Theater Transforms Student's Lives in Pacoima

PACOIMA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Unusual Suspects is an organization that partners with schools and detention centers in Los Angeles, giving them access to theater workshops. The organization focuses in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, violence, poverty, incarceration, and school dropouts.

One of the theater programs is called Neighborhood Voices and it started in Pacoima. The program encourages all ages and families to join, which is why Olga Arevalo started.

"I'm a shy person, like I don't always talk with new persons, new people. Like I'm always shy, but this helped me a lot," said Arevalo.

She found out about the organization while she was taking English as a Second Language courses, and thought that this would be a great way to practice English.

Once Arevalo realized that everyone was welcome she started bringing her two sons. Her youngest son is also shy and she realized that the program was helping him outside of theater practice.

"When he started doing this program I saw the change when I went to the parents conference with his teacher. And she told me 'oh you know what it's been a month that Manny is asking more questions.' And I was like oh we started the theater program a month ago," Arevalo said.

The Unusual Suspects put on performances at local school campuses all across Los Angeles and have six different theater programs. To learn more about their programs visit their website.
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