Setting the Stage and Stealing the Show

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From left to right: Carol Rowen (ITEP founder), Jasmine Valdez (Banning High School-GSS Academy), Amy Grat (CEO of ITEP) during the 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Crafting Future Careers.”

“As the first day of school approached I was more and more convinced that I should drop out even before the first bell rang… I was going nowhere fast.”

On March 27th, Jasmine Valdez took the podium to tell her story to 700+ guests during our 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Crafting Future Careers.”

The third-year GSS student from Phineas Banning High School shared her history of bad habits that started in middle school. She associated with the wrong crowd, skipped school, came home late, and experimented with drugs.

“I didn’t care who was affected by my mistakes, and laughed when people were hurt by the things I said and did,” said Jasmine.

It was hard to believe that the confident, young woman on stage was once a poor student who made bad decisions. As she exposed her less-than-perfect past through every completed sentence, she grew closer to completing her final “challenge” – an acceptance speech.

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Jasmine Valdez delivers her acceptance speech after receiving ITEP’s Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award during the 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner.

Jasmine received the night’s memorable “Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award,” a recognition presented to the ITEP student who demonstrates the most dramatic turn-around.

Three years ago, with guidance from a close friend, Jasmine joined the GSS Academy. Soon after, she separated herself from the bad influences and substances and joined a new crowd, one composed of college-bound students willing to learn and industry leaders willing to coach. Her grades began to improve.

Jasmine went from a 1.5 GPA to a college-bound student and GSS academy council member. Her lunchtime now consisted of planning GSS events and activities with her peers.

“I am now meeting graduation requirements and was accepted to most of the colleges of my choice, ” added Jasmine.

“There is always hope, and always a second chance. It is never too late to pursue your dreams. If you work hard, everything is possible.”

Applause broke out.

Jasmine is an example of why we continue to bring industry professionals and students together to network and share a family-style meal. We unite the key puzzle pieces in our community to build stronger neighborhoods, youth and leaders. Yes, the scholarship awards are the treat of the night, but the interactions that begin and follow allow our ITEP “family” to craft future careers and fuel countless of college dreams.

In a few years, Jasmine will cross a stage for a second time – to accept her college diploma. We’re sure of that and so is she. We thank you for setting the stage and providing the inspiration.

Congratulations to Jasmine and all our 2014 scholarship winners and honorees!

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From left to right: ITEP Board Members – Stacey Jones (CH2M Hill), Caroline Brown (Bank of America), students from Banning High School’s ITA academy and Amy Grat (CEO of ITEP) at the 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner.

Click through our event photos to see other great moments from our 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Crafting Future Careers.”

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Filed under Banning High School, GSS, Wilmington

Collaboration Brings Successful Mixer to the Harbor Area

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1 + 1 + 1 adds up to more than 3! For the first time, ITEP partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of LA Harbor (BGCLAH) and joined San Pedro businessman, Mitch Harmatz from Plaza Automotive Center to organize an exclusive networking mixer for Harbor Area college graduates and employers. The first-ever “Careers for College Graduates” was held on January 7th and delivered a packed house to the Grand Annex with 109 attendees.

The power of partnership united local talent from San Pedro, Wilmington and beyond. Alumni from the BGCLAH College Bound Program and ITEP academies networked with representatives from top companies to explore entry-level roles and opportunities. Companies represented included Boeing, Merrill Lynch, Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, PS2 Engineering, Toyota, Total Terminals Inc., and Wells Fargo (just to name a few).

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Unlike other networking events, we kept things intimate and efficient with a small venue and essential details like pre-printed business cards and resumes for college graduates to share. Copies of local job listings were also available for our young professionals.

Special guests of the night included LA Harbor Commissioner and Boeing executive, Anthony Pirozzi, Octaviano Rios, Harbor Area representative from City of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, Elise Swanson, District Director for Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Ryan Ferguson, San Pedro Field Deputy for Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office, and Miguel Cordova, Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi – thank you all for your attendance and contributions to the event!

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What grads and students said:
“I’ve been having such a blast. I’ve met a lot of great people and I’m walking out of this with a great learning experience – my social skills are developing, my communication skills are developing. Whether or not I walk out of here with a job, I walked out of here with something very valuable in my hands,” said Laura Orozco, ITEP alumna and UC Santa Barbara recent grad.

“I thought this event was pretty great because opposed to a lot of the bigger networking events at USC, this was very intimate and it’s not so competitive, and there’s not a huge line to talk to a specific person,” said Jacob Velasco, BGCLAH College Bound Program Alum and junior at USC.

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What business partners said:
“Very powerful event, great networking opportunity for the students and for us too… there were a lot of sharp individuals here – very professional and very driven,” said Anthony Pirozzi.

“What we have going on here in the next 5-10 years is going to be very transformative. We’re going to have a marine research center, we’re going to have a new development at Ports O Call – we’re going to have all these great opportunities, but it would be a disservice to our community if we didn’t take those amongst us along for the ride,” said Jack Baric from Baric Media Entertainment.

“It’s incumbent upon us to, as we’re creating these opportunities, to not only bring in new, fresh talent – which we desperately need – but to cultivate and nurture the talent that already exists here…” added Mr. Baric.

We couldn’t agree more!

Help us organize more events like these and develop our young workforce. Contact us for more details – we and our students welcome you with open arms, a few firm handshakes and the confidence to take on the world!

To view event photos, please visit our Facebook page.

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GPS Your Future 2013: More Than Just Numbers

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320 student attendees
27 exhibitors
25 ITEP staff, alumni, and board members
18 speakers
1 non-profit
1 university
1 community college

Who knew that an idea at an ITEP Board of Director’s retreat would’ve grown to this, even after just 4 years of inception? Our 4th Annual GPS Your Future event on October 11, 2013 had more to show off than BIG numbers. We had new additions, a revamped speaker series and stronger emphasis on new education initiatives; and it all happened within hours!

Like in previous years, trade, transportation and logistics were well-represented and well complemented by our new participants in the global business sphere – Avatronex, Prudential, StubHub Center, and Tesoro, just to name a few.

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The growth in exhibitors and participants made for an electrifying exhibit hall and recharged speaker sessions. Global industry professionals spoke about their “road to success” while sharing stories of personal and professional failure and success.

Higher education and technology also played a stronger role during the event. LA Harbor College represented their top programs (Architecture, Culinary Arts and Nursing) and were joined by CSU Dominguez Hills and the Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Design (FIDM). LA Harbor College counselors also led an interactive activity with the use of tablets, and a CSUDH Community College Outreach Officer presented a “how to transfer/get to college” session. Kudos to Sara, Dan and Pilar, our fantastic counselors/speakers! From career exploration to the discovery of an higher education pathway, ITEP students traveled through a road of their own in a matter of hours, and the results again spoke louder than any number.

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“Me, personally, all I wanted to do was go to the Marine Corps – that’s it – since I was about 6. Being here today, I figured out a few things I might want to do, like a marine biologist… or go into law enforcement – FBI, CIA, even a police academy. And it taught me something… if shoot for the moon and I miss, I’ll still land in the stars…” said Fernando, GBAC student at Carson High School.

Our teachers in attendance were also inspired.

“The questions you came up with and the interaction that you had with the adults who were presenting to you today – it was good. I was impressed,” said Holly Bowser, Lead Teacher for Barstow High School’s Mojave XP Academy, as she addressed her students.

“I learned a lot from this experience because of all of you.” And so did we.

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GPS Your Future continues to evolve thanks to our sponsors, supporters and team, and while the numbers will continue to grow (we’ll always strive for this), “bigger and better” will never be great without the time and talent from our business partners. Our students will continue to ask for more exhibitors, speakers and perhaps even cooler swag, but in the end, it’s the revamped or bigger dreams that make our event have plenty of heart. No big numbers can top that.

