Value Schools is pleased to announce that on Friday, March 9, 2017, Kate Farrar and Matthew O’Connor joined our strong and growing community of Board members!

Kate FarrarKate Farrar is the newest member of our School Board. As Senior Director for Regional Impact at Leadership for Educational Equity, she oversees the work of their western regions where they support current and former teachers to engage through policy, advocacy, organizing, and electoral pursuits, toward the outcome of achieving educational equity for all children in our country. Kate’s career began in the Compton Unified School District, teaching English and ESL. Since then her professional path has included working as a teacher and guidance counselor in the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving as a charter school principal, and working for the Teach For America organization supporting both new teachers and alumni of the program in Los Angeles and across the nation. Kate has been in Los Angeles for nearly 25 years and currently lives downtown.

Matt OConnorMatthew P. O’Connor is the newest member of our Foundation Board. He is president of American Funds Distributors, part of Capital Group. He has 23 years of investment industry experience and has been with Capital Group for eight years. Earlier in his career at Capital, Matt led the Institutional Investment Services group, and managed the insurance client relationship group. Prior to joining Capital, he was the managing director of business development at Putnam Investments. He holds an MBA from F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Saint Anselm College. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. Matt is based in Los Angeles.

Value Schools is proud to have both Kate and Matthew join our team. Their expertise and passion will further enable our students and families to flourish.

Victor Reyes, accepted to Harvard UniversityWhen he was a sophomore at Central City Value High School, Victor Reyes attended the Back East Scholars Trip (BEST).  In the span of just three days, he and six other Value Schools students visited Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Yale University, and Brown University.

"After visiting the universities," remembers Victor, "and especially after seeing the students who looked like me at Harvard Club, I realized I could belong there, too."

Victor applied to Harvard University this year, along with 40,000 other prospective students worldwide. He also applied to MIT, Stanford, and Cal Tech, among others.

Last week, he received an email from Harvard, but waited for his mother to return home from work before reading the results.  The two sat as Victor translated the letter, and jumped for joy as the enormity of Victor’s acceptance to Harvard sank in.

After visiting the universities, and especially after seeing the students who looked like me at Harvard Club, I realized I could belong there, too."
-- Victor Reyes, Senior, accepted to Harvard University and M.I.T.

harvard

Just a few days later, Victor received another email, this time from MIT offering a spot on their campus roster!  With nearly 20,000 applications, MIT offers positions to a mere 1,500 students.

Victor is the first in his family to go to university, and the first Value Schools student accepted to Harvard College. Victor plans to focus on computer engineering.

harvard

"MIT just made my life more difficult," exclaimed Victor. "Now I've got even more decisions to make!" 

These are good problems to have, and we know Victor will make the decision wisely! Victor has not accepted either invitation yet, as he waits for a response from two more top schools – Cal Tech and, his top choice, Stanford University, both due to arrive later this month.

Congratulations, Victor, you make Value Schools proud!

Young Women in STEM 21On February 22, 2017, four 8th Grade girls from Downtown Value School attended an event called Engaging Girls and Young Women in STEM, hosted by LACOE, the CDE, and the California Commission on the status of Women at the LA Arboretum in Santa Anita, CA.

Te coalition of agencies are working together to promote statewide outreach to highlight and encourage girls and young women to explore, enroll, and complete STEM courses.

The event provided the girls with the opportunity to interact with women who are professionals in STEM related fields in small group settings to discuss things like motivation, challenges, and career pathways.

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See the photos!

There were representatives from JPL, CalTech, pharmacology labs, The Planetary Society, and many other STEM based organizations. There were also booths set up for the girls to participate in science and engineering activities and challenges, as well as a star gazing center outside.

It rained fairly hard for about an hour during the event, but after it cleared, Downtown Value School students left to find a glorious rainbow!

2016 Year End ReportFor fifteen years Value Schools has provided students with an education that makes a difference. With four campuses serving students from kindergarten to 12th grade, Value Schools now offers even more opportunities for a free, public educational option to families who live in some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles. We offer hope and opportunity in safe, nurturing environments where students are both challenged and supported. We provide a strong choice for parents who appreciate the absolute necessity of a good education for their child. Please take a look at some of the highlights from 2016.

Download the report HERE, or flip through below.

Middle school flag football teams across Los Angeles take to the field each autumn to play in the FIYA League. For over two months, teams throughout the city compete, until two face off in the playoffs. This year, the victors were our very own Downtown Value and Everest Value schools!

DVS EVS Finals

With support from the Fitzberg Foundation, both Downtown Value and Everest Value have had the opportunity to participate in citywide sports.  Although our campuses are relatively small compared to other schools in their divisions, Value Schools’ campuses pride themselves as being contenders year-round.

They worked hard and never gave up. That’s what it’s all about! Seeing what might be and working hard to succeed.  That’s what Value Schools stands for. That’s what the kids do every day.”
– Everest Value Coach Roberto Sanchez

Downtown Value entered the FIYA Division 1A Westside League playoffs with an impressive undefeated streak of 9-0.  Everest Value trailed only slightly with the second-highest point spread of 7-1.  Each took to the field against one another for the championship game at Frank Parent Elementary in Inglewood.

Downtown Value players were confident from the first play.  But facing off against students whom they knew and spent time was not as easy as they had thought. Everest Value was ready, and the skills, speed and passion of Everest players helped propel them to the lead in the first quarter.

By mid-game, Downtown Value tied the score, but was never able to overtake Everest Value. Everest pulled ahead in the second half and didn’t look back, clenching the win, 26-14!

