Tag Archives: Photographs

Penn Club of San Diego Goes South of the Border for Street Eats

By B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, club president

There are a lot of great things about living in sunny San Diego, including over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, the nice Mediterranean climate, pockets of diverse neighborhoods with their own vibe, mountains or beaches within miles of each other, great restaurants and bars, its proximity to Tijuana, and so much more.

The Penn Club of San Diego works on creating events and activities that feature the neighborhood gems and life in San Diego; events any of our alumni can appreciate, whether they recently moved here or are returning natives.

In November 2013, the Club joined Turista Libre for a wine tour in Valle de Guadalupe. Based on that successful and fun adventure, we had requests to organize another event south of the border. As Turista Libre (TL) focuses on organizing tours highlighting the local aspects of Tijuana and surrounding areas, we worked with them to deliver another event for our alumni. Passports in hand on March 22, Penn alumni and friends met up with TL at San Ysidro, the last US stop before reaching Mexico, about 15 miles south of San Diego. We were joined by a few other TL guests to walk across the border to board a small school bus operated by TL to start our adventure tour: TJ Street Eats.

Penn Alumni and friends

Penn Alumni and friends

We started our day with a birria taco from a busy food truck stationed on a non-descript street by a Staples. It was simple, yet bursting with flavor. A cheese quesadilla was offered to our vegetarian guests. The tacos were so delicious most of us wanted more, but we were advised by TL to limit ourselves to the one because we had a number of stops to make. A few of us couldn’t hold out though and had to try a second taco.

A birria taco

A birria taco

Our second stop was at Kokopelli’s food truck, for black Harder ceviche de lenguado tostada. Our vegetarian guests feasted on grilled Portobello mushroom tacos. At this point, more guests were losing their willpower to hold off on just one item and explored some other offerings from Kokopelli’s. A few also ventured to try a seemingly, innocent pink-colored salsa…and suffered through the burning from a habanero-beet mixture. TL also offered up some Tecate beer for refreshments before we headed to our third stop.

A tostada

A tostada

Before we reached Tio Pepe, a wonderful bottle of tequila was shared. Some of us are still searching for the bottle on this side of the border. Tio Pepe is a neighborhood gem with plastic tables and chairs, friendly staff and a bustling lunch crowd. I would love to go back…if I can find my way there! Here, we sat down to enjoy Guadalajara-style torta ahogadas, a few rounds of Corona and some ventured off to order additional tacos. I don’t know where they found room.

Torta Ahogada

Torta Ahogada

After indulging ourselves, we still had two more stops! The next was at Tepoznieves, an artisan ice cream parlor with more than 100 flavors. Unfortunately, I was too busy sampling the flavors and enjoying my selection of three small scoops to capture any photos to share. On the way to our last stop, another bottle of tequila was brought you to be shared. Finally, we made it to Baja Craft Beers for a sampling of house brews. We essentially had the place to ourselves so early in the afternoon. The brewery had great space and a long list of local and international beers available.

Baja Craft Brewery

Baja Craft Brewery

Alas, our great little adventure came to an end by 5pm and TL returned us to the border to make our way back across to the US. We definitely enjoyed our TJ Street Eats tour and working with Turista Libre again. We already have requests to repeat both the wine tour and the TJ Street eats.

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

These are just a few of the activities and events the Penn Club of San Diego organizes for local alumni in the greater San Diego area. If you are interested in learning about these and other events, please contact us via email, join our email listserv, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Our next event is a yPenn Happy Hour on July 10th. We hope to see you there!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Food Fiends, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos

It’s Cold Outside!

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @kierareilly

I work in Penn’s Los Angeles office, and I always enjoy returning to campus for some seasonal weather. When I was back on campus the last week in February for campus meetings and the annual Penn Alumni board retreat, I was treated to a real winter blast.

I left this in Los Angeles….

Sunny and warm in California (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Sunny and warm in California (Manhattan Beach, CA)

And arrived for a week of cold weather and some snow!

