Our Inspiration

Jose Manuel Estrada Jr. was a remarkable young man who was loved by many. Since his birth, his presence was a shining light in his family.

The EmBrase Foundation was created to honor the memory and legacy of Jose "Jojo" Estrada Jr. At the age of 23, Jojo accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime. He was a college graduate from CalArts, a teacher, actor, dancer, visual arts artist, writer, computer programmer and activist.

He cared deeply about education for our youth and was active in promoting the arts in the inner city. He was an inspiration, and transforming force to all those who knew him.

Jose Manuel Estrada’s physical presence left us on May 3, 2014. However, his ideals, values, and
spirit live on in all of us who are committed to his legacy of not abandoning the dreams of children in our communities.


So when I finish this poem understand
that I’m leaving some of these dreams with you.
and I hope you know this is not only a piece of me
but a part of my whole barrio.
And I hope you achieve all the impossible
and understand that some can overcome poverty
and breach obstacles
don’t allow these dreams to go to waste
because the minds of these people can never be replaced.

- Jose Manuel "Jojo" Estrada Jr. in his poem "Abandoned Dreams"

Jose performing his poem "Abandoned Dreams" February 23, 2012 CalArts


Our Mission

Our mission as a 501(c)3 is to bring positive change in the lives of underserved children by embracing art programs and providing scholarship opportunities that help inspire and develop educated leaders.

Since our founding in 2014, our two giving programs have awarded $49,000+ in scholarships to Los Angeles County youth to pursue their higher education in the arts. We've also given $22,000+ in support to art programs led by nonprofit arts organizations that serve youth in Los Angeles.

Each year, we host a 5K fundraiser in Lincoln Heights that goes towards supporting our giving programs. Join us, and help the next generation of leaders in your community. 

Our Keys to Success

As we strive to achieve our mission at EmBrase to not abandon the dreams of underserved children in our communities, we're guided by 3 main ideas: Inspire Your Community, Dream Together and EmBrase Our Youth. 


inspire your community

We can only achieve greatness in life if we BELIEVE that we can do it. We need to serve as an inspiration to all around us, sending the message to all that nothing is beyond our grasp. 

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dream together

As we aspire to make a positive change in our communities, we must be able to carry a vision of what can uplift our communities to greater heights, and that can only be done by working together. 

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embrase our youth

Our youth are our legacy and our future, and it is up to us to ensure that they know that they have our unconditional support in helping them achieve their goals in life.