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Aaron Valencia    

Founder of the Los Angeles Children's Project

Aaron Valencia is the Founder and CEO of the Los Angeles Children's Project.

The custom car builder and humanitarian decided to start the nonprofit after noticing the rise in child homelessness as a result of the economic downfall, and because of his own childhood struggles in poverty.

His journey began in 2011, volunteering in the soup kitchen at the Grace Resource Center in Lancaster, California, quickly becoming a “Hot Meal Leader”. Eager to do more, on an even larger scale, he sold his prized possession, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, stepped away from his work at the soup kitchen, and left behind his classic car restoration business; all to make himself available to the needs of at-risk children.

This leads him through southeast Asia, traveling through Chang Rai Thailand and, later, Lao Cambodia. He taught English at a mountain school, helped construct a school for orphans, and assisted a non-profit helping with fresh water supply and building a playground at a school for abandoned families.

Upon returning to the states, Valencia realized that children are experiencing parallel struggles all over the world, even here in his own country, in his own state, in his own community.

It was at this time that Aaron realized he had found his calling, and merged his two passions together: restoring cars and helping children in need.

Since founding the nonprofit in 2014, theLost Angels Children's Project has opened its doors to local at-risk youth to learn valuable hands-on skills, being given the opportunity to work along side Valencia, building custom cars.

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2017 CNN Hero Aaron Valencia

Aaron Valencia's nonprofit, the Lost Angels Children's Project, is an after-school program focusing on classic car restoration. Valencia, a mechanic in Lancaster, ...

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