Want to get involved in GPS Your Future 2014 or other ITEP event? Let us know!

For event photos, check out our Facebook Page.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Carson High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA

NFL Player R.J. Stanford Tells Gardena High Teens to Never Quit

This post was originally published on the Daily Breeze and written by Brian Charles. Read the article here.

Miami Dolphins Cornerback, R.J. Stanford addresses ITEP students from Gardena High School's Global Leadership Academy (GGLA). (Photo credit: UPS)

Miami Dolphins Cornerback, R.J. Stanford addresses ITEP students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA). (Photo credit: UPS)

Miami Dolphins cornerback R.J. Stanford doesn’t believe in quitting, though he had plenty of chances to in his life.

“No white flags,” he said to a crowd of teenagers at Gardena High School on Wednesday. “Don’t surrender.”

Not the fastest or the biggest, the 25-year-old from Chino didn’t make it to the NFL just because of the number of eye-popping big plays he made during his time at the University of Utah.

No, it was old fashioned perseverance that carried the one-time D student through college and to professional football.

“Failure doesn’t exist when you don’t quit,” Stanford said to the more than 500 at-risk students from the Gardena Global Leadership Academy at Gardena High School.

The academy prepares students for careers in international trade. Many who attend the school come from low-income families and are considered at-risk teens. Each month, speakers from the world of business, politics and entertainment lecture the students on how to push through to success.

GGLA teacher, Ms. Lakisha Clark accepts a signed Miami Dolphins football from R.J. Stanford. (Photo credit: UPS)

GGLA teacher, Ms. Lakisha Clark accepts a signed Miami Dolphins football from R.J. Stanford. (Photo credit: UPS)

Stanford’s “never-quit” mantra was born out of struggle, and in some cases self-imposed obstacles that tripped him up on the way to the NFL.

A natural athlete, Stanford wasn’t nearly as committed to his studies. “I wasn’t dumb, but I was a little lazy,” he told the students.

Early on at Chino High School, Stanford scored poor marks on his report card, began running with the wrong crowd and partied a little too hard. “I was that kid sleeping in the back of the classroom,” he said.

Colleges that initially showed some interest in Stanford began to have second thoughts about offering him a football scholarship. That’s when his mother, LaShawn Stanford, didn’t quit on her son. She decided to show up to school and sat in his first-period class.

“R.J. showed up to first period 20 minutes late with a bag of McDonalds,” she said.

La Shawn Stanford (UPS and ITEP Advisory Board Member for GGLA) became more involved when her son's grades began to slip and even visited him during school. (Photo credit: UPS)

La Shawn Stanford (UPS and ITEP Advisory Board Member for GGLA) became more involved when her son’s grades began to slip and even visited him during school. (Photo credit: UPS)

He got the message from his mom. After that, his grades improved and he was offered a scholarship to the University of Utah.

In 2010, he was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the NFL draft. He played two years with the Panthers before signing with the Dolphins in 2012.

With a week off from NFL action, Stanford flew back across the country to spend time with his mother, who still lives in Chino but serves on the board of directors of the Gardena Global Leadership Academy.

“The kids are constantly looking for role models and inspiration,” said Rob Vickery, chairman of the Gardena Global Leadership Academy board. “R.J. had some challenges and I thought he was a good person for kids to meet.”

Stanford’s talk with the students was anything but the typical lecture to at-risk kids. For example, he quizzed the students on how they plan to attain their goals.

“What does it mean to be a professional?” he asked.

The students’ hands flew up.

Most said being a professional means getting paid for your work rather than doing it for free.

Stanford agreed but added a little more detail to what being a professional truly means to him.

“A professional does something until they can’t get it wrong; an amateur does it until they get it right.”

Even with his success on the gridiron, Stanford told the students that football has never been the ultimate measure of his success.

“Football is only a platform. How well you do in school will decide how well you will do in life,” he said.

As her son stood on the stage talking to the students, LaShawn Stanford was beaming with pride.

“I am so glad to see R.J. go in the direction I had hoped he would go in,” she said. “He’s very involved with the community, very involved with his church. He goes to Chino High School in the offseason and trains with the players.”

Perhaps explaining why it’s important for him to give back, Stanford told the students about a gift, a tool set, his grandfather willed to him. The gesture was both touching and served as a lesson for him.

“Let me not wait till I am on my death bed to leave people my tools.”

The Stanford family receives a warm welcome by ITEP students in Gardena's Global Leadership Academy (GGLA). (Photo credit: UPS)

The Stanford family receives a warm welcome by ITEP students in Gardena’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA). (Photo credit: UPS)

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View more event photos on the ITEP Facebook Page.

A heartfelt thank you to GGLA students, faculty and advisory board members for organizing this special event, especially La Shawn Stanford (UPS), Rob Vickery (BNY Mellon) and the rest of the Stanford family.

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Filed under Gardena High School, GGLA

GGLA Graduation Rates Highest Among Gardena High School Seniors

The good news is in and it comes from Gardena, California.

Our Panthers are making us proud! The school-wide graduation rate for Gardena High School’s senior class of 2013 stood at an impressive 80%. Now add an ITEP sponsored academy into the student mix, and the rate jumps to 85%!

GGLA students network with UPS executives during ITEP’s 2013 Scholarship Dinner.

Gardena High’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) not only boasted a higher graduation rate among all seniors, but was also the Small Learning Community (SLC) with the largest graduating senior class. See stats below.

Small Learning Communities with Grad Rates:

Architecture, Construction, Computers, Engineering, & Robotics (ACCER): 73%

Sports, Health and Public Service (SHAPS): 80%

Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME): 83%

ITEP Academy: Gardena Global Leadership Academy (GGLA): 85%

 “We want every student at Gardena High School to gain proficiency in every subject and become fully prepared for college.  The Global Leadership Academy helps students improve academically and socially.  It also helps students develop career goals and gain confidence in themselves.  The teachers in our Global Leadership Academy are doing an excellent job to help our students achieve at high levels.  Their hard work is having a positive effect on the entire school,” said Gardena High School Principal, Dr. Russ Thompson.

The high school also saw improved California Standards Tests scores in the areas of English 9, English 10, Algebra 2, Summative Math, Chemistry, and World History.

We’d like to congratulate Gardena High School – students, teachers and administrators for their academic success. By allowing us to work in their campus and with their talented Panthers, we’re working together to make LAUSD schools better and bring additional pride to the community.

GO Panthers!

GGLA students and Advisory Board Members take a fun pose during ITEP’s 2013 Scholarship Dinner.

Feeling inspired? Show your pride and support for GLA by emailing this post to a friend/ colleague, or share it on Twitter or Facebook.

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Filed under Gardena High School, GGLA

Exploring Careers in Long Beach (ECLB) Completes Its First Year with a Culmination and Competition

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Thank you Long Beach Memorial Medical Center for being a gracious supporter and host of ECLB!

ITEP’s newest program, Exploring Careers in Long Beach (ECLB) completed its first year at Cabrillo High School – Go Jaguars!

On June 7th, fourteen ECLB students joined by parents, ECLB advisory board members and ITEP staff came together at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center to participate in a celebration and competition.

It was a culmination like no other, thanks to program sponsors like APM TerminalsTesoro, Bandai Foundation, and so many others.

In preparation for the event, ECLB sophomores split up into six groups to showcase the knowledge acquired during their time in the program. Each group represented one of the following industries: education, environmental science, global shipping, healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship, and transportation.

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Event Chair, Jesse Urquidi of P2S Engineering checks out the Environmental Science exhibit designed by ECLB students.

Students prepared presentations and designed table-top exhibits; and in the middle of the prep work – printing, cutting, gluing, practicing speeches, not a single navy blue, ECLB polo was left without a tug of the collar.

ECLB “grads” were nervous, but ready.

