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THE ALERT: News from Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
Monday, March 25, 2013

Alliance Schools Lead the Way

 

Official 2012 high school graduation rates were released on Saturday, and I am proud to say that Alliance schools continue outperform both LAUSD and traditional California public schools by a significant margin. Of incoming Alliance 9th graders, 92% graduate four years later, compared to 65% for LAUSD and 78% for the state of California.   Of those graduates, 95% go on to college.  

Graduating students on time and ready for success in college and future 

careers is central to the Alliance mission. With more than 1,000 graduates across 15 high schools in Los Angeles' most underserved communities,  I am proud of the consistency of our results.   

 

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you - our dedicated teachers and principals, committed staff, involved parents, incredible board members, generous donors, and passionate volunteers - that help us prove every day that excellent education does not have to be the exception; it can be the rule.

 

Sincerely,

 

Judy Burton

President & CEO 

Alliance Students Prepare for College 
Alliance Young Professionals volunteers JulieAnn Crommett and Kamala Salmon
represent their alma matter, Harvard University, at the Acción college fair.
On Saturday, March 16, more than 700 Alliance high school juniors and their parents gathered at Occidental College for the 8th annual Acción College Day, an Alliance-wide college fair.

 

Alliance Young Professionals volunteers Ingrid Garces
and Chika Chukudebelu, and Alliance alumni
Jasmin Gomez and Kerry Stuart speak to current
Alliance students about college life. 
Alliance students attended panel discussions where they got the chance to ask almost 30 Alliance alumni currently attending colleges across the country candid questions about college life. These panel discussions were moderated by Alliance Young Professionals, a group of volunteers dedicated to building support for Alliance schools, and assisting Alliance students in their journey toward a college degree. 

 

Additionally, the students attended college application workshops, and met with admissions representatives and Alliance Young Professionals alumni from 40 different colleges and universities.

 

Nicole Murphy, Alliance Director of College Counseling, represents her alma matter, University of South Carolina, at the Acción college fair.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students," says Nicole Murphy, Alliance Director of College Counseling. "Most Alliance students do not get the chance to travel to college campuses outside of Los Angeles; Acción College Day offers them the unique experience of hearing about college life at schools across the United States."

 

Alliance students weren't the only ones to benefit from the Acción College Day presentations. Parents also had the chance to learn about applying to college and obtaining financial aid from Alliance alumni and their parents who have already been through the process.

 

The college fair was put on by Alliance and Acción, a nonprofit organization that helps Los Angeles high school students and their parents prepare for college.
Huffington Post Staff Teach Alliance Environmental Science and Technology Students about Careers in Journalism
Alliance Environmental Science and Technology High School students with Huffington Post staff members Willow Bay, Jacqueline Howard, and Cara Santa Maria.
Huffington Post Senior Editor Willow Bay, Associate Editor of Science
Jacqueline Howard, and Senior Science Correspondent Cara Santa Maria visited students at Alliance Environmental Science and Technology High School on March 20th to talk about careers in journalism.
Huffington Post Associate Editor Jacqueline Howard helps students develop an attention-grabbing headline.

 

Students in Ms. Mangiliman's social justice class learned journalism techniques, such as how to write an attention-grabbing headline and craft a feature story. More importantly, they learned about the wide range of careers available in the media industry.

 

"This was an amazing opportunity for my students to broaden their horizons," Ms. Mangiliman said, "many of them have never considered media or journalism as a career before today."

 

Cara Santa Maria explained to the class why students interested in social justice issues like they are should consider careers in journalism, and how they can use media to educate the public about important social issues.

 

"You are never too young to have a powerful voice," she stressed to the class, "the best way to make people aware of an issue that is important to you is to tell a great story that grabs people's attention."

Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy 4 Students Learn the Academic Benefits of Yoga

Alliance CRMA 4 students practice their Archer poses.

Students at Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy 4 are taking yoga as part of their physical education curriculum this year. The yoga classes are provided by Yoga in School, an organization dedicated to helping students build energy, balance, and focus through yoga.

 

Yoga helps students stay focused in class all day long.

Students learn the physical aspects of yoga, such as how to stretch and strengthen their bodies, but they also learn the mental benefits, such as increased awareness, focus, and self-confidence in the classroom.

 

"As students learn to use breath to balance their brain, and exercise to connect their brain to the body, they become re-energized, focused, and clear in their academics," explains Yoga in School Executive Program Director Christina Powers.

 

Students are already starting to feel the benefits of their new class. "I always feel better when I leave yoga," says seventh grader Brenda Plaza-Domin, "I feel more relaxed, and this helps me pay attention in the rest of my classes."  

 

Next year, the Yoga in School program will be expanding to several more Alliance middle and high schools.
Alliance College-Ready Academy 5 Student Vanessa Hernandez Recognized for Writing Talent
Vanessa Hernandez with Alliance CRAHS 5 English Teacher Alison Tully
and ECCLA Executive Director Jacqueline Hamilton.
Vanessa Hernandez, a junior at Alliance College-Ready Academy 5, won third
place in the Education Consortium of Central Los Angeles (ECCLA) Essay Contest this month. Her essay was selected from a pool of 552 essays from 19 different schools in Los Angeles.