Snow falling as seen from my temporary office in the Sweeten Alumni House

Snow falling as seen from my temporary office in the Sweeten Alumni House

My Sweeten House colleagues were less than excited to see more snow given the harsh winter this year, but I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I even enjoyed bundling up in all my winter clothes that I never get to wear in Los Angeles, especially on Friday, when the temperatures were in the teens.

Cold temperatures!

Cold temperatures!

Bundled up in a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, a scarf and gloves! Brrr!

Bundled up in a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, a scarf and gloves! Brrr!

College Green looking magical in the snow.

College Green looking magical in the snow.

The next time I’m on campus, for Alumni Weekend, campus will be lush and green and in bloom for spring.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Kiera R., Photos, View from Sweeten, West Coast Regional Office

We LOVE going for the Gold in the AlumPics!

Happy Valentine’s Day Quakers!

It’s the last day of the #alumpics competition on Facebook, and our wintery, throwback Thursday photo yesterday took the gold! But, we’re behind in the medal totals, so we need a strong showing today.

Our GOLD medal winning photo in the Throwback Thursday category.

Our GOLD medal winning photo in the Throwback Thursday category.

Given that it’s Valentine’s Day, how can you not “like” and “share” the LOVE at Penn? We can’t let Princeton, Stanford, Cornell or Columbia take gold today when we’ve got LOVE right in the middle of campus!

Here's our entry for today's Alumpics theme of LOVE.

Here’s our entry for today’s Alumpics theme of LOVE.

Here’s the link to this photo on Penn’s Facebook page. Be sure to log in to “like” it and “share.”

Sharing Penn’s photo to your Penn class or club’s Facebook group/page helps us as they are tallying shares and likes! Simply go to the Penn photo (link above), log into Facebook, and you’ll see a “share” option under the photo. Click on that and you have a drop-down menu so you can share it to your timeline or to a group. While we hope you’ll do both, sharing to your group encourages your fans to like and share the photo also. Just be sure to encourage people to like the photo at Penn’s FB page, and not on your or your class/club’s page.

For a recap of our gold-medal winning performance yesterday, see the Alumpics blog.

Let’s Go Quakers!

P.S. If you’re really feeling the love today, be sure to check the Twitter hashtag #WhyILovePhilly – isn’t Penn a big part of why we love Philadelphia?

Leave a comment

Filed under Campus Life, Kiera R., Philadelphia, Photos, Social Networking

Penn Serves LA: Holidays are a Time for Giving

By Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16

Holidays are a time for giving, and also for giving back. Fourteen years ago a man named Tom Bagamane and his sister decided to pack forty grocery bags and hand them out to homeless people they saw near home and work. The weekend of December 12 – 15, 2013, volunteers with The Giving Spirit headed to all parts of Los Angeles and handed full duffle bags to 2,600 homeless people. The bags were not dropped off in parks or near shelters, rather The Giving Spirit volunteers found isolated people and interacted with them in the process of handing over a bag filled with fresh and canned food, socks, hats, rain gear, toiletries and the like, along with an industrial strength blanket.

Giving Spirit group Dec.13.2013

On the Friday night of that weekend, over fifty Penn Serves LA volunteers of all ages congregated at a church in West LA to help to make greeting cards and pack Tupperware and ziplocks with necessities for The Giving Spirit’s bags. As Mr. Bagamane told the Penn crowd, The Giving Spirit knows it cannot cure homelessness, but it hopes to make the holidays and the coldest part of winter just a little easier for “our friends living on the street.” He asked the Penn alumni how it would feel to never hear your name spoken or to line up with your kids just to have a roof over your head for a few hours.

Giving Spirit 1 Dec.13.2013

Giving Spirit 2 Dec.13.2013

The Penn group pitched in for a few hours – some hauling heavy boxes, some joining the assembly lines, some binding blankets. It was a cold night, but we had lots of company and warm food provided by local restaurants…and we were reminded yet again how very lucky we are not to live in a tent or a box on the street. After a fulfilling and collegial evening, our Penn alumni headed back to their cars and homes, and over the Penn shirts they had donned many wore The Giving Spirit t-shirt emblazoned with, “GIVE HOPE LOVE”…and that’s what the holidays are all about!

