Students met for AO4EIt was a busy and productive weekend for Value Schools. No one knows it more clearly than seniors Orlane H. and Jefte C. from University Prep Value High School.

Beginning early Saturday morning, Orlane and Jefte (along with Biology teacher Kathryn Hanling and English teacher Briana Torres) helped organize an event with over 120 students, teachers and family members of AO4E (Angelenos Organizing For Education) at University Prep Value. 

The group, made up of the Ednovate Esperanza and University Prep Value communities, met to advocate for students’ safety and request support from the Los Angeles Schools Police Chief, Steven Zipperman.

“It felt great to all work together toward a single cause,” said Jefte. “We realized we have the same morals and beliefs and are all working to make a difference.”

Ms. Hanling presented months of student findings to Chief Zipperman, data and stories on the challenges students face while traveling to and from their campuses, such as gang violence, harassment, drug trafficking and theft.  

We realized we have the same morals and beliefs and are all working to make a difference.”
-- Jefte C., senior, University Prep Value High School

Students were thrilled to hear Chief Zipperman say “yes” to every one of the student-run organization’s requests. He committed to: support the development of a safety app for students as they travel to and from school; work with AO4E and participating schools on “safe to school” pilot programs; connect student communities to city and district policy makers that might help support their efforts; and working with AO4E to address ongoing safety issues in the district.

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woodsflyerOrlane, however, could not remain with her AO4E colleagues for the entire meeting. She had one more commitment that day: performing the role of Cinderella in twoproductions of Into the Woods Porticos Art Space in Altadena! 

“It felt good to work together as a team, both with those in the morning and those in theater in the afternoon,” said Orlane. “I got to meet new people and all our hard work payed off.”

Into the Woods Jr. is the first collaboration between Downtown Value and University Prep Value. Orlane joined thirty middle and high school students who rehearsed over the last three months to enliven audiences with song and dance.

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Value Schools celebrates our student leaders, from our advocates to our actors. We know it is important to provide as many pathways to success as possible, and are excited when every student takes opportunities to become their best! 

Value Schools is excited as Orlane and Jefte wait on acceptance letters from their dream schools: UC Santa Barbara for Orlane, and UC Irvine for Jefte! Great work!