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!”

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!

Brittany L. celebrates with College Counselor Laura Diosdado after breaking into the Ivy Leagues!

 

Brittany L. celebrates with College Counselor Laura Diosdado after breaking into the Ivy Leagues!

Every spring, a tidal wave of good news spreads across campus at Central City Value High school as our seniors announce which college they will attend in the fall.

Because of their hard work and dedication, the class of 2016 can boast a 54% increase of students accepted to the UC system!

And 98% of students are attending 4- and 2-year universities!

The goal of each senior class at Central City Value High School has been to outperform the previous year’s seniors when it comes to college acceptances. This year the bar was raised higher than ever before!  As each class graduates, our students dream bigger and explore possibilities nearly unthinkable in years past.

The race begins every September as students sit for hours working on their applications to four- and two-year universities. With hard work and sometimes tears, each strike of the keyboard brings students closer to the finish line. Students sacrifice personal and family time. The Central City Value staff rally behind our students to help during and after school. 

The class of 2016 has good reason to boast! This year:

  • 54% more students have been accepted to the UC system!
  • 97% of seniors are on track to receive their diplomas!
  • 63% of graduates will be attending 4-year universities and colleges!
  • 98% of graduates will be attending 2- or 4-year universities and colleges!

Value Schools can also take pride in our first Ivy League acceptance to Brown University, as well as acceptances to the University of Southern California (USC) and New York University (NYU)! Indeed this year is one for the record books!

Here are just a few of the highlights!!!

Name University/College of Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name University/College of Choice

 Brittany L.

 Brown University

Hughett M.

University of California, Irvine

Alicia D.

New York University

Emanuela T.

University of California, Irvine

Brodrick A.

Woodbury University

Johathan A.

University of California, Merced

Edith E.

University of Southern California

Cindy M.

University of California, Merced

Andy P.

University of California, Los Angeles

Samantha A.

University of California, Riverside

Luis S.

University of California, Los Angeles

Enma B.

University of California, Riverside

Jocelyn F.

University of California, Santa Barbara

Abigail G.

University of California, Riverside

Geraldo G.

University of California, Davis

Xiomara L.

University of California, Riverside

Karla J.

University of California, Davis

Yarelyn M.

University of California, Riverside

Chowdhury B.

University of California, Irvine

Fabiola M.

University of California, Riverside

Irma C.

University of California, Irvine

Julie O.

University of California, Riverside

Evelyn M.

University of California, Irvine

Melissa R.

University of California, Riverside

Jae K.

University of California, Irvine

Leslie R.

University of California, Riverside


Congratulations to all our seniors, and many thanks to Laura Diosdado, Central City Value’s College Counselor, for guiding and supporting our students so successfully through the college selection process!

best16 13
Back East Scholars Trip (BEST) participants (students Riel, Ximena, Cyruss, Viviane, Daniela, and Ashley) dressed up for the Harvard Club with Grant Cambridge, Nayeli Reyes and Harvard guide Andreé Franco Vasquez.

For the fourth year in a row, Grant Cambridge, Value Schools board chair, has generously provided to six academically-promising Central City students the opportunity of a lifetime-an all-expenses-paid trip to New England to tour some of the most prestigious schools in the country! Dubbed the Back East Scholars' Trip (BEST), this experience exposes Value Schools' students to educational institutions and opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.

For Value Schools students, visiting college and university campuses “back East” is a new and eye-opening experience. Riel, Ximena, Cyruss, Viviane, Daniela, and Ashley all broadened their educational horizons in a whirlwind three-day trip. The group visited Brown University, Yale University, Connecticut College, Boston University, and Harvard University, as well as the Mystic Seaport Museum.

The purpose of the trip is to help students and families understand that access to institutions like these is not necessarily out of reach... It’s broadening their perspectives, their horizons, exposing them to something they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience. ”
– Grant Cambridge, Value Schools' Board Chair

Mr. Cambridge and Ms. Reyes, Central City Value High School’s Leadership Council Moderator, began this year’s BEST journey months ago.  Central City Value students interested in participating completed applications last semester, and were chosen based not on grades, but on school and extra-curricular engagement, educational aspirations, and teacher feedback.

"The purpose of the trip," explained Mr. Cambridge, "is to help students and families understand that access to institutions like these is not necessarily out of reach."

In a meeting with families brought together a week before the trip to review the itinerary, Mr. Cambridge shared his personal educational journey. He underscored his experience of not receiving the needed guidance on college strategy, and the importance of this kind of exposure in the minds of young scholars.  They heard first-hand from Brittany, now a Senior at Central City Value High School who attended the BEST trip in its first year. She explained how it made possible her ultimate acceptance and scholarship award to Brown University.

"Some of these schools seem impossible to us," said Brittany, "but that moment, seeing students walking on campus, students like me, made me realize that I could do it."

They looked like me, and came from where I came from, and it makes me feel like I can do it, too, if I try really hard.”
– Ximena, Central City Value High School sophomore

Hearing about the financial possibility of going to an expensive private institution is one thing.  But for our students, visiting the campuses of these famous institutions, and seeing students like them, made college access feel possible. College students with similar backgrounds and aspirations as our students guided each campus tour.  Visits to college libraries and dorms led to questions about admissions, cost, and the cultural and social adjustments our students will most likely face when going to college.