Giving Spirit 4 Dec.13.2013

Giving Spirit 3 Dec.13.2013

All alumni, Penn parents, families and their children are invited to the next Penn Serves LA event on Sunday, February 23, 2014, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at One to One Outreach. Back by popular demand, we will return to assemble and deliver boxes of food to the low income, food-insecure of South Central Los Angeles. Children over 8 years are invited to attend. Bring a bit of joy and relief to those in need with us. Click here to sign up for this event.

About Penn Serves LA – Started in 2012, Penn Serves offers a way for direct community service for local Penn alumni and their children to serve Los Angeles’ most needy populations. We partner with established nonprofits and grassroots organizations for one-time volunteer opportunities. So far, we’ve served meals to the homeless, delivered food to low income families, planned activities with immigrant children, and so much more. Please contact us if you’d like to help at a future event via email at pennservesla@gmail.com or visit our website.

Read about our past events:

November, 2013 – Sending Holiday Warmth to our Troops

August and September, 2013 – Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy

May, 2013 – One on One Outreach

March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity

January, 2013 – Inner City Arts

September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission

June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Penn Serves LA, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Sitting Pretty Under the Tree

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

My dogs Koa and Lau Lau are enjoying the University’s special winter break. They especially like to sit under the tree, near the Penn ornament (hand painted by my classmate Lisa Bardfeld Shapiro, C’93) and hope that if they smile for a photo they’ll receive a treat. It seems to work every time!

DSCN1797Merry Christmas!

Leave a comment

Filed under Class of 1993, Kiera R., Photos

Ancient Rome and Instagram in Los Angeles

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Last month, members of the Southern California Regional Advisory Board (otherwise known as SCRAB) gathered to hear my classmate, Darius Arya, Ph.D., C’93, speak about storytelling cultural heritage through modern means, namely via social media tools such as Instagram and Twitter. Dar lives in Rome and is the CEO and co-founder of the American Institute for Roman Culture.

After re-connecting with him and his wife Erica Firpo, C’94, while in Rome this past May, I’ve been following them both as they share local scenes via Twitter and Instagram (Erica via @moscerina and Dar via @SaveRome). When I heard Dar would be in Los Angeles in November, I asked if he would speak to SCRAB about his work, and he graciously agreed.

An example of Dar's Instagram from a few weeks ago with this caption: The curve. Romans perfected the arch. Here, in Trajan's Markets they turned it on its side (and lined it with shops) to hold back the Quirinal Hill #culturalheritage #rome #archaeology

An example of Dar’s Instagram from a few weeks ago with this caption: The curve. Romans perfected the arch. Here, in Trajan’s Markets they turned it on its side (and lined it with shops) to hold back the Quirinal Hill #culturalheritage #rome #archaeology

The group gathered at Culina – a modern Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Everyone sipped Prosecco and munched on bruschetta while waiting for everyone to arrive. We then sat down for a family-style dinner while Dar spoke about utilizing digital media to engage a global audience and tell stories about cultural heritage.

DSCN1344 Denise Winner-Roz Pinkus

SCRAB co-president Denise Winner, W’83, and Roz Pinkus, CW’64, PAR’94, GPAR’17

Marty Caan, W'69, PAR'11, and Jack Tauber, C'73, PAR'08

Marty Caan, W’69, PAR’11, and Jack Tauber, C’73, PAR’08

DSCN1351 Rob Weingarten-Salvador Brau-Pam Weingarten-Nora Brau

Bob Weingarten, C’74, PAR’12, Salvador Brau, C’67, Pam Weingarten, PAR’12, and Nora Brau,.

DSCN1350 Eric Reiter-Darius Arya-Jackie Bral

Eric Reiter, W’97, our speaker Darius Arya, C’93, and Jackie Bral, PAR’15, PAR’15

Table

Our elegant family-style dinner table at Culina.