During the first hour of the culmination, industry judges from visited each student group table to select the best project based on industry knowledge, life skills learned and career opportunities within the industry. We were fortunate In the end, there was only one winner – the Innovation and Entrepreneurship team.

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ECLB Culmination judges (Darick Simpson, Long Beach Community Action Partnership; Marianne Venieris, CITT/CSULB; Sharifa Batts, Ports America; Tony Williamson, TTSI; Bonnie Bair, ITEP) visit the Transportation exhibit to hear a student presentation.

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Judges visit the ECLB Healthcare exhibit.

Big congratulations to Bottreychip, Brenda, Jeth and Valentino for their hard work. Each winning team member received bragging rights and a $100 cash prize. Could we have a future Steve Jobs in the midst?

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The winning ECLB team, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, show off their Benjamins. Far left: Amy Grat, ITEP. Far right: Stacey Jones, CH2M Hill; Matt Brown, Cabrillo High School.

Then there were the parents, who mingled with industry partners and cheered their sophomores on – they would see their children cross the stage twice during their time as high school parents.

All students received the first official ECLB certificates of completion. In addition, four special awards were presented to Cabrillo High over-achievers. We’re looking at you, Ivan, Naima and Valentino!

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Ivan Ibarra, ECLB Student, receives a Workshop Perfect Attendance Award. Three other students also received special recognition awards.

So what’s next for ECLB?

All first-year ECLB students will move into the second phase of the program that will involve welcoming and mentoring new ECLB students – these juniors will be the new ITEP ambassadors!

A successful night marked the beginning of a new chapter for ECLB and we welcome all who wish to be part of the next ECLB journey. Join our ECLB Advisory Board, host a future workshop or make a donation. Want to be involved in another way? Let us know.

Help Cabrillo High students explore careers in Long Beach and cross another culmination stage. Student dreams can only get bigger and that’s not bad for Long Beach or the support groups that stand behind them.

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The lovely ECLB ladies from the Colleges & Education group. Good job!

We would like to thank all sponsors, supporters, ECLB advisory board members, ITEP staff, volunteers, ECLB students and parents for helping us launch our first after-school program and ECLB culmination ceremony and competition. Special recognition to ECLB Advisory Board Chair, Stacey Jones of CH2M Hill and Event Chair, Jesse Urquidi of P2S Engineering.

Thank you all for nurturing the little idea that could. 

For additional ECLB Culmination photos, visit the ITEP Facebook Page.

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Filed under Cabrillo High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, SWAG

APL/NOL Awards $5,000 in Scholarships to Gardena High GLA Students

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Nguyen and Kristie, Gardena High School, Global Leadership Academy students and APL/NOL Scholarship Recipients.

It all began in 2010. The extraordinary partnership between NOL (Neptune Orient Lines), its subsidiary, APL (American President Lines) and ITEP led to a $40,000 donation to support our programs and scholarships.  At that time, the generous donation was divided among eight ITEP academies, including the first round of scholarships, which were awarded during our 2011 Scholarship Dinner.

Now in 2013, two worthy seniors are equally sharing the last of the $5000 APL/NOL Scholarship.

We are honored to announce Kristie Choe and Nguyen Pham as the 2013 APL/NOL Scholarship Recipients. Both Kristie and Nguyen belong to Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA). Kristie will be attending UC Berkeley this fall to study Business, while Nguyen will attend El Camino College with plans to transfer to a University of California after to major in aerospace engineering.

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GGLA advisory board with APL/NOL scholarship recipients. (Left to right): Jamie Gutierrez (LAWA), Jay Marks (The Jay Marks Group), Susie Emami (ITEP), Lakisha Clark (Gardena High School), Nguyen (student), Kristie (student), Captain Sam Jebananthan (APL), La Shawn Stanford (UPS), Steve Pasienski (Toyota).

The GGLA students received their official APL/NOL certificates at the latest GGLA Advisory Board Meeting. Captain Sam Jebananthan, Senior Labor Manager for APL was present to congratulate the Gardena High seniors.

“I’m very happy to be part of a company that recognizes students as a real value to the community,” said Captain Jebananthan.

Our students were pleased and grateful – they were on the right track and appeared more motivated to approach the finish line at the end of their academic road. The APL/NOL scholarship was their “checkpoint”.

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Captain Sam Jebananthan from APL (middle) with the young scholars.

“It’s not just a recognition, but it’s an evaluation for myself to see where I’m getting to, where I am in my pathway and what level I’m in. It’s a support – a mental support for myself to lead me through whatever comes in between me and my future,” said Nguyen who hopes to attend UCLA, his “dream school.”

We were further impressed by the words of Nguyen’s classmate and other APL/NOL Scholar, the future Bear and businesswoman.

“GGLA has been the mentor that’s always kept me on my road to success… I couldn’t wait until 10th grade, when I could actual join GGLA… it’s like my lighthouse, keeping me straight in my path,” said Kristie.

The ambitious senior also discussed her post-college graduation plans, which involve giving back to her community and other cities similar to her hometown. Maybe we’ll see Kristie at a future ITEP Executive Board meeting?

“I want to come back after being successful and help other students like me, who come from underserved families and underserved communities who can’t afford to go to these fancy colleges and who have never had that support…” she added.

Both Kristie and Nguyen will cross their high school stage, and then a university platform. The end result is… well, it’s meant to be seen.

“I want to be an entrepreneur, so I have lots of big ideas. I have lots and lots of goals, but let’s just say I want to be international.”

Spoken like a true ITEP student.

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The Mock Trial Turned Muse: Students Tackle Cyberbullying and Discover New Law Careers

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Attorney Heidi Dudderar (left) advises the ITA defense team from Phineas Banning High School during ITEP’s 2nd Annual Law Day.

15 students from Phineas Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) received a day-long crash course in the U.S. judicial system and explored various careers in the legal profession during ITEP’s 2nd Annual Law Day.  From the comfort of the 14th floor of the Keesal Young and Logan, our young attorneys-for-the-day fiercely debated the legal ramifications of cyberbullying in the case of Billings vs. Pearson.

“There are so many things that can be argued in a case,” said Carlos. The ITA junior spoke shyly, but with new confidence and curiosity about the legal process.

His fictional client, Cathy Jean Pearson (Aka “the bully”), was free to go—the verdict came back as a hung jury.

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ITA students step into the Keesal Young and Logan library to discuss case notes and prepare for cross examinations.

Minutes prior, we had observed Carlos, writing feverishly on his notepad as the plaintiff and defense team participated in direct and cross-examination. The intensity of hands-on learning had momentarily stripped away his shyness.

On the plaintiff’s side, things were a bit somber. The team was not able to secure a win for their client, but they did gain valuable experience making persuasive arguments. They also set the bar higher for next year, noting they wanted to try a criminal case and use props – a robe and gavel for the acting judge. The 2014 Law Day was in the works, and all the adults in the room smiled approvingly.

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The firm’s dining hall transforms into a courtroom for ITEP’s 2013 Law Day.

“It was a lot of fun today – I liked it,” said Sam, another ITA junior who testified as a witness for the plaintiff’s side. However, he made a confession to us before boarding his bus. “I was looking forward to arguing, but I was a witness… I like arguing… I wanted to prove my point.”  Next year, Sam!

Everyone played a role in the mock trial, from court reporter to case witness to attorney, and after all the “scary” parts (talking, presenting and cross examinations) were over, students exchanged constructive criticism and a shared few laughs with the real-life attorneys, their teachers for the day.

“…They are expected to pick up a process and a way of thinking that attorneys work on their entire life, and they’re expected to do it in six hours, and many of them wow me every single time because they just do it! It’s amazing,” said Jennifer Meeker, ITA advisory board member and attorney for Nossaman.

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ITA students discuss mock trial details while the jury deliberates.

