Los Angeles Business Journal

Caruso Foundation to Support Watts Educational Initiative

By Deborah Crowe Originally published November 5, 2013 at 2:50 p.m., updated November 5, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.

The family foundation of billionaire Los Angeles retail developer Rick Caruso and his wife Tina on Wednesday will announce a multi-million commitment to an educational program in the Watts section of Los Angeles.

The Caruso Family Foundation initiative will be coordinated through Operation Progress, a non-profit program aiding at-risk youth that was established in 2000 by a group of Los Angeles Police Department officers who serve in the department’s Southeast Division. Rick Caruso, chief executive of shopping mall developer Caruso Affiliated, is a former president of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

The announcement will be at Verbum Dei High School, where a variety of civic leaders and elected officials will be on hand. Verbum Dei is a Catholic school for boys in Watts known for its academic achievement record. Last spring, for the fifth straight year, all graduating class members were accepted into colleges.