News | Youth Moving On


Hillsides Celebrates Opening of Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center
The new Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center.

LOS ANGELES, August 12, 2019 – Hillsides, a Southern California foster care and mental health charity, is excited to announce the opening of the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center on the Hillsides main campus in Pasadena.

The Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center is the centerpiece of a six-year, $18.2 million dollar campus improvement project that broke ground three years ago. The 34,000-square-foot building houses a state-of-the-art kitchen, demonstration kitchen, spacious dining commons, art studio, music room, recording studio, game room, and gym. The building will be used by the children in Hillsides’ residential therapeutic program and by the students attending Hillsides Education Center, a nationally accredited K-12 non-public residential and day school.

In 2017, the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation awarded Hillsides a $5 million grant for youth who are at risk, the largest grant ever received in Hillsides’ 106-year-old history. In recognition of the gift, Hillsides named the new Student Center the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center.

Also included in the multi-million campus remodel is a new pool, basketball courts, playing fields, and gardens.

“We have poured our heart and soul into the reimagining of our campus, which, at almost 100 years old, was showing its age,” said Hillsides President and CEO Joseph M. Costa. “The new Margie & Robert E. Petersen Student Center and the surrounding grounds has transformed our campus, and we will now be able to offer even more opportunities to the children and families we serve.”

The campus improvement project was co-chaired by two long-time Hillsides supporters, Deborah L.S. Booth and Donald P. Clark, who headed up a 15-member Hillsides capital campaign committee. Hundreds of private donors and dozens of foundations funded the improvements.  

In honor of the completion of the building, Hillsides is hosting an Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony September 19.

Hillsides’ main campus is located at 940 Avenue 64 in Pasadena. Together, Hillsides’ residential program and Hillsides Education Center serve 240 children and some 515 families annually.



Hillsides, with its affiliate Bienvenidos, is dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the agency serves more than 17,200 children and families in Southern California throughout more than 40 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoptions services are offered in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about Hillsides, please visit Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.


Alison Bell 



Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. >
We offer community-based programs and services providing parenting classes, mental health support, and crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County. >
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school, offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavior challenges for children in kindergarten. >

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456 East Orange Grove Blvd., Suite 140, Pasadena, CA 91104     (626) 765-6010