 

Prompted by the essay topic "what I want most that money can't buy," Vanessa wrote a heartfelt and emotional essay about her five-year-old brother who has spent the past four months in the hospital awaiting a heart transplant. Her essay concludes is as follows:

 

My house should be a comfortable, happy place for four children and not three. My brother being away at the hospital is for a positive cause, but I wish he could be at home. It has been four months, and his thought has been in my mind every day. No amount of money can buy what I want the most right now.

 

Clear and persuasive writing is key to success in college, and a central focus of all Alliance Schools. The ECCLA program provides a great opportunity to help Alliance students develop their writing skills. According to Jacqueline Hamilton, ECCLA Executive Director, "the purpose of our program is to showcase these skills for other students, as they will be important in many contexts, including for college admission and scholarship applications."
Alumni Spotlight: Marquis Williams

Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy, Class of 2010

California State University, Northridge, Class of 2014 

 

My name is Marquis Williams, and I graduated from Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology High School in 2010. I grew up as a part of the foster care system, and was forced to change schools a lot as I moved from home to home. At my original high school, one teacher showed movies almost every day, and others didn't even know all of their students' names. My sophomore year, my school was on the news because of a riot on campus. Understandably, I did not envision college in my plans after high school.

 

When I arrived at Alliance Burton Tech my junior year, I was already behind in the credits I needed to graduate. Coming from a school where expectations were not as high, I lacked the inspiration I needed to fully reach my potential, I quickly found myself getting into trouble for violating policies that were in place to help students succeed. I was expected to attend mandatory tutoring, arrive every day on time, and retake all unsatisfactory courses. At the time I did not understand the correlation between these "rules" and academic success. Before I knew it, I was on the verge of being placed on a disciplinary contract. But instead of giving up on me, Alliance administrators and teachers continued to support me and refused to let me fail. I would later realize how critical these requirements were for success.

 

Before Alliance Burton Tech, I had never been a part of a community with devoted leaders willing to push students to do well. My teachers prepared me for college and instilled in me the belief that higher education was a realistic possibility.

 

Because of Alliance Burton Tech, I was the first in my family to apply to college, and was admitted into the Educational Opportunity Program at California State University, Northridge. With determination, and using the skills provided by Alliance Burton Tech, I earned a 4.0 grade point average my first semester in college. Since then, I have also received a special recognition award from the Educational Opportunity Program for overcoming the obstacles of the foster care system and displaying academic excellence.

 

I am currently majoring in Recreation and Tourism Management with emphasis on program administration and youth development. My goal is to stay active in my community and inspire youth to pursue their dreams. I truly believe that great things are possible for students who are surrounded by dedicated leaders who are invested in their success.
IN THIS ISSUE
Alliance Schools Lead the Way
Alliance Students Prepare for College
Huffington Post Staff Teach Alliance Environmental Science and Technology Students about Careers in Media
Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy 4 Students Learn the Academic Benefits of Yoga
Alliance College-Ready Academy 5 Student Vanessa Hernandez Recognized for Writing Talent
Alumni Spotlight: Marquis Williams
Help prepare more students for college by donating to Alliance schools. 
Sign up for one of our upcoming volunteer opportunities:

Career Day 

Saturday, April 27

10:00am to 12:00pm

  

Alliance Marc & Eva Stern Math and Science High School

  

5151 State University Drive (CSULA Campus)  

Los Angeles, CA 90032  

 

Career Day 

Wednesday, May 15 

9:00am to 10:30am/ 

10:30am to 12:00pm 

  

Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School

 

211 Avenue 20

Los Angeles, CA 90031 

Alliance is currently enrolling students at our 6 middle schools and 15 existing high schools, plus a new high school scheduled to open next fall in Huntington Park.

Fill out our online application now!
Mark your calendar for these upcoming Alliance events:

Naming Ceremony
Thursday, April 18
10:00am to 11:30am

Alliance Collins Family College-Ready High School

2071 Saturn Avenue 
Huntington Park, CA 90255

Welcome Ceremony
Friday, May 17
10:00am to 11:30am

Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School

Alliance College- Ready Middle Academy 5

211 Avenue 20 
Los Angeles, CA 90031 
Watch our video highlighting the Alliance's innovative Blended Learning for Alliance School Transformation (BLAST) model.
 
Read more about this integrated technology education model, currently at seven Alliance schools, on our website.

Stay up to date on the latest Alliance news and events.
The Alliance mission is to open and operate a network of high performing high schools and middle schools in low-income communities in
Los Angeles with historically under-performing schools that will graduate students ready for success in college and future careers.
Alliance College-Ready Public Schools    1940 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007   
Phone: 213-943-4930    Fax: 213-943-4931
www.laalliance.org