Late last week, students and faculty at El Sereno Middle School - one of seven Leadership Matters campuses funded by UWGLA - honored its graduating class with a joyous celebration.
Check out this video from the event:
Having been recently certified as an "IB World School" by the International Baccalaureate Organization, El Sereno has adopted a challenging curriculum which allows kids "to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world."
The official announcement came only after the completion of an intensive, multi-year approval process requiring students to learn a second language, draw connections between diverse subject areas and demonstrate their critical thinking and leadership skills, among other things.
United Way of Greater L.A. invited Target employees from Alhambra, Compton, Woodland Hills and Eagle Rock to help commemorate the occasion by treating hundreds of eighth graders to colorful goodie bags brimming with healthy snacks.
For Daniel Ra, Executive Team Leader in HR at Target Compton, the opportunity to directly interact with students served as a poignant reminder of the true significance of his contributions.
"Putting a name and a face on your work humanizes it and creates a deeper emotional connection,” he said. "Hearing stories about the lives being impacted by United Way makes me realize I'm not just investing my dollars in a cause, I'm investing in people."
For Dung Truong, Executive Team Leader in HR at Target Alhambra, the organization's mission to create pathways out of poverty for children at low-income campuses such as El Sereno is particularly meaningful.
"I personally didn't come from a privileged background and I know, firsthand, what poverty feels like," he said. "So I understand the importance of giving back and ensuring that our future leaders get the kind of education they need to succeed."
Check out the photo gallery:
[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157630197459034"]
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