It was an interesting lesson to hear how modern tools can reach a vast global audience and help share the stories of ancient roman culture, and hopefully help to further preserve these ancient sites.

My Instagram from the event @KieraReilly

My Instagram from the event @KieraReilly

For more on ancient Rome, follow Dar’s informative posts on his Instagram account @SaveRome.

For more information on the American Institute for Roman Culture, see their website at: http://romanculture.org/. You may also see Dar as he appears frequently in History, Discovery, and National Geographic documentaries and pursues projects relating to cultural heritage management, preservation, promotion, outreach, and communications.

SaveRome Rome in Snow

Dar’s Instagram from Dec. 12: Winter blues. Getting jealous of all the great winter shots I’ve been seeing on IG. Sure Rome has its Christmas atmosphere: trees, nativity scenes, light, fair in Piazza Navona, smell of roasted chestnuts are on the air, and the Lungotevere sycamore trees are becoming bare… But we really just have two district seasons: wet and dry– no snow… With some exceptions. Almost two years ago snow fell in Rome for the first time in over 20 years. So I cheer up with memories from that magical moment. #latergram #culturalheritage #rome #archaeology

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Class of 1993, Kiera R., Notable Alumni, Photos, Social Networking, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Serves LA Sending Holiday Warmth to Our Troops

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Do you remember receiving that handwritten or hand crafted card and feeling special?  That is exactly the sentiment Penn Serves volunteers hope to give to our troops serving overseas or those healing in hospitals this holiday season.

On November 17th, Penn Serves LA hosted a holiday card signing at the Los Angeles American Red Cross headquarters.  Every holiday season, the Red Cross hosts “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program where they organize volunteers to share their seasonal joy through greetings for veterans, military families and active duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.

Penn volunteers received a special treat of their own, experiencing the Central Command room located at LA’s Red Cross facility.  The room is specifically designed to coordinate communications in case of a crisis, disaster, or other emergency.

Penn Alumni learn about Red Cross in LA's coveted Central Command Room.

Penn Alumni learn about Red Cross in LA’s coveted Central Command Room.

This holiday card signing event set a Penn Serves attendance record drawing more than 70 participants – alumni, children and relatives.  Proudly displaying the red and blue, Penn Serves’ participants put their Quaker creativity to work and designed cards and shared messages with our nation’s veterans. Glue sticks, scissors, stickers and markers provided both young and old the opportunity to draw and create fanciful cards.  For those who were challenged by the arts and crafts, Penn Serves LA cards were available to share inspiring messages with the troops through the written word — wishing a happy and peaceful holiday season. The cards provide a welcome Penn Serves LA “touch of home” for our troops during the holiday season.

“Seeing our generous Penn alums and their families so involved in supporting our troops really put us in the holiday spirit.  Thanks to everyone for helping the American Red Cross make a difference and fulfill its mission,” shares Jeff Sakaguchi, WG’89.  Jeff has been actively involved with the Red Cross, serving as a board member and past Chairman of the Los Angeles Region.

“It is great to see the Penn Serves’ momentum grow with insightful events. We look forward to seeing new faces at future events,” said Denise Winner, W’83, co-founder of Penn Serves LA, who organized this event.

“I know how important these cards, these words, can be to these guys,” shares Mark Lipis, W’70, a military veteran and Wharton graduate.  “I definitely wanted to be here today.”

Hard at Work, volunteers create joy through art and words.

Hard at Work, volunteers create joy through art and words.

Penn Alumni, Parents and children enjoyed sharing holiday uplifting messages for our troops.

Penn Alumni, Parents and children enjoyed sharing holiday uplifting messages for our troops.

All alumni, Penn Families and their children are invited to the next event on Friday, December 13th for The Giving Spirit.  At that event, Penn Serves will be assisting The Giving Spirit, an organization serving the homeless of Los Angeles through programs like distributing survival kits, in a critical time-sensitive mission as their supplies arrive for the holidays. Click here to sign up for this very special holiday event.

If you want to hear about more past and future events, either visit our website, like us on Facebook, or ask to be put on our mailing list by emailing pennserves@gmail.com.

