DB 033: Giovanni Pantoja On Alleviate Skid Row & The Value Of Mentorship

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This week, Olga and Eva are thrilled to welcome our youngest guest ever on the Dream Big Podcast. Giovanni (“Gio”) Pantoja is a graduating from high school and will be attending Cornell University in the fall.   

Despite only being 18 years old, he has a long list of accomplishments — both academically and in the community. Most notably, he is the co-founder of Alleviate Skid Row, a non-profit organization created to alleviate the living conditions of the homeless community living in Downtown L.A.’s Skid Row. Eva and her dad Alex participated in a clean-up earlier this year and were so impressed by the important work of Alleviate Skid Row that we invited Giovanni onto the podcast to share his story.

In this episode, Gio also shares the importance of seeking out mentorship, as Giovanni’s mentor (and co-founder of Alleviate Skid Row) Noel Velasco has been an incredibly positive influence on Gio’s life.  We encourage all you big dreamers to seek out mentors in life that can help you get to your Big Dreams faster than you could ever get there on your own.


  • How Gio started the Alleviate Skid Row organization.
  • Some examples of things we can do to help homeless people.
  • Gio’s advice on how we can start or engage a conversation with the homeless.
  • Gio’s mentors and why he thinks it’s  a good idea to have them.
  • The colleges Gio were accepted at and what college he chose for himself.
  • Gio’s favorite books.
  • Gio’s future plans for the Alleviate Skid Row organization.
  • Gio’s BIG DREAM for the future.


In this episode, Gio shared some great examples of small acts of kindness you can take to help those living on the streets.   This week’s challenge is to do just that — and we’ve created this customizable artwork to inspire you to take action.  As always, our Dream Big Podcast downloads can be customized with your face and name, and it is 100% free to download. Click here to claim you free download.

If this coming month you perform a random act of kindness for a homeless person, please let Olga know by emailing her at [email protected].  You will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift card.  Winners are selected monthly and contacted by email (as well as announced on our show!).


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