If a mock trial during a Saturday can engage a young mind and awaken a student’s full potential, imagine what other elements are left to be uncovered? Even if we just skimmed the surface of future dream careers, the results are nothing short of inspirational.

“I learned how much work lawyers have to do. It’s a lot of work… but having the experience today, it made me actually consider a future in law – it’s interesting,” said Carlos.

“My dream is to go to USC – that’d be a dream.” The junior also spoke about his interest in civil engineering and architecture.

Encouraging Carlos to dream big is the key to ensuring a bright future –both his own and that of his community.  Giving Carlos and his classmates the opportunity to explore their dreams through hands-on experiences such as Law Day is ITEP’s mission and our daily delight.

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Our hard-working team! Left to right: Attorney Heidi Dudderar, Attorney Jennifer Meeker from Nossaman LLP, Attorney Lisa Barnett from A. Lavar Tayor Law Offices and Susie Emami, ITEP Program Manager.

We are extremely grateful for the guidance and support of Jennifer Meeker from Nossaman LLP, Lisa Barnett from A. Lavar Tayor Law Offices and Heidi Dudderar. Thank you, ladies! You made the 2nd Annual ITEP Law Day special and successful. We’d also like to recognize our gracious host, Keesal Young and Logan for lending their offices, staff and catering services. 

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Filed under Banning High School, ITA

The UK Comes to LA with British Consulate’s Visit to Gardena High School

On May 1st, over 25 students from Gardena’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) ventured across the pond  to the United Kingdom from the comfort of their third period Government class.

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GGLA Advisory Board Chair and Director at BNY Mellon, Rob Vickery, shares UK fun facts with students.

The UK came to GLA in the form of a special visit by Ying Yee, Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate in LA. With the help of GGLA Advisory Board Chair, Rob Vickery, who is also the Director of Wealth Management at BNY Mellon, our high-profile visitor immersed GGLA  into the UK culture and an introduction to international careers. Students learned about the role of the British Consulate in Los Angeles and throughout the world, and the importance of learning emerging languages like Mandarin and Spanish.

Did you know that over 300 languages are spoken in Great Britain?

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Ying Yee, Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate in LA talks about the Foreign Service and international careers.

Gardena High School students played both tourists and hosts. In the days leading to Ms. Yee’s presentation, students prepared for the private group discussion by organizing marketing pitches for Great Britain and learning the basics of global economics. Now the time had come to present, and despite a few ‘ums’ and shaky voices, you couldn’t help but feel proud of our young people, representing their school to their global visitor wearing bow ties and business skirts.

A temporary escape from the ordinary classroom laid the foundation for a global perspective.

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Two Gardena High School students present to their special guest and classmates. Subjects covered by students ranged from the life of Winston Churchill to the UK Legislative Branch.

“I think one thing I learned is that by making connections now, they always lead to other connections later down the path… The future looks bright,” said Cameron, student presenter and Gardena High School senior.

“I want to go into bio-engineering,” added Cameron. The tall, JROTC officer said this proudly, but now had a global view of the job. “… Maybe helping out a different country’s government in terms of science, policies – helping their people get what they need. I feel as though that would be a very good field for me.”

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Cameron, JORTC cadet and Gardena High School student, talks with Ms. Yee and GGLA support staff.

Then there was Helen, who was contemplating the medical field. Ms. Yee’s speech on international careers and the Foreign Service seemed to come at a fitting time. As a senior, she was captivated by the promise of travel and assistance to other individuals, possibly through a future role in an embassy.

“…It really opened my eyes to a whole new different world that I wasn’t aware of… It actually made me change my mind on what I want to do… I like helping people… and I always thought a way to help a person was through the medical field. Now I’m thinking of psychology or religious studies to learn about other cultures,” said Helen.

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Gardena High School students network with Ms. Yee after her presentation.

An imaginary trip of sorts was the beginning of something bigger.

“I’m really glad my classmates got involved, and I thought it was a privilege, so thank you,” said Helen with a bubbly smile.

ITEP students are natural-born explorers and travelers.

Help us build the next set of global citizens and scholars. Visit the ITEP website to see how you can get involved. 

For event photos, visit the ITEP Facebook Page.

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Filed under Gardena High School, GGLA

Earth Day 2013: More Than Just One Day for San Pedro Students

San Pedro High School students from the Global Environmental Studies / Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) united their peers and friends to give Mother Earth not just one Earth Day, but two! The Annual SPEA Earth Day Celebration began with a green clean-up event on Saturday, April 20, 2013 thanks to our new partner, All Green Recycling. With the company’s incredible support, more than 25 high student volunteers and teachers organized the 4th Annual SPEA E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser. Not only did SPEA students reduce their carbon footprints in the South Bay, but also raised $533 for academy expenses.

So was Earth Day Part One successful? You tell us…

SPEA diverted over 8,000 lbs. of total electronics from entering landfills and prevented 11,576 lbs. of carbon emissions from polluting the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 446 trees saved, 1,964 gallons of gasoline, 16,777 plastic bottles recycled, and 77,175 aluminum cans recycled.

SPEA students and volunteers help out during the 2013 E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser at San Pedro, made possible by All Green Recycling.

SPEA students and volunteers help out during the 2013 E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser at San Pedro High School, made possible by All Green Recycling.

Part two of the celebration began on Monday, April 22nd and transformed San Pedro High School into an interactive center for green careers. Over 700 students attended on-campus presentations put together by 16 of our industry partners from Bird Rescue, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, DWP, US Coast Guard and the West Basin Container Terminal, just to name a few. The presentations introduced students to local and global careers in environmental management, safety, response and rescue.

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SPEA Advisory Board Chair and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Director, Mike Schaadt, shares a prop which demonstrates the large offspring of a BOFFFF (Big Old Fat Fecund Female Fish).

“I liked all the presenters and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium presentations the most. I learned that we can all help the Earth by going to beach cleanups and similar activities,” said Giselle, SPEA student.

“I liked the presentations because they helped give us an idea of different career options we can take – that was helpful,” stated Chris, San Pedro High School junior.

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power representatives discuss the wastewater treatment and water reclamation process.

Our presenters also enjoyed their classroom time with San Pedro students.

“Talking about the things that they can do – it was a bit of an A-ha moment for the students. They realize that what they do and that one person can make a difference,” said Jeff Greg, Marine Science Technician for the US Coast Guard.

Dr. Kiersten Darrow, Research Curator for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium used her time with the students to discuss grunion hatching and opportunities within the Marine Aquarium such as internships, volunteer opportunities, beach cleanups, and other community service projects.

“Again, it’s the connection. It’s nice that they see us in their classrooms – they know that we want them in particular,” said Dr. Darrow.

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Ports America employees lead the class in a mock Jeopardy game.

Meanwhile on the other side of campus, Ports America formed student teams in an engaging mock Jeopardy game filled with environmental topics and fun facts.

“It’s important for companies like ours to be here… it gives the students an opportunity to engage and relate with professionals within an industry that’s right down the street from… and it gives them the opportunity to ask us questions and see what we do,” said Christina Boden, Regional Safety Manager for Ports America.

From clean-up to career exploration, SPEA students turned an ordinary Earth Day celebration into a two-day event that will have long-term, positive effects on the planet and the ambitions of our youth.

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A few of our amazing Earth Day presenters and ITEP supporters.

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Job Shadow Day 2013: Students Take Local Steps Toward Global Dreams

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SPEA students climb their way up to explore the West Basin Container Terminal and Port of LA.

Spring break 2013 will be another one for the records for ITEP students. “Time off” for our high schoolers meant more than just beach time, movie dates or sleeping in. A total of 60 students from three ITEP-supported academies at Carson, San Pedro and Phineas Banning High Schools, set a new attendance record in the most unlikely of spring break destinations – the business world in their backyards.

