Jennifer Hudson welcomed Aurianna Angelique and Jessika Jones from Los Angeles to the February 1 episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show” to hear about their nonprofit R.O.C Era and the impact they’re making on the kids in underserved communities.
Founded in 2020, R.O.C Era is a nonprofit whose mission is to enrich, empower, and invest in kids in South Central Los Angeles by providing equitable opportunities through the arts, fitness, and mentorship.
They also provide food, housing, college tuition, and medical expenses for families in need, often going out of pocket to lift up the bright, imaginative children in their program who have been systematically oppressed.
Aurianna and Jessika initially wrote to the show to tell Jennifer about R.O.C Era and what it would mean to have “The Jennifer Hudson Show” spotlight the important work they’re doing. They write:
“For the past 3 years, we have been diligent and committed to South LA. ROC ERA has impacted over 1,000 youth and provided direct services to at least 500. Our organization has managed, allocated, and distributed over $150,000 in monetary resources to community members. We have worked to secure and cover housing, food, college tuition, and medical expenses for many.
“We have personally invested to an extent of great sacrifice. We have never received a salary, only seasonal contract pay when applicable.
“Earlier this year, we lost a $50k contract mere weeks before payout began due to region-wide funding challenges. We’ve put in the work, and we want to continue to do so. Our passion affirms our purpose in this space, but we also face significant financial challenges as a small non-profit.
“Being featured on the show would provide a first-hand testament and source of inspiration and affirmation to our community, our kiddos, and the families we serve. It will give us a space to share our mission and fuel to continue pushing forward.”
On the show, Aurianna bonded with Jennifer over the fact that both have performed on Disney cruise ships and have performed the role of Effie White in “Dreamgirls.” Aurianna told Jennifer that she ultimately decided to leave a career in performing, as she felt called to pursue a life dedicated to helping children of color discover the power of the arts and fitness.
Some of R.O.C Era’s young members joined Aurianna and Jessika on the couch to share how the program has made a positive impact in their lives. They also performed their program’s motivational cheer for JHud’s live studio audience. Check it out!
For more information on R.O.C Era, visit rocera.org.