Read about our past events:

August and September, 2013 – Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy

May, 2013 – One on One Outreach

March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity

January, 2013 – Inner City Arts

September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission

June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter

1 Comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Penn Serves LA, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Los Angeles Alumni – Already Excited for Alumni Weekend 2014

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Alumni Weekend 2014 seems so far off. With fall colors decorating campus and cool temperatures descending for Homecoming, it is hard to imagine the campus will be full of full green trees and thousands of alumni in only six months.

This week, spearheaded by the Class of 1989, Los Angeles-area alumni from the classes of 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 1999 gathered at the home of Penn Alumni President Julie Beren Platt, C’79, PAR’05, PAR’08, PAR’12 and her husband Marc, also C’79, PAR’05, PAR’08, PAR’12, for a pre-reunion party.

DSCN1284

This same reunion cycle partied five years ago in anticipation of their reunion, also at Julie and Marc’s home, so 1989 Reunion Chair Lolita Jackson, ENG’89, decided that everyone should gather again, and they did! The Class of 1989 had the largest showing at the gathering, no surprise since they’ll be celebrating their 25th reunion in May. The other classes enjoyed gathering early in the reunion year, and mingling with other local alumni.

The Class of 1989 had a strong showing!

The Class of 1989 had a strong showing!

Julie welcomed and thanked everyone for attending – and said that she is looking forward to her 35th reunion. Lolita Jackson and Beth Kean then took over a Penn trivia contest – there was a friendly competitive spirit in the audience and a few hecklers – but it was all in good fun.

Julie Platt welcomes everyone while Lolita Jackson, ENG'89, and Beth Kean, ENG'89, look on.

Julie Platt welcomes everyone while Lolita Jackson, ENG’89, and Beth Kean, ENG’89, look on.

Penn trivia contest - hotly contested!

Penn trivia contest – hotly contested!

At 8:00, the Class of 1989 headed out to an after-party (it seems that after graduating, the “after” parties become earlier…) and the rest of the group left for home soon after.

If the enthusiasm and energy of these Los Angeles alumni is any indication, Alumni Weekend 2014 will be a smashing success – and one you won’t want to miss!

Hurrah 1994!

Hurrah 1994!

Looking good 1999!

Looking good 1999!

Connect with your class on Facebook to be informed about other pre-reunion gatherings and Alumni Weekend details:

Class of 1979

Class of 1989

Class of 1994

Class of 1993 (yes, we’re already thinking about our 25th in 2018!)

See all the photos from the event here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Weekend, Class of 1993, Kiera R., Photos, Reunions, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Shines in California

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

To celebrate the successful conclusion of Penn’s Making History campaign, the University is hosting “Time to Shine” events around the world to thank alumni, parents and friends for their support. California, home to over 27,000 alumni, welcomed President Gutmann at two events in California early in October –  in Los Angeles and San Francisco – and our Penn family came ready to shine!

TTS LA reception 10.8.13

First up was Time to Shine Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where a record number of alumni, parents and friends attended to celebrate Penn. See more photos of the event here.

Terry Baris, C'84, Jess Garvey, C'09, and Aileen Level, C'99, GED'00, members of the Penn Club LA board and Time To Shine host committee are ready to welcome everyone.

Terry Baris, C’84, Jess Garvey, C’09, and Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00, members of the Penn Club LA board and Time To Shine host committee are ready to welcome everyone.

Host Committee members Peter Shoemaker, C'86, Nancy Bergmann, C'89, Beth Kean, ENG'89, and Denise Winner, W'83.

Host Committee members Peter Shoemaker, C’86, Nancy Bergmann, C’89, Beth Kean, ENG’89, and Denise Winner, W’83.

TTS LA Brian Chi 10.8.13

PennClubLA president Brian Chi, W’10, is ready to promote the club’s upcoming events.

IMG_1758

Heather Lieberman, C'94, President Gutmann, Matt Rosler, C'96, and Todd Lieberman, C'95.