ITEP’s Second Annual Job Shadow Day took place on March 25, 2013. Students spent five hours shadowing and learning from technicians, researchers, engineers, and management in the trade, transportation and logistics industries. ITEP Advisory Board Members welcomed students at 16 different facilities. Among them were Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, CalScience Environmental Laboratories, City of Carson, JMC2 Engineering, Ports America, US Coast Guard, Valero Wilmington Refinery, Watson Land Company, West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), and Yusen Logistics.

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GBAC student learns about Watson Land Company operations and industrial development.

Students climbed cranes at Ports America terminals, observed the US Coast Guard’s canines in action and participated in local government meetings, just to name a few of the exciting hands-on opportunities.

“This Job Shadow Program was very beneficial to me because it gave me an insight to the various positions within NOAA that I didn’t know about,” stated Talore, SPEA senior who visited NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). “It definitely opened my eyes to the different career opportunities and possibilities that are available.”

“My favorite part of the site visit was seeing a trained dog in action finding explosives,” said Osvaldo, SPEA junior who spent his day with the US Coast Guard. “I learned a lot of the different ranks in the USCG, and I’ve gotten a clear view of what I would be interested in doing when I join.”

Students prepared for the annual event by completing four workshops on resume writing, job application and cover letter basics, and interviewing skills. The final round involved interviews conducted by ITEP industry Advisory Board Members. The preparation paid off well in the end.

“The students were all professionally dressed and attentive,” stated Mary Gutierrez, GESA Advisory Board Member from Valero Wilmington Refinery. “We enjoyed hosting them and look forward to doing it again next year… I’m impressed with the way ITEP instills in their students the confidence to be comfortable around authority figures.”

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GESA students became scientists at CalScience Environmental Laboratories.

After exploring the Port of Los Angeles with West Basin Container Terminal, San Pedro student, Uriel reported, “I now know the basics of how they keep the port running, and how it comes together like a puzzle.”

How many high school students have the opportunity to don hard hats and walk among cranes and containers to view the inner workings of our global trade infrastructure? How many students get to see the relevance of their science and math classes as they examine petri dishes and work alongside lab scientists? How many of our 16-year-olds get the chance to sit in the corner office and consult with top-level executives? Not enough!

However, thanks to the support of our industry and school partners, and the hardworking ITEP team, 60 students were able to obtain an in-depth look into some of the most exciting and lucrative jobs in their communities and beyond. The exploration begins at the local level – in a city’s backyard – and leads to a global path and career. Join us in making more discoveries happen!

Contact us today to host a future Job Shadow Day , or ask how you can help create additional college and career dreams.

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Ports America welcomed our GESA students with open arms – thank you!

To view more photos from ITEP’s Second Annual Job Shadow Day, head over to our Facebook Page.

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Filed under Banning High School, Carson High School, GBAC, GESA, San Pedro High School, SPEA

Your Investments and a New Future

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Arturo Alcazar, 2013 Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award Winner from Barstow High School, Mojave XP Academy.

It’s three o’clock on a March 20th afternoon and the venue for our 13th Annual Scholarship is half full. The female students retouch their hair and make-up during quick restroom breaks. They hurry back to the dinner floor to place the finishing touches on their academy booths. Table centerpieces created by dinner’s host academy, ITA are positioned neatly between the condiments and table settings placed by MATCH students. Meanwhile, the boys in pressed dress shirts and coordinated ties assist with the “heavy lifting.” To the right of the stage, a GBAC student steams out the last wrinkles found on the Oh Snap! photo booth drapes. By four o’clock, new navy blue polo’s spring up in the middle of the floor. Our new ITEP students, Exploring Careers in Long Beach (from Cabrillo High School) arrive. All students were dressed for the dinner of their high school lives – the “interview” with that future boss and mentor is less than two hours away.

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From left to right: Oscar Reyes (MATCH Academy), ITEP Scholarship Recipient. Carson High GBA students meet Marilyn Roth, ITEP Board Member. Diana Medel (GESA Academy), Martin D. Chavez Scholarship Recipient.

Over 620 of our friends, students and supporters joined us at our 13th Annual Scholarship Dinner, “Investing in Our Youth” at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro. The biggest celebration in ITEP history lasted 3 1/2 hours and yet, so much took place.

Over 260 ITEP students came to face with future mirror images of themselves – the transportation executive, public official, business owner and philanthropist. On the other side of the guest list, over 350 trade, transportation and logistics professionals shook hands and conversed with their investment, our ITEP students. Guests senses were amplified with firm hand shakes, the knotting of a scholarship recipient’s tie by a sponsor, the nervous student voice at the beginning of a practice speech and a family-style meal prepared and served by MATCH Academy students.

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Clockwise: Soren Nielsen (Dachser Transport) talks with an ECLB student from Cabrillo High School. MATCH student begins to serve dinner guests. ITEP students pose with Amy Grat, ITEP CEO, Cynthia Ruiz, Deputy Executive Director of External Relations for the Port of Los Angeles and Mario Bermudez, President of Figueroa Capital Group.

Behind each adult presenter and speaker stood a rising student and star. One of our dinner VIPs, Los Angeles City Councilman, Joe Buscaino introduced our first student speaker, Maria Navarro. Maria shyly approached the stage. Her petite frame let out a firm tone and in between bright smiles, she won the cheers of her academy (GESA) and the crowd – she had nailed it and the celebration had begun. Our 8 ITEP scholarship recipients followed. Their faces were happy and anxious in the limelight. Then came our LA Air Cargo Association Scholar, Silvia Cardona of ITA, FTA/LAFFCBA Scholar, Ruby Silva of GBAC and HAIC Scholar, Ruth Lopez of GSS.

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Clockwise: Maria Navaro (GESA), “Invest in Youth” student speaker poses with John Howland, ITEP Board Member and Dinner Chair from Cerrell Associates. Diana Jauregui (ITA), “Think Globally Earn Locally” student speaker. LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino addresses dinner guests.

Suddenly, with hands filled with certificates it all became real. ITEP students took their seats feeling different – they were scholarship recipients, winners, and future college students. Soon after, the spirit of a “Toro” filled the room. The Chavez family took the stage and accepted the 2013 Bill Stein Memorial Leadership Award on behalf of the late CSUDH alum and Port of Los Angeles employee, Martin D. Chavez. Behind them stood a memorable photo of Martin. His spirit was present as we presented three new Martin D. Chavez scholarships.

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Family members of Martin D. Chavez take the stage to accept his Bill Stein Memorial Leadership Award.

Then came the night’s “it” moment: the standing ovation received by Arturo Alcazar, our Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award from Barstow High School. With inspiration at a new high, Tom Good from Matson took the stage to introduce the last student speaker and scholarship recipients: Diana Jauregui from ITA (our last student speaker), Nguyen Pham from GGLA, Paola Aguirre from ITA and Viviana Vela from GESA. All 4 students received Matson Scholarships, the first four of a three-year commitment from this extraordinary shipping line.

Arturo returned to the stage to introduce our “Educator of the Year” and his principal, Derrick Delton. Happy tears were seen across the room as Derrick delivered his speech. Barstow High School came out a winner!

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Barstow High School Principal, Derrick Delton speaks to dinner guests after accepting the ITEP 2013 “Educator of the Year” award.

To close the night, Tesoro, our 2013 “Keeper of the Flame” awardee sent Dan Carlson, Vice President of Marketing and Refining, to the stage to become the night’s advocate for ITEP and our youth. Thank you, Tesoro!

“We are proud to not only be sponsors but also partners of the ITEP programs. Being partners of an educational program that emphasizes the importance of skills and educational demands in our industry sector gives students the preparation and exposure to endless possibilities in careers that are not only viable, good paying but also transferable to many sectors. For this reason we are not only excited to be partners but also appreciative for the recognition,” stated Brissa Sotelo, External Affairs Manager of Tesoro.

