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about

The EAST WIND FOUNDATION FOR YOUTH, INC is a 501(c)3 registered organization based in the heart of the Los Angeles Chinatown community.  Established in 1972 by Sifu Ron Quan, East Wind’s focus on working towards creating opportunities and making positive impacts on at-risk youths has made them a leader in the global community of not-for-profit institutions.  This long-standing tradition has instilled confidence and self-esteem in every person invested with the organization.  East Wind has grown since its modest beginnings and seeks to continue its success in three key areas: Performing Arts, Education, and Community.

Core Values

Self Discipline
We believe in setting manageable goals and learning how to follow through with them for the sake of personal growth and self improvement.


Responsibility
We pride ourselves on upholding our duty to the community by taking charge and volunteering in times of need as well as holding ourselves accountable when we make mistakes.


Camaraderie and Solidarity
Our organization relies on a strong sense of teamwork and trust among members to
form strong working relationships and facilitate the passing down of important
knowledge.


Innovation and Creativity
We encourage the sharing of big ideas that could have a positive impact on others in
the community.


Self-efficacy
Through learning a variety of skills, our youths learn to be more adaptable,
knowledgeable, and confident.


Social mobility
Our organization seeks to provide opportunities for youth in order to promote education and self-sufficiency.

Community Leadership

Our members learn to speak up when needed, to act in crucial moments, and to provide guidance for future generations.

Our Mission Statement
Empower. Cultivate. Inspire.

meet our

Board of Directors

President

Wayland Tam

Director of Finance

Brian Nosaka

Okis Fong

Director of Logistics

Angelica Soohoo

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Vice President/Secretary

Brian Fong

Director of Operations

Brian Lam

Director of Administration

Zoila Romero

Wayne Li

Director of Instruction

Pauletta Pierce

Director of Creative Development

 

  • Wayland Tam, born and raised in Los Angeles Chinatown.  He is currently the President of East Wind Foundation For Youth, and one of the many great leaders of the organization.  In 1986, he met the founder of East Wind,  Ron Quan.  There he began his journey to learn lion dancing, martial arts, and many good moral values. Over the last 25 years, Wayland has personally taught martial arts and lion dancing to over 600 students from the Los Angeles County area without compensation.  Most of these students are in contact with him and are successful adults now.  He believes that being able to teach and share this ancient cultural art is very satisfying as we can pass this tradition on.  Equally as important to him is FAMILY.  Wayland and the current leaders have all been emphasizing the importance of community service, kindness, discipline, camaraderie, and success during each meeting.  The leaders’ philosophy is to continue to nurture and mentor our youths and young adults until they find themselves.  Besides teaching the classes three days a week, he plans/coordinates most of the performances, trips, scholarship processes, internship opportunities, and community service activities.   Recently, Wayland has been focused on grant writing to secure more funding to expand and grow the cultural art program.  Wayland is a proud graduate of University of California Irvine with a degree in Criminology, Law and Society with a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior.  In 2022, he retired as a Detective from Police Department after 25 years of service.   Currently, he is an active Reserve Officer (volunteer).  He also has a leadership role on the Chinatown Business Improvement Board and the Alpine Recreation Center Park Advisory Board. 

  • Zoila Romero arrived from Peru in the United States in 1990.   Zoila loved all kinds of martial arts when she was young, so she learned from many different schools.  In 1995, she found her dream martial arts school, East Foundation for Youth.   She loved the beauty of the lion dancing and the energy level of the live musicians.  She feels the organization is like a family which is what she does not have in Los Angeles.  She also agrees with the philosophy of training the youths with no tuition fee.  Since 2001, she has been volunteering to teach the youths martial arts and lion dancing.  Her specialty is teaching the monk and self defense techniques.  She has mentored and counseled many of our female students when needed.  She also has an extensive medical background, so she always attends to all the youths’ injuries and pain.  Zoila has been a self-employed massage therapist for twenty years and a chiropractor in Peru for ten years.

  • Brian Fong is an inspirational volunteer and board member of the East Wind Foundation for Youth since 2003. For the last 20 years, he has been an active volunteer that has taken many leads and positions throughout the organization from student to communications director to vice president of the organization. He is committed to ensuring all communications are being notified to all members of the organization of events and activities. He also has been actively leading and ensuring that all members and youth understand the teaching and importance of discipline and respect for others. Currently, he has a career as a Technical Support Analyst for the CA Dept of Social Services.

