BOYLE HEIGHTS, CA (FOX 11) - Oscar De La Hoya is famous for being a champ in the boxing ring and in the business world. But what you may not know, is that he's active in educating children on LA's Eastside.
The Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter School is located in Boyle Heights, not far from where Oscar grew up. De La Hoya bought the land on which the school sits; then donated the land and the school was born.
That was 15 years ago - and countless students have since been taught here. Not only did the boxing champ donate land, he also continues to donate large sums of money -and time the signature charter school.
Oscar, himself, is a Garfield High alum. But this charter school is in sharp contrast to Oscar's learning experience at the sprawling Garfield campus. These classes are small, with a special emphasis on getting kids ready to compete at the college level.
As we walked through the campus, it was clear the students were in awe of the boxer's accomplishments. Yet, they clearly relate to his hard scrabble youth and his ability to manifest his dreams. He represents opportunity walking through the hallways! That emotion is felt by many. Oscar, told me this school was one of his proudest achievements.
It enables him to give back to the neighborhood in which he grew up. He lived out his dreams; and now he hopes to help other kids achieve theirs.
And, of course, with a name like De La Hoya on the side of the school--- students here are known as The Boxers. (That's the name of the team mascot.) The school is literally located on the site of the gym where Oscar trained as a kid. Come Friday afternoons -students take boxing classes here! So here's to landing a well placed jab and to the local Eastside boy who made good.