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To our supporters and sponsors, we thank you for investing in our students and ITEP. Your generosity made an ordinary school night special. Masters and protégés met, college and career dreams emerged while others were solidified. The journey for many is just beginning.

To view more 2013 Scholarship Dinner Photos, please visit the ITEP Facebook Page here.

To our 2013 ITEP Scholarship Dinner Sponsors
A heartfelt thanks to all for your immense generosity!

To our 2013 Scholarship Recipientscongratulations to all of you. You have made ITEP and your community proud!

 

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Carson High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA, SWAG

SPEA Goes Global in their Backyard

Our blog has been a bit quiet during these past weeks – apologies to all our readers! December and January flew by, and February isn’t slowing down. The ITEP team likes to keep things exciting to say the least. We just completed our GPS Your Future event, the 2013 ITEP Board Retreat and now are prepping for our Annual Scholarship Dinner.

Below is a quick overview of the amazing field trip that wrapped up our 2012. We promise more recaps in the coming days.

WBCT Luncheon and Tour – December 2012
West Basin Container Terminal LLC  (WBCT) was the destination and this time it was San Pedro High Earth Alert students (SPEA) who navigated their uncharted neighborhood. The event began with a luncheon filled with good old-fashioned barbecue, plenty of desserts and an amazing employee raffle.

SPEA students lunched with WBCT staff – clerks, managers, longshoremen, etc., and of course, Pirate Santa. All proceeds from the raffle directly benefitted ITEP’s SPEA academy – a cool $3,400. GO WBCT and SPEA!

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Top: 12th grade SPEA students, Tierrah and Hailey post with WBCT’s “Pirate Santa.” Middle: A view from WBCT’s Marine Tower. Bottom: Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent discusses cargo operations with SPEA.

Students then began their tour and entered the Marine Tower (the center of all cargo operations). The building houses the clerks, computers and live imaging of containers “on the go”.

SPEA students then stood directly underneath a 1600-ton crane capable of moving 30-35 containers an hour. Overall, WBCT processes 15-20,000 containers per week. A special shout-out to our tour guide, Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent for WBCT. Rusty did a great job of getting our SPEA students dreaming and talking.

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WBCT staff and SPEA group stand underneath a 1600-ton crane. The cranes move along the terminal and operate 30-35 containers per hour.

I want to go to school, study business and start my own company. I would love to work here (at the ports) too. I grew up with this. I love this place,” stated Hailey, 12th grade SPEA student.

The conversation continued as all students together with WBCT staff came together to hear Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager, answer questions and share advice.

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Roundtable discussion with Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager for WBCT (far right).

“The waterfront is uncharted territory for many. People don’t know what goes on at these terminals. There are various moving parts and it’s evolving… In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a larger presence of women… some of best drivers we have are females” stated Paxton, who talked about the unknown job opportunities at the ports and immediately caught the attention of our female students.

With conversations and interest at its peak, we couldn’t think of a better way to end a field trip or 2012, but then the goodie bags rolled out. Gift cards, smiles and swag filled the room and students left the terminal with new appreciation for the cranes and containers they see almost every day.

The tour was just one of the many ways WBCT and its parent company, Ports America, make a huge impact on Harbor Area youth. From the “aha!” moments on a field trip to the deeper dives into careers, Paxton and his team are there for ITEP students year-round as mentors, guest speakers and role models. Also, the $3400 donation from this employee raffle combined with corporate sponsorship from Ports America is a much-needed and valuable investment in our community and youth.

“Money is like manure. It’s useless unless you spread it around to help young things grow,” said Paxton.

Thank you, WBCT!

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Two SPEA students pose with their new swag from WBCT.

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Filed under San Pedro High School, SPEA

ITEP Students Give Back with Heart

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GESA students get ready to walk the parade route.

What does community service mean to high school students? One normally expects to hear the descriptions of ‘obligation’ or ‘responsibility.’ However, what if the answer came with a pleasant surprise? What if service to the community also celebrated the rich diversity of a Harbor neighborhood and prompted the desire to do more? The standard theme of giving back during the holidays took on a different and powerful meaning in Wilmington, California.

ITA students, Flor and Mayra pose for a quick photo.

ITA students, Flor and Mayra pose for a quick photo.

It happened on Sunday, December 9. Ninety-six students from Banning High School volunteered at the 25th Annual Heart of the Harbor Holiday Parade in Wilmington, and proudly represented all four ITEP-supported academies: GESA, GSS, ITA and MATCH. Wilmington streets filled with floats, marching horses, performers and school/community bands. The festive ensemble traveled through Avalon Boulevard, from ‘E’ to ‘M’ Street and included several ITEP students who walked in the parade with their academy banners and those from various sponsors. Meanwhile, GSS monitored the parade crowd and several GESA students provided snacks to volunteers.

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GESA students from Banning High School show their academy pride.

For Julia, 11th grader and GSS student, participating in the Wilmington Parade gave her the opportunity to share her pride for her program. “It means a lot to me because it’s the first year I’m in GSS, and it’s great to help the community. I like the program. I would tell my peers and younger people to volunteer because you will have those memories that you did something good for the community and made it better.”

11th grader and ITA student, Flor defined community service as a way to give back on the front end while learning professional skills for the future. “Community service means giving back and being in front of the community. It’s a good thing – you learn how to approach different people and how to act professionally.”

Of course, there was also the mention of community pride. “Being proud of your community is also a part of community service. Don’t just think of community service as a physical activity.”

A GSS student walks along the Banning High School drill team.

A GSS student walks along the Banning High School drill team.

“It’s better to give than to receive. We all cooperate to let people know that we can make a change. We need to fix the world – organize and clean the planet so we can start doing bigger things,” stated Luis, 12th grader and GESA student who definitely placed an environmental focus on his answer of what community service means to him.

Luis also opened up about the opportunities GESA and volunteering has provided. “You see the world in a different perspective. You also learn to talk to people. I was very timid at first, but then I ran for VP of the GESA academy and won. This year, I was elected as president.

Later in the parade, we caught up with Luis who was riding a skateboard with another GESA student. They laughed and joked as they approached the start line of the parade with their GESA banner – just another set of ordinary teenagers, full of heart and very capable of accomplishing great things. Community service didn’t end here. These students have more to explore and offer. It’s up to us to not just follow their lead, but keep them strong and motivated.

ITEP students ready to march with a Port of LA banner.

ITEP students ready to march with a Port of LA banner.

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Filed under Banning High School, GESA, GSS, ITA, MATCH

Delivering Goods and Dreams: SWAG Explores Careers in Transportation

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View of the ICTF (Intermodal Container Transfer Facility) at Union Pacific Railroad in Long Beach, CA.

A trip on the big, yellow school bus took SWAG (Students with Ambitious Goals) participants from Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School through an adventure in the world of transportation and logistics. Could freight be fascinating? Both students and teachers thought so. The SWAG group divided into two small groups and began their two separate journeys on a chilly, Tuesday afternoon. The first group was dropped off at TTS-I (Total Transportation Services, Inc.) in Rancho Dominguez, CA. The second SWAG group visited Union Pacific Railroad in Long Beach, CA.

“It was cool because you see everything that comes with getting things transported across the US,” stated Regina, Cabrillo High sophomore and SWAG participant. Regina hopes to major in engineering, specifically sound engineering. She admits that although the trip didn’t directly relate to her desired major, it gave her plenty to think about.

“The SWAG program helps me with engineering. By looking at many areas, it gives me more ideas about what I want to be in the future,” stated Regina. “Everything is hands on and it’s self-motivating. If you want it, you go for it.”

At TTS-I, students and staff were given a warm welcome by Tony Williamson, Director of Business Development and Marketing and Timothy Watts, Director of Warehouse Operations and the group’s official tour guide.

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SWAG participants and teachers from Cabrillo High School view TTS-I’s new zero emission, hydrogen-powered truck.

