A veteran in the fields of education, arts and youth development, Joseph has spent most of his career creating opportunities for communities to express themselves and improve their lives by building safe and nurturing arts rich environments in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Most recently as the President and CEO of Inner-City Arts where he was responsible for laying the foundation for the organization’s next chapter; developing its strategic vision, refreshing the social media presence, designing and implementing new and innovative program delivery models, creating a staff development and training program and introducing the organization to a new audience of partners, funders and supporters. A native New Yorker, Joseph relocated to LA with his family to lead the Kanye West Foundation after the untimely death of his mother and it’s founder, Dr. Donda West. As CEO he led the implementation of Loop Dreams™, a year-round music and education program that exposed youth from the inner city to the arts. Alongside Mr. West, he executive produced the nationally televised stay in school concert series S.H.O.W (Students Helping Our World) bringing national awareness to the staggering drop out rate among High School students in the United States.
Joseph spent his early career working for two of the premiere non-profit agencies in New York City, The Door – A Center of Alternatives and University Settlement House. Serving over 12,000 youth annually, The Door, grew under Joseph’s leadership – he built the visual and performing arts programs, launched a national career awareness model for out of school youth, and let the partnerships of several NYC school initiatives. He also created and produced Roots! An intergenerational hip hop culture celebration, a yearlong arts and education initiative; he formed a rigorous college prep program and managed a multi-year summer residential community service project. Joseph holds a BS and an MA from New York University and a Non-Profit Executive Management certificate from Columbia School of Business. He is a young benefactor with VH1 Save the Music, on the nominating committee for the NAACP Image awards, a board member with My Future Matters, an advisor to MusicianCorps, H2ED the Hip Hop Education Summit and B-Healthy (Building Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth).
As Program Supervisor, Lou oversees programming and activities for participants as well as staff management. Lou has worked with C5LA since 2011, mostly as part of the RLC (second year component) backpacking trip. In recent years has taken on Lou Assistant Camp Director role and took lead with the development of programming for our C5 graduate students as Counselors In Training at camp as well as facilitating student programming.
Before joining the C5LA team full-time Lou led in-class elementary school instruction and intends to pursue graduate studies in primary education. Lou is a PROUD Matador; a graduate of California State University, Northridge! He also is an active member of the National Board of Beta Gamma Nu Fraternity since graduation.
Jessica Valdez is currently a program supervisor for C5LA. Along with the entire team, she works to deliver successful programs to the C5LA Leaders. Her current focus is preparing for this summer's camping experience in Wyoming and the events leading up to it. Jessica has a long history and relationship with C5LA. She was a student participant in the program from 2006-2011, and has continued to be involved ever since. She has gone back to Wyoming three times in the last four years, and is very excited to return again this upcoming summer. She also has been very involved with the C5LA Alumni Association, which aims at providing opportunities for graduates of the program to stay connected to C5LA. In addition, she has worked as an intern in the office since March 2014. Jessica's passion is working with students and hopes to have a career where she can help them become successful adults. When she isn't working at C5LA, working at Stern MASS High School, or attending classes at UCLA, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the Los Angeles Dodgers! Jessica also loves to travel and her goals are to visit Peru, The Bahamas, and Paris within the next five years!
Judy has built her administrative career in both the non- profit and for-profit sectors that span 30 years. Utilizing industry benchmarks for high quality programming, she focused on early childhood education, youth support, sustaining vulnerable seniors and providing care for the homeless. Fiscal sustainability was the driving force towards mission fulfillment in the non-profit sector where she spent the last 17 years. She understands the road to sustainability is with a comprehensive strategy in fund development.
She joined the ONEgeneration (ONE) administration team in 2000 as program director. Judy marketed the childcare center to capacity in six months. The agency gained local and national recognition for the unique intergenerational care model. Serving as CEO in 2011, she doubled the agency’s profit based childcare program, added contracts to increase enrollment in the adult daycare center, secured new funding sources from large and small foundations and participated in multiple community groups to increase visibility.
Judy joined the C5 Los Angeles team as Director of Development in 2016 – she is committed to working with the Board, Staff and Leaders to sustain the mission to provide equity for high-potential teens from under-resourced communities to pursue personal success, while preparing them for leadership roles in school, college, work and their communities.
Judy Cantu can be reached at the Los Angeles office, 323-686-4215.