"The fact that [our guides] were Latino had a big influence on me," said Sophmore Ximena, explaing how the diversity she witnessed on campuses such as Harvard empowered her. "They looked like me, and came from where I came from, and it makes me feel like I can do it, too, if I try really hard.”

“When I was growing up, the Ivy Leagues seemed like make-believe," said teacher and chaperone Ms. Reyes. "But now these kids feel excited, and they feel like, 'I can do this!'"

Students met with tour guides like Andreé Franco Vasquez, who grew up in Los Angeles and was now attending her junior year at Harvard. The limitations brought by scarcity of recources or documentation status didn't stop her, and her testimony had a big impact.


Click to view photos from the trip

Students also meet with Value Schools' Founding Board member Rob Lovelace's daughter, Alicia Lovelace, on the campus of Yale University. She encouraged students not to think about what an institution like Yale might expect from them, but instead what they could get out of it. "The question is," said Ms. Lovelace, "what do I want out of Yale, and what will I bring here that Yale can help me with."

Mr. Cambridge opened doors to cultural experiences, too.  Our students experienced the best Boston had to offer.  After packed days of college and university tours, they took in a city imbued with history and dined lavishly at the Harvard Club. They visited the Mystic Seaport Museum and explored the maritime history of ships over 175 years old.

"As the day went on you could see how thought provoking the experience is for the students," said Mr. Cambridge, "which is really what this is all about. It's broadening their perspectives, their horizons, exposing them to something they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to experience."

Over the following months, Value Schools will be sharing more about our students’ experience in the BEST program.  These exposés will focus on the impact such experiences have on family members, teachers, other students at Value Schools, and on the students themselves. Stay tuned for more!

Brittany Loew celebrates having broken into the Ivy Leagues at Central City Value

Brittany celebrates acceptances to multiple prestigeous universities

Brittany L., in her senior year at Central City Value High School, applied to more than fifteen colleges and universities.  And acceptance letters to some of the most well established and impressive institutions are rolling in – Brown College, Swarthmore College, Williams College, and UC Berkeley have all welcomed her with open arms.

But she didn’t start her journey to university in the 12th grade. Her family encouraged her to prioritize her education and Brittany knew she would have to excel in order to attend an Ivy League college.

"From a very early age, I just saw this plan in my mind – that having a good education would give me more opportunities to explore my passions and achieve the kind of success I wanted.”

One inspiration for Brittany was the Back East Scholars Trip (BEST) she took as a freshman. Instituted by Board Chair Grant Cambridge, the BEST program is an all-expenses-paid excursion giving promising Value School students an opportunity to visit college campuses across the East Coast, exposing them to educational institutions and opportunities that might otherwise feel intimidating.

From a very early age, I just saw this plan in my mind – that having a good education would give me more opportunities to explore my passions and achieve the kind of success I wanted."
- Brittany, Senior, Central City Value

"Before we visited it seemed so out of reach, like a magical cloud,” said Brittany. "But when Mr. Cambridge took us to visit those colleges, I fell in love with Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and all these places. I met so many students who are passionate about learning and motivated like me. I saw so much diversity. And I saw myself there. Going to one of these elite universities didn't seem as far out of reach as it did before. It gave me a lot more courage and it opened up a lot more possibilities for me."

Brittany’s efforts throughout her time at Central City Value have often been celebrated. Laura Diosdado, the College Counselor, has worked with Brittany and watched her grow as a scholar and as a person.

“Brittany’s worked hard, and she has a strong vision and work ethic,” said Ms. Diosdado. “Everyone knew she would go far, but she’s knocking it out of the park.  She’ll do great out there!”

In addition to Brown, Swarthmore, Williams and UC Berkeley, Brittany has also been accepted to UC San Diego, UC Davis, Cal State Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, and CSU Long Beach.  She awaits acceptance letters from the remaining elites on her list: Harvard College, Stanford University, UCLA, Amherst College, Bowdoin University, Bates College, Reed College, and Skidmore College.

Congratulations, Brittany, you’ve made Value Schools proud!

Central City Value Jaguars Take CIF Championship!The Central City Value Jaguars basketball team defeated Middle College to win the CIF Division V Championship!

With a final score of 78 to 57, and in a packed stadium at North Hollywood High School, the Jaguars added one more win to this year’s record, ending their exceptional season with 26 wins and only 4 loses.

Joining the girls volleyball team - they also won the CIF Championship this year! - the boys basketball team brought home the second Central City Value CIF Championship trophy in history!

The sense of community was amazing! I am so thankful to work with people that care and support our students."
- Principal Arroyo

The outside-inside players Joel F., and 6-foot-7 Boe N. had an exceptional performance, helping the Jaguars dominate the court.  Joel, averaging 32.5 points per game throughout the season, finished the CIF Championship game with 24 points! Boe also had an impressive showing with 19 points.

The Jaguar’s coach, Erik Harden, brought passion to the court, and both he and assistant coach Mark Green were visibly proud of the players’ passion throughout the game. 

With over 200 Central City Value High School supporters in the stands, the support and cheers were loud and proud! Staff, students and even Central City Value High School alumni joined forces to celebrate this exciting win! Central City Value High School's Principal, Jay Arroyo, was impressed with the turnout and enthusiasm. "The sense of community was amazing!" he said. "I am so thankful to work with people that care and support our students."

Congratulations Jaguars! You’ve done us proud!

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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 St.
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) 385-5127
University Prep Value High School University Prep Value High School
1929 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 382-1223