The first stop included a view inside the company’s new zero emission, hydrogen-powered truck. The SWAG group was able to see and feel the inside of the truck and its instrumental panel. Over 100 of these “green” trucks are expected to hit the highways of Los Angeles (CA) and Houston (TX) by the end of the 2014.

The group then enjoyed a tour of an NEC Logistics warehouse where they viewed a variety of products – paper cups, molasses, glitter toy balls and shoes. “The kids and teachers were very engaged during the warehouse tour because they were able to witness the flow of freight in the US,” stated, Tony Williamson. “72 percent of freight in the US comes through the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles – these are the gateway to the nation.” As for TTS-I, the campus sees close to 200,000 shipments every year from locations worldwide.

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SWAG participants and Cabrillo High Schools teachers explore an NEC Logistics warehouse.

The last stops included a visit to dock where trucks are loaded and unloaded continuously, and a view of the TTS-I yard or “parking lot” for all company trucks. The tour completed with a hearty lunch and plenty of TTS-I swag to go around.

“Many students are not aware of the possible jobs/careers out there. By going on trips like this, they get a better understanding of how the world works and have more jobs/majors in college to consider. The amount of steps that it requires for something to get from the factory/farm to our shelves is amazing. The biggest impact for me was the incredible amount of coordination that is required between the different parties at each step,” stated Cabrillo High School teacher, Chelsea McCormick.

Over at Union Pacific Railroad, Cabrillo High sophomores met Andy Perez, the company’s Director of Port Affairs Corporate Relations. After enjoying pizza and refreshments, the SWAG group caught a bird’s eye view of the company’s ICTF (Intermodal Container Transfer Facility). Every day, containers are transported from the ports and taken to this facility. From here, the containers are double-stacked and await their journey via train through the Alameda Corridor and to various destinations in the US.

The SWAG group also traveled to the company’s tower – “the control room” for Union Pacific where they met the hard-working team that controls and monitors the items that come into Union Pacific 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The field trip sparked the curiosity of Brenda, another SWAG participant and aspiring lawyer.

“It gets me thinking about becoming a lawyer in this industry. I can benefit from all this later,” stated Brenda. This young sophomore is dreaming big and thinking big as well.

“The whole reason for being a lawyer is to help those that cannot be helped. I’m the first one (in my family) to go to college, so it’s my responsibility to assist others so that they give back. I started from scratch so I have to set the bar higher for others.”

It’s amazing what a field trip and freight can stir within the minds of young adults. They truly have swag and represent SWAG in the best way. We would like to send a huge “thank you” to our supporters and partners for making another great outing possible.

Now it’s time to plan the next field trip which will introduce SWAG to careers in building trades. Our gracious host will be the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). Stay tuned!

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Filed under Cabrillo High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, SWAG

MATCH Experiences the Professional Side of Fruit

MATCH-visits-Dole-img1Do you remember the first time you came across the Dole sticker on a banana or other piece of fruit? The memory isn’t a strong one for most – it’s a minimal detail that is expected and unnoticed at the same time. The blue, red and yellow logo has found a natural place in the surfaces of many fruits and if you think about it a little further, visions of plantations and fields come to mind. Among all this imagery, the business side of Dole becomes a little difficult to imagine, yet it exists. Dole is not just a banana company, but a Fortune 500 company and ITEP supporter.

MATCH-visits-Dole-img2Thirty MATCH students from Banning High School traveled to Dole Food Headquarters in Westlake Village (CA) to experience the best of Dole, as a food company and professional entity. The students along with MATCH lead teacher, Janet Furuya, learned that careers at Dole are anything but dull.

“It’s great to show our students different career options and present to them what the corporate world can offer. A lot of these students think they can only work in restaurants, so we wanted to show them there are so many more opportunities available if they work hard and pursue their passion,” stated Janet.

Students met Diana Jansson-Hamilton, Director of Global Trade Compliance and the company’s CFO, Keith Mitchell. The speakers introduced MATCH to the brand story behind Dole, the fresh fruit supply chain and the many job opportunities available – from shipping bananas to writing about them in social media.

Of course, the trip to Dole was not complete without a visit to the company’s own test kitchen. MATCH students tasted the newest company product, Dole Fruit Smoothie Shakers, and had the opportunity to create their own signature Dole juice blends. Product quality tests that check for density, color and taste also took place – a tough job, but MATCH students stepped in with ease to complete the task. Donna Skidmore, Director of Consumer Affairs and Vasso Panag, Laboratory Manager of Dole Packaged Foods were instrumental in making this portion of the trip interesting and interactive – we thank you!

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Dole professionals in Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Marketing and Social Media also addressed the students. Michael Contreras, Digital Marketing Manager, outlined the company’s social media strategy in an impressive presentation. The company uses various social platforms to connect with consumers and build a “Dole community.” Bananas and fruit as a whole were seen in a completely different light. In the end, there was plenty of swag, inspiration and bananas to share. Thank you, Dole.

To read more about MATCH and their visit to Dole, check out our latest newsletter. Sign-up to receive one today and learn about ITEP happenings and the many students that make our communities proud. For more photos on our visit to Dole, check out our Facebook page.

The ITEP team would like to send a warm and special thanks to Diana and Griselda Rapp for coordinating a once-in-a-lifetime Dole experience for our hard-working MATCH students.

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Filed under Banning High School, MATCH

API scores are up!

ITEP congratulates all five high schools  we work with on increasing their API Scores! The Academic Performance Index is an achievement gauge for California public schools based on standardized test results. Carson High School alone improved their score by 37 points for an official API score of 689, the highest score among LAUSD South Bay High Schools! Way to go, Colts! This great achievement is a product of the successful community partnerships among the schools, ITEP, and its industry volunteers.  Together, we are helping our young people think globally and earn locally. Our students rock!

Carson High School API Score for 2012 – 689 (Improvement of 37 over last year’s score 652)

Banning High School API Score for 2012 – 682 (Improvement of 23 over last year’s score 659)

Barstow High School API Score for 2012 – 696 (Improvement of 22 over last year’s score 674)

San Pedro High School API Score for 2012 – 716 (Improvement of 5 over last year’s score 711)

Gardena High School  API Score for 2012 – 633 (Improvement of 15 over last year’s score 61)

“I would like to express my gratitude to ITEP for their support throughout the years at Banning High School and Gardena High School. The support that you give students in the Small Learning Communities through  Community Advisory Boards, career presentations, summer internships, team building activities, and student recognition are the reasons our students stay on task to graduate. The partnership established with ITEP has allowed the resources to create an environment that is personable and nurturing. It is an experience that all students involved in an ITEP Academy will remember for a lifetime. The students that have benefited from the ITEP Academies are making positive contributions in the PORT because of your organization. We salute you, and thank you as we move into yet another exciting year of partnership.” -Rudy  J. Mendoza Principal, Phineas Banning High School

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA

ITEP explores careers in Long Beach with S.W.A.G!

Teens pondering the universal question, “What do I want to do with my life?” often have no clue where to begin, much less how to set and reach their goals.  Luckily, for a small group of Long Beach youth, the journey to find a career is about to get a little easier…and a lot more fun!

Starting Fall 2012, ITEP is excited to launch a new program: Exploring Careers in Long Beach.  This after-school career exploration program will provide youth with opportunities for personal development and hands-on exploration of key industries and employers in greater Long Beach.

Exploring Careers in Long Beach is being piloted as Students With Ambitious Goals (aka S.W.A.G.) with 50 sophomores from Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School, where administrators and teachers are eager to offer experiential linked learning opportunities for their students.  Assistant Principal Matthew Brown notes, “when schools are working hard to make high school relevant, it is amazing to have a program that truly shows our students what opportunities exist right in their own back yard. And, with businesses getting directly involved, it helps schools more effectively align with what students should be learning to succeed in local industries.”

