Summer vacation has begun for so many of us, but I am still thinking about the 520 high school seniors who received diplomas this month from our school, with 64 percent headed to four-year colleges and universities. That percentage is higher than it was last year, and I’m grateful to our dedicated teachers and so many other contributing factors that contributed – including the benefits of a more positive learning environment.
Today my school looks drastically different than it did at the beginning of the school year, and that is thanks to the more than 400 members of the Comcast NBCUniversal family, including dozens from their nonprofit partner City Year, who joined us on our campus in April for Comcast Cares Day. The volunteers made change happen by painting bright and colorful murals throughout the school that focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and college preparedness. The physical transformation of the school has inspired our students, where 80 percent of them are eligible for free or reduced lunch, to believe that each and every one can and will be ready for a college career when they graduate.
I will always think of this day as bringing life-changing impact that keeps building for our students thanks to our collaboration with Comcast NBCUniversal. This past January, we became the company’s 17th Beyond School Walls program nationwide, and the first multi-generational workplace mentorship program for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Locally, the program is a partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles and NBCUniversal. Twenty NBCUniversal employees mentor my high school students at the Universal Studios Lot, who in turn provide mentorship for elementary school students. It is not an understatement to say the program has been revolutionary for the 20 high school students involved in the program.
With so many wonderful things happening to help our students succeed, I’m already looking forward to another great year next year.