OLASTEO Presents: 2021 Winter Virtual Experience

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — OLASTEO (our lives as seen through each other) is pleased to announce their 2021 Winter Virtual Experience, which will occur on Friday, February 12, and Friday, February 19. This free, powerful, and transformative two-day event marks OLASTEO’s second- experience of this kind, after hosting 20 scholars this past August for their 2020 Summer Virtual Experience.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc on the communities that OLASTEO serves, the Winter Virtual Experience takes place 100% in the online world via Zoom. Each afternoon, students will hear from and converse with two inspirational and influential speakers, with time planned to reflect on each session both individually and collectively.

On Friday, February 12, OLASTEO welcomes acclaimed restauranteur and Iron Chef America winner Justin Sutherland, followed by Russell Garnett, a program coordinator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Law and Justice Initiatives and owner of Bros of the Grill. 

On Friday, February 19, OLASTEO scholars will speak with Johanna Rodriguez, a Watts native and Mayor of Los Angeles’s representative for the Harbor and Watts areas. The concluding session will feature LA social entrepreneur, Olympia Auset, the founder of OLASTEO food partner, SÜPRMARKT.

To supplement the experiential learning sessions, OLASTEO is providing special lunches and snacks from local BIPOC-owned food partners, Vurger Guyz, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, Cobblermania, and Southern Girl Desserts. Meals will be delivered directly to scholars’ doors in a safely, socially distanced manner.

Student participants will also receive special welcome packages, which will include OLASTEO gear, clothing from Hybrid Nation, and more. At the conclusion of the two-day event, scholars are presented with completion appreciation gift bags, in which they will discover relevant and educational books, gift cards, and a few surprises.

“The OLASTEO Virtual Experience takes advantage of the accessibility of the virtual world. This allows OLASTEO to bring in speakers from different backgrounds to share their life journeys, teaching us how, despite their circumstances, they were able to overcome and thrive. These are the type of role models that students relate to, need to hear from, and can inspire to be. The huge added plus is that OLASTEO’s foodie inspired lunches and snacks are second to none!” said Yuli Pineda, OLASTEO 2018 & 2020 Alumna, and current student at UC-Berkeley.

Follow OLASTEO on social media (@OLASTEO) to learn more about our 2021 Winter Virtual Experience, upcoming Black History Month Speaker Series events, and so much more.


At OLASTEO (our lives as seen through each other), our mission is to create experiences that empower students to serve as catalysts for social impact. We do this by curating a roster of influential speakers, interactive workshops, and immersive trips, exposing our scholars to a broad range of perspectives and possibilities. With expanded mindsets, OLASTEO alumni are better prepared to take on the world and give back to their communities. Our work is centered in and around the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, where we provide diverse and unique opportunities within and beyond LA.


Aaron Friedman, Executive Director
(504) 782-4820