Through a progressive program of twice-monthly excursions, S.W.A.G. participants will explore hot jobs in cool industries such as Global Trade, Transportation, Health Care, Environmental, Energy, Engineering, Law and Government, as well as explore career opportunities available in the skilled trades and through entrepreneurship.  Youth will build meaningful connections with industry leaders who will guide them in their career exploration.

ITEP has partnered with Exploring/Learning for Life to organize Exploring Careers in Long Beach as an official explorer post and has built a volunteer Advisory Board made up of Long Beach business, education, workforce and community leaders who will guide its strategy and direction.  ITEP Board Member and Exploring Careers Advisory Board Chair, Stacey Jones of CH2M HILL notes, “The Exploring Careers program will give us [ITEP] a great opportunity to broaden our industry-based educational programs into Long Beach, to provide high school sophomores with hands-on experience learning about the highest-demand industries in Long Beach, and to expand their understanding of the real career choices out there.”

S.W.A.G.’s Kick-off Orientation for students and parents in late September will feature a keynote presentation by Damon Dunn, Long Beach business and civic leader, who will share his own journey from abject poverty to stunning success.

In October, S.W.A.G. will highlight the Global Trade industry, beginning with a life expectations session led by representatives from Matson, NYK Line, and the Port of Long Beach, hosted at Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network.  Later in the month, participants will follow up with a visit to each company’s facilities at the Port, where they will board a container ship and meet industry representatives who will share their exciting careers the shipping and logistics industries.

As this is a pilot program, there are still many opportunities to get involved.  ITEP is actively seeking sponsors to help us defray program costs.  Special thanks to Tesoro for coming on board as our very first corporate sponsor! We are also still looking for volunteers to help with monthly excursions and host site visits.  

For more information contact Program Coordinator, Gabriela Perez at gabriela@itepinc.org

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Safe, Secure & Fun: GSS goes behind-the-scenes with Securitas at Universal Studios

GSS students had the ultimate Hollywood experience May 12, 2012 at Universal Studios Hollywood. Thanks to Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. 30 students were able to tour the action-packed amusement park and get a behind-the-scenes look into the complex world of securing Universal Studios’ sprawling, 386-acre property visited by 30,000 visitors per day. GSS students got the full VIP treatment, getting to ride Transformers: The Ride-3D before it opened to the public.

GSS students are well aware of security related careers at the Port of Los Angeles and GSS Advisory Board member Ernie Mendoza, Business Development Manager for Securitas USA wanted to show something different that would motivate and inspire. “It’s important for the students to interact with professionals they can relate to and who work in exciting venues like a major theme park, it gets them excited about their possible future in this career.” GSS learned how the security officers utilized technology, training, and other resources such as teamwork and communications to deliver a customized and complete security solution. Security team members; Watch Commander Axel Herrera, Lt. Jorge Calderon, Officers Marcia Mejia, Deloris Nixon and Hugo Rodriguez, answered many questions and offered generous insight.

This fantastic experience for GSS students is part of a larger partnership between ITEP and Securitas USA. In addition to Ernie Mendoza’s role with GSS, ITEP is also grateful to Ivory Phillips, Area VP for Securitas USA, who sits on the ITEP Board of Directors. Securitas USA is dedicated to their community and is passionate about helping youth. Ernie notes,”Securitas is committed to improving the quality of life and enhancing the communities where our company operates. Students are our future and it is imperative that they are surrounded by people who believe in them and want to see them succeed.”

Thank you, Ernie, for securing this opportunity for GSS; and the Universal Studios Security Team for guiding and mentoring the students. Special thanks to Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. for sponsoring the trip and continuously supporting ITEP. We couldn’t do it without you!

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ITA and GGLA “Apprentices” Practice Their Pitches

Dressed for success and ready to compete, sixteen upperclassman from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) and Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) were picked up from school in stretch limousines and whisked downtown to the 26th floor boardroom of the U.S. offices of Lloyds Banking Group, where they squared off in an “Apprentice”-style case competition between Team Disney and Team Apple. The prize was something that even The Donald would agree is invaluable: the skills and self-confidence to pitch a company today…and themselves tomorrow.

Channeling the energy already present in their cross-town football rivalry, Banning and Gardena students battled in the boardroom to prove their business prowess. Each team had been assigned to research either Disney, Apple, or McDonalds and identify the unique selling points (USP’s) for each company. The team with the strongest argument would be chosen as the winner. After being assigned a company, each team worked swiftly to put together a convincing presentation.

Under the careful eyes of Rob Vickery, North America Regional Director for Lloyds TSB International (GGLA Advisory Board member) and Akary Busto, Vice President of Corporate Account management (ITA Advisory Board member), students crafted their selling points to create a persuasive pitch. The aim was to let students take the lead to bolster confidence within the group. “I want to reach those kids at the back of the class that have potential but are too afraid to speak up” said Rob.

Although the competition was intense, the “apprentices” quickly developed a mutual respect for one other and even took the opportunity to do a little networking. By the time the limos pulled up to take them back to campus, everyone agreed that they were all winners. So did the judges, who declared both teams equally deserving of victory.

ITEP is extremely grateful to Rob Vickery, Akary Busto and Lloyds Banking Group for offering our students this phenomenal experience to push themselves to compete and to succeed. “This learning experience has been like no other. I enjoyed communicating with the Gardena students and learning about Lloyds Banking Group,” remarked ITA junior Diana. Thank you Lloyds in helping our students on their journeys!

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Mojave XP Board Member Reuel Herron Wins ITEP Spirit Award

ITEP is proud to present Reuel Herron, Branch Manager of Desert Community Bank in Barstow, with the ITEP Spirit Award, in honor of his outstanding contributions and commitment to the students and staff of the Mojave X-Press Logistics Academy (Mojave XP) at Barstow High School during 2010-2012.

Reuel has been a very active member of the Mojave XP Advisory Board for the last two years, and, in addition to participating in the monthly advisory board meetings, he was also one of the first Coaches in the monthly Industry Coaches mentoring program for Mojave XP juniors this year.

For the last two summers, Reuel opened the doors of the Desert Community Bank for the Advisory Board Summer Planning Sessions, and has supported other on-campus and off-campus events. It is clear that he cares for the academy students and staff, and he will be missed as he leaves for a new position out of the area. All the best to you, Reuel!

At the meeting, we welcomed Rosella Bernal, new VP/ Branch Manager for the Barstow Branch, who will represent Desert Community Bank on the Advisory Board – thanks, Rosella!

 

By Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager: GBAC, GESA, Mojave XP, SPEA

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Richard Jenkins honored with ITEP Spirit Award at HAIC Banquet

ITEP proudly presented Dick Jenkins, of Jenkins Environmental Associates, with the ITEP Spirit Award at the HAIC Banquet on July 19, 2012. Amy Grat, CEO of ITEP, Gary Gregory, GESA Chair, and  GESA Advisory Board Co-Chair, Bob Stearns were on hand to honor Dick with this award for his tireless commitment  and support for the Global Environmental Science Academy (GESA).

Mr. Jenkins has been a very active member of Banning High School‘s GESA Advisory Board for more than five years. In addition to participating in monthly planning meetings, he has been a coach in the monthly Industry Coaches Mentoring Program for GESA juniors for the last three years.

Working with the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce (HAIC), Dick has been instrumental in continuing to help GESA secure funding for their annual Catalina Environmental Leadership Program (CELP) Signature Trip, and for the last two years, he worked with Clay Sandidge to start the Sea Search Program at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for GESA Marine Biology students.

GESA students are also able to benefit from the Hazardous Waste Materials First Responder Training that Dick helped to set up, and are able to receive Environmental Training and Compliance Certification  (ETAC). It is more than evident that Dick has a heart for the academy students and staff, and he will be missed as he retires from the board.

All the best to