By Leanne Pyott Huebner, W’90
Valiente College Preparatory Charter School
Five Large Classrooms, Five Hours, and Twenty Volunteers. That’s what the Penn Serves team had to work with this past weekend to prepare the classrooms of Valiente College Prep Charter School, in South Gate, California. This newly-chartered early-start middle school will open its doors in two months time to approximately 140 4th and 5th graders. Every dollar counts for new schools prompting Board Chair Leanne Huebner, W’90, to call in the Penn Serves LA volunteers to lend some much-needed manpower on this June morning.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the help prepping Valiente, as our teachers are so eager to prep classrooms for opening day,” shares Huebner. “This work saved our school thousands of dollars we can now use towards other critical school needs!”
Valiente College Prep Charter School is the culmination of nearly two years of prep work which started with school founder Jacob Wertz’s vision to create a high-performing charter middle school for Southeast Los Angeles. After completing a yearlong fellowship with non-profit Building Excellent Schools, Jacob and his founding team embarked on the task of launching Valiente, utilizing best practices from dozens of successful charter schools across the U.S.
“We are creating a high-expectations community of leaders and learners preparing our students for great universities like Penn,” shares Wertz. Valiente serves one of the most overpopulated zip codes in the U.S. where today only 7% of its residents hold college degrees. The team is on a mission to move that needle higher as it serves approximately 95% students with free- and reduced-lunch eligibility status, often used as high poverty indicator.
“It was great to come out today and help this school get ready for day one,” shared Jennifer Bunn, W’06, C’06, now an attorney in Newport Beach. “After Penn, I taught for four years, two through Teach for America so I know how important for charter schools to access great volunteer talent whenever possible.”
Interested in getting involved at Valiente College Prep? Please contact Jacob at email@example.com to learn more.
Penn Serves LA’s next event will be on Saturday, July 18th, when the volunteers will be harvesting, weeding, pruning, and planting a Heroes’ Garden at the Veteran’s Administration in West LA. Click here to RSVP.
Penn Serves LA has many terrific projects for all ages on the calendar for the coming months. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, help us Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!
Upcoming Penn Serves LA events:
- Saturday, July 18, 2015 – Harvesting a Garden for Veterans – RSVP
- Saturday, September 12, 2015 – Reading to Kids – Details coming soon
- Sunday, December 6, 2015 – Midnight Mission: Serving Meals to the Homeless – Details coming soon
If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.
Questions? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read about our previous events:
June, 2015 – Penn Serves LA Has the Giving Spirit
August, 2014 – Penn Serves LA Strikes Again: This Time with Paint!
December, 2013 – Holidays are a Time for Giving
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