  • Okis Fong,  a parent that became an active member of East Wind Foundation in 2004.   As the Director of Logistics for East Wind, he maintains all the equipment to make sure it is safe, and he purchases all the new equipment.  Okis has been instructing and guiding the members for approximately ten years.  He has retired as a Food Service Technician since 2013.  Now he is enjoying his retirement making a difference in the Chinatown community and advancing Chinese cultural art. In April 2023, Los Angeles Clippers presented Okis with the Community Heroes  Award for Los Angeles Chinatown for 2022.

  • Brian M. Lam is a dedicated public servant with a diverse range of experience in emergency management and youth development. As Manager of the Office of Emergency Management at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, he oversees the coordination of resources and support during emergency incidents. He is also a board member and Chief of Operations at the East Wind Foundation for Youth, an organization dedicated to inspiring and educating young people about Chinese Lion and Martial Arts. He is committed to promoting preparedness, resilience, and cultural exchange in both his work in emergency management and youth development. Through his leadership and vision, Brian has become a respected figure in the community, inspiring and educating young people while ensuring the safety and well-being of the community during emergencies.

  • Brian Nosaka has been a proud member of the East Wind Foundation for Youth since 1979.  His professional experience in audit and finance grants him the knowledge and ability to act as the Finance Director for the Foundation.  Currently, he is a Senior Management Analyst in the budget section for the Bureau of Engineering at the City of Los Angeles.  For his 14 years of experience as an auditor, he has never seen an organization like East Wind.  Every organization has salaries, but this Foundation has no paid employees because everyone is a dedicated volunteer.  Everyone in the organization from the board and management staff to the instructors are volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to the youth in the community.  He strongly believes in giving back to the community and guiding the youth in the City of Los Angeles to make a better future for all. 

 

  • Wayne Li is a proud member of the East Wind Foundation for Youth since 1992.  He has been a lead instructor of the East Wind Chinese martial art and lion dance program for the past twenty years. He is strongly committed in teaching all youth members the importance of cultural appreciation, self discipline, self respect as well as respect for others, teamwork, commitment and physical and mental well being.  These invaluable qualities have empowered our youths in developing strong leadership and independent skills.  The most satisfying part of being an instructor is witnessing the youth's growth in self confidence and self esteem, and their ability to apply the skills they've learned across different settings in their lives.   Wayne has a career with the California Department of Social Services since 2003 adjudicating adult and child Social Security disability claims.  He has always had a passion in providing service to those in need. 

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  • Angie SooHoo joined East Wind in 1998 at eight years old, where she has been a part of this amazing organization for the past 25 years. She started as a very young student, working her way up to become part of the leadership team.  She has made East Wind her second home and recruited many younger family members.  She believes in giving back to underserved communities. She volunteers her time teaching Chinese cultural arts of lion dancing and planning all the special events. She believes that the youth would not have the opportunities to experience camping, fishing, snowboarding, etc. without East Wind. Angie is currently the Recreation Facility Director at Lafayette Community Center in the Westlake District. She credits her dream career to East Wind leaders for guiding her into recreation management.

  • Pauletta Pierce is a multicultural individual of Black/Asian ancestry or Blacasian who was born in the French Hospital in Los Angeles Chinatown. Pauletta attended L.A.C.C. Human Services Department for Addiction Studies to receive her certification with CCAPP and maintains a CADC II  along with Domestic Violence training for nearly 20 years. She first started at a non-profit agency called Cri-Help Inc. and is currently with Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. It was through working with her clients that inspired Pauletta to direct her training towards Youth Prevention in her freetime. In 2014 Pauletta joined Roots in Motion Summer Camp Youth Program whose primary mission is to Cultivate Intergenerational Education, Health and Resilience to empower POC/QTPOC Youth. Roots in Motion focused on developing a culture of reducing our carbon footprint by bike riding, implementing reusing, recycling, and repurposing practices. In the Spring of 2022, Pauletta was an awardee with the Goethe-Institute in the Westlake/MacArthur Park community. It was there she created a 10-week curriculum youth program called “Vibing” with Cultural Leafs where she facilitated a collective art project that incorporated aspects of all of the  participants' cultural backgrounds. She invited local artists of various genres as guest speakers, which she paired with her trauma-informed and social justice presentations for youth prevention. Pauletta then organized the participants' first camping trip to Wishtoyo Chumash Village to conclude the program.

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