Up Through Education Summit Participants
This is why we do what we do. With the right kind of help at the right time, lives change dramatically for the better. And the ripple effect can only be imagined. Please enjoy reading about a few of the many determined individuals we are honored to support.
ON THE ROAD to SUCCESS
After high school Shari “aged out” of the foster care system and was out on her own. Determined to not end up as a statistic (80% of children who age out of foster care end up homeless), Shari successfully enrolled in college and began the next phase of her life. But living on her own without any support system was a daunting challenge.
But that’s when Shari found her way to United Friends of the Children (UFC) and two new mentors — Niki Gingerfly and Stephanie Day Krohn. Through UFC’s programs and her mentors’ inspired passion and commitment, Shari was able to get her life on track. Gingerfly, who introduced Shari to ALL WAYS UP, focused on her transition out of foster care, while Krohn taught Shari useful life skills like budgeting and goal setting.
As a full-time student at Santa Monica College, Shari now has a 3.6 GPA, is on course to graduate and hopes to transfer to either UCLA or USC. She has accomplished this while working 20 hours per week and has had internships at Lionsgate, Dick Clark Productions and Warner Bros. The biggest hurdle Shari has faced to complete her commitments is commuting via bus an average of two to three hours each way, while saving her small salary with the dream of being able to afford a car one day.
But after speaking with Gingerfly about the extraordinary strides that Shari was taking to improve her life and her commitment to higher education, ALL WAYS UP stepped in and gave Shari a $4,000 transportation grant plus $2,500 per year while she stays in school to complete her degree.
“Through her hard work and dedication, Shari had saved $2,000 toward the purchase of a car,” said Greg Perlman, Founder of ALL WAYS UP. “She had done all the right things in the face of unimaginable adversity, so it was our honor to help her with the balance she needed to purchase reliable transportation to keep her on the road to success. The goal of our foundation is to help people who are equally committed to help themselves and Shari exemplified that. The possibilities for her life are endless.”
TRACY NEELY &
“This is exactly the type of family ALL WAYS UP seeks to help,” said foundation Founder and GHC Housing Partners President and CEO, Gregory Perlman. “We strive to help hard-working families who have taken the first steps to achieving their goals in life. This is not about giving a hand out; we want to provide a hand up.”
The BMYA is a pilot program that began at Morningside High School in 2006 to address the alarming high-murder and dropout rates of black males at the school. Currently located at Morningside High School, the program will expand to Hillcrest and Inglewood high schools, both located in Inglewood, CA.
The BMYA's yearlong curriculum combines a community-based approach, research and basic academic support, to train students on how to improve community conditions. Youth are committed to turning their research into action and as a result have developed one of the only community gardens in Inglewood, CA. Since 2006, the BMYA has helped nearly 75 black males graduate from Morningside High School where the dropout rate is approximately 33%.
ALL WAYS UP salutes the Social Justice Learning Institute and its innovative approach to improve the community. For more information about the Social Justice Learning Institute, please go to www.sjli.org.