our services to schools and homes. Our aims include:

  • Providing our services to other counties.
  • Attracting more volunteers.
  • Providing professional counselling.
  • Establishing agreements with school districts to allow us to provide in school services.
  • Closing educational gaps in the community, and thereby attaining a 90% pass rate.
  • Creating parent education programs.
  • Providing the above mentioned parent programs in prisons.
  • And Combating emotional trauma in underprivileged communities. 

Ultimately, we want to help create a generation of skilled and independent future adults. Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free.” -Caesar Chavez

Recognition From The Community

On 18 December 2010, The Seventh Day Adventist Church honoured people making a difference in the East Palo Alto community. Lauren’s House had the privilege of receiving a Community Service Award at the same ceremony.

What are Parents Saying?

The thing I admire most about Lauren’s House Positive Change Is that kids from all backgrounds can come together and smile. Also I feel like there’s always good vibes all around in the program. Not to mention, the tutors are very kind. During the summer all the tutors keep you sharp in math and reading. During the summer you are also taught new things. While during the school year you are taught new things, while also getting the help you need for assignments.

– Leni

My daughter has learning disabilities as well as other learning and mental issues. However, the Lauren House staff has my daughter dreaming of College, and a future. She is no longer discouraged, and is willing and ready to take on her academic challenges. God bless the staff and this organization. Thank you for giving back to a community so many people drive through but overlook.

– Fiani

Not only has this program helped my child academically but it also showed her a lot of social skills. She was doing not so good in school and did not like reading at all. This program changed all of that including her grades. The staff is very friendly and involved especially Monique. She shows genuine love for what she does and always has a positive attitude. This program really does promote education and fun! I have no complaints and I would strongly recommend this program!

– Joana Galvan