DVSEVSFinals2Downtown Value staff Henry Martinez was honest about how his team felt. “It would have been better if we had that trophy,” he admitted. “But sports isn’t just about winning or loosing. It’s about taking a loss and coming back stronger the next season. And it’s good for the players to experience both sides. It’s about getting back up and never quitting. It’s about living the Values and becoming a better person.”

“I’m so proud of our team,” said Everest Value coach Roberto Sanchez. “They worked hard and never gave up. That’s what it’s all about! Seeing what might be and working hard to succeed.  That’s what Value Schools stands for. That’s what the kids do every day.”

“I’m glad the trophy stayed with Value Schools,” continued Martinez, “and in the end we all win."

Long-term success requires healthy bodies as well as healthy minds.  With the Fitzberg Foundation grant, Value Schools is now better equipped to maintain a full complement of team athletics at both its K-8 schools and encourage widespread participation in healthy activities.

But these activities are not a frill!  We believe “healthy bodies, healthy minds” to be more than just a slogan, and that our schools must take the lead.  Students face a wide range of health challenges.  Obesity in America, for example, is reaching crisis proportions, and especially so among the groups Value Schools serves – Latino and low-income children.  Our Team Sports program tackles that issue head-on!

Most students at Downtown Value School and Everest Value School participate in Physical Education for 180 minutes (three classes) per week, with supplemental programs such as Running Club for the K-6 students and our Students Run LA Club, in which 7th and 8th graders train for the Los Angeles Marathon.

Sports isn’t just about winning or loosing. It’s about taking a loss and coming back stronger the next season. And it’s good for the players to experience both sides. It’s about getting back up and never quitting. It’s about living the Values and becoming a better person.”
– Downtown Value Coach Henry Martinez

And there are collateral benefits of team athletics! Along with healthy bodies, athletic participation brings academic benefits that raise achievement levels. Physical activity improves cognitive skills, concentration, attention, and attitude – all of which help improve academic achievement.

“School work always comes first,” explained Martinez, “and sports is a way to make sure kids stay engaged. To participate in sports, each student has high academic expectations. They’ve got to keep up with their studies if they want to be on the team.”

Athletic participation also builds social skills and develops character.  Sports can increase self-esteem, encourage goal setting, and bring out leadership skills in children who may not yet excel in the classroom. And they provide success opportunities for children who will never be at the top of the class in academics, yet will develop into fine citizens and leaders.

The gift of $25,000 from The Fitzberg Foundation allows Value Schools to maintain a tradition of athletic and academic excellence.  We are deeply grateful for the continued support given to Value Schools by the Fitzberg Foundation and Dan Rothenberg!

University Prep Value will be Beautiful!Today at City Hall the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve the conditional use permit for University Prep Value High School at 1929 West Pico Boulevard!

After nearly 20 months of conducting studies, attending community meetings, and maximizing the experience and expertise of so many, the campus for University Prep Value has been approved!

Together we will create an exceptional school in the Pico Union neighborhood for students who wish to gain entrance to a four year university and give back to our great community!”
– David Doyle, Principal, University Prep Value

Dozens of Value School students, parents, staff, board members and community leaders have testified before the city commission over the last months. Instrumental in making the case for high quality, values-based educational opportunities for low-income families in Los Angeles, our students’ comments drew applause at City Hall from the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee.

“The students always win over the adults,” said University Prep Value Principal, David Doyle. “And when they broke into applause, well, at that point we were pretty sure we were going to prevail.”

Councilman Gil Cedillo, First District Representative of the Los Angeles Council, has been a strong ally to Value Schools throughout this process.  In his support of our petition before the committee, Cedillo exclaimed, “University Prep Value High School is going to be a very special school in Pico Union!”

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://valueschools.com/success-stories#sigProGalleria2c62b92bb4

Our own Board Member, Jose Ramos, with his Children’s Bureau/Magnolia Place street cred, also spoke about the need for good educational options for kids in this area. Representatives from the Union Hall across Westlake offered their facilities. And Pastor Paiva from Angelica Lutheran Church spoke to Value Schools’ commitment of giving back to the communities they serve.

“The students, parents, and neighborhood leaders who have given testimony in support of our school community were simply exceptional,” said Doyle.  “We would like to thank District 1 Councilman Cedillo, the Pico Union Neighborhood Council, Irene Lewis from The Red Shield Salvation Army Community Center, Pastor Paiva from Angelica Lutheran Church on Burlington Avenue, and Sergio Rascón and Ernesto Pantoja of the Laborers' Local 300 Union Hall for their unwavering support of our school."

"We would especially like to thank all the parents, students and staff who attended all of the meetings and neighborhood clean ups, who helped build the nurturing community that supported and rallied for our cause," continued Doyle. "Together we will create an exceptional school in the Pico Union neighborhood for students who wish to gain entrance to a four year university and give back to our great community!!"

Construction begins soon! Thank you to all those intent on making high quality, values-based educational opportunities available to more Los Angeles families!

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Downtown Value School Downtown Value School 
950 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: (213) 748-8868
Fax: (213) 742-6684
Everest Value School Everest Value School
668 South Catalina Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 487-7736
Fax: (213) 487-7745
Central City Value High School Central City Value High School
221 North Westmoreland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: (213) 471-4686
Fax: (213) 471-4693
University Prep Value High School University Prep Value High School
700 Wilshire Blvd, 4th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 335-3730