Heather Lieberman, C’94, President Gutmann, Matt Rosler, C’96, and Todd Lieberman, C’95.

The following morning, a small group of Penn donors and volunteers leaders met for a breakfast discussion with Eric Furda, C’87, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. After a lively discussion, the alumni staff headed south to San Diego. We attended a reception with the Penn Club of San Diego. Hoopes Wampler, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations, provided guests with a campus update, and Eric Furda, spoke about admissions at Penn today. We were excited to welcome an enthusiastic crowd, including several potential Penn applicants. Click here to see the event photos.

Penn Club of San Diego president B. Bea Rajsombath, C'99, welcomes everyone to the event.

Penn Club of San Diego president B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, welcomes everyone to the event.

 

Former club presidnet Robby Koeppel Foss, C'92, GED'92, current president B. Bea Rajsombath, C'99, and Kiera Reilly, C'93, from Penn's Los Angeles office.

Former club presidnet Robby Koeppel Foss, C’92, GED’92, current president B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, and Kiera Reilly, C’93, from Penn’s Los Angeles office.

DSCN1095

IMG_1781

Alumni Relations staff pose in La Jolla the night after a successful event as they prepare to fly up to San Francisco. L-R: Elise Betz, Liz Pinnie, Colin Hennessy, Kiera Reilly, Hoopes Wampler, Tara Davies, Eric Furda and Patrick Bredehoft.

Our crew then headed north to San Francisco for Time to Shine at the Regency Center, where we saw former Penn Alumni colleague Jason Horger, Jim, C’76, PAR’11, an Pat, L’81, PAR’11, Wong from Hawaii, and Belinda Buscher, C92, co-president of the Penn Club of Seattle – just a samplying of the many enthusiastic alumni and parents that celebrated with us. All the photos are here.

Alumni Relations staff ready to welcome San Francisco alumni and parents: Nicole Svonavec, Kiera Reilly, Elise Betz and Tara Davies

Alumni Relations staff ready to welcome San Francisco alumni and parents: Nicole Svonavec, Kiera Reilly, Elise Betz and Tara Davies

TTS SF group reception 10.10.13

Former alumni relations colleague Jason Horger, C'91, came with his colleague from St. Mary's College, and Belinda Buscher, C'92, co-president of the Penn Club of Seattle.

Former alumni relations colleague Jason Horger, C’91, came with his colleague from St. Mary’s College, and Belinda Buscher, C’92, co-president of the Penn Club of Seattle.

Former Penn Club of Hawaii president and current Interview Program Chair Jim Wong, C'76, PAR'11, pictured here with the Penn Alumni Interview Program's Patrick Bredehoft, attended with his wife Pat Wong, L'81.

Former Penn Club of Hawaii president and current Interview Program Chair Jim Wong, C’76, PAR’11, pictured here with the Penn Alumni Interview Program’s Patrick Bredehoft, attended with his wife Pat Wong, L’81.

IMG_1802

Penn Club of Northern California board members Mohammed Shaik Hussain Ali, GEN’08, Phil Crosby, C’92, club president Tom Eliaz, ENG’02, and Kiera Reilly, C’93

The Saturday after the Time to Shine events concluded, Penn Alumni Regional Clubs and the Penn Alumni Interview Program hosted an alumni leadership conference for alumni club boards and interview committee chairs. We are thankful for the incredible work these volunteers perform on behalf of Penn, and we are also incredibly grateful that they “donated” their Saturday to be with us to learn about how these groups can work together to support the University. See photos from the conference here.

Penn Alumni club board members at the West Coast Alumni Leadership Conference

Penn Alumni club board members at the West Coast Alumni Leadership Conference

As seen by the photos here, Penn certainly shines in California thanks to our wonderful alumni and parents! If you live in California and are not already connected with the alumni network here, there are many opportunities to get involved:

PennClubLA

Wharton Club of Southern California

Penn Club of Orange County

Penn Club of San Diego

Penn Club of Northern California

Wharton Club of Northern California

Hurrah, Hurrah to our California Penn family!

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Making History, Penn Clubs, Photos, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Serves LA: Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Penn Serves LA, the community service initiative launched in 2012 by Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16, Leanne Pyott Huebner, W’90 and Denise Winner, W’83, continues to offer events to bring Penn Alumni in Los Angeles together to serve.

On August 24th, a group of Penn Alumni and their children gathered for a day of environmental cleanup and nature restoration at the Canyon at Chadwick School on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The group learned about the local habitat, wildlife, conservation and environmental challenges impacting the community from the leading Southern California bird expert and past President of the Southern California Audubon Society.

The Penn Serves LA crew as we start the day.

The Penn Serves LA crew as we start the day.

We started our efforts by bringing cleared brush up the canyon to a holding area at the top of a steep hill. It was steep and sometimes difficult to grab the prickly branches, but we developed an assembly line and quickly moved a huge pile to the top of the hill. Then, we hiked into the canyon for shade, a water and watermelon break (thank you Denise!) while we learned about efforts to bring back the natural habitat of the canyon and rid it of invasive vegetation. After our break, we set out with shears, clippers and other gardening tools to clear back plants, bushes and trees from the trail. I tasted some of the wild lemonade berries – tart and sweet. The sun was hot, but many hands made quick work.

DSCN0731

You can see more photos of our work that day here.

Next up, Penn Serves helped at the L.A. Leadership Academy in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles on September 28th. Our mission was to help move classroom supplies into the new school building and interact with some of the college bound students and their families. The school is a charter school that is devoted almost solely to serving children in poverty, 95% of its student body is on free and reduced lunch.

How many Penn alumni does it take to lift this heavy desk onto a dolly?

How many Penn alumni does it take to lift this heavy desk onto a dolly?

Three plus one (representing the College, Wharton and Engineering no less!).

Three plus one (representing the College, Wharton and Engineering no less!).

Although we initially thought we’d be painting, it turned out that the school scheduled our Saturday to be a move day, and we would be helping the students, their families and school staff move fifteen classrooms worth of furniture and supplies from the front building into the new middle school in the back. The Penn group, which included many former Penn Serves participants, quickly got to work moving desks, chairs, books and science supplies. Down a long hall, then a flight of stairs and through the old school, into the courtyard and into the new building – things that seemed light when we started became heavy pretty quickly. But everyone was in good spirits. We stopped for a lunch break, and the school principal gave a special shout out to our group as other than the families that were there, we were the only ones helping. In the course of moving things up and down the stairs, we learned that the school’s founder, Roger Lowenstein, was the college roommate (at the University of Michigan) of Wharton Professor Michael Useem! What a small world. After lunch, we got to work setting up the science classroom (and reminiscing about our own science classes as we unpacked lots of glass beakers).

Everyone in the school community helped with the move.

Everyone in the school community helped with the move.

DSCN1065

Here some of us take a lunch break (the others were still moving!).

You can see more photos of the day here and on the Penn Club of Los Angeles’ Facebook page.

If you live in Los Angeles, I encourage you to join us at an upcoming Penn Serves LA event – the service activities planned benefit a variety of non-profits in the area, and each service project is in a different part of the city. This provides an opportunity for alumni to join in a project that is of particular interest, or in a more convenient location, and also offers the opportunity to learn about the many organizations serving the Los Angeles community.

The next event is planned for Sunday, November 17. We’ll be writing letters to American troops at the Red Cross. For more information and to RSVP, visit the PennClubLA website.

About Penn Serves LA – Started in 2012, Penn Serves offers a way for direct community service for local Penn alumni and their children to serve Los Angeles’ most needy populations. We partner with established nonprofits and grassroots organizations for one-time volunteer opportunities. So far, we’ve served meals to the homeless, delivered food to low income families, planned activities with immigrant children, and so much more. Please contact us if you’d like to help at a future event: pennservesla@gmail.com.

Read about our past events:

May, 2013 – One on One Outreach

March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity

January, 2013 – Inner City Arts

September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission

June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter

2 Comments

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Events, GAN, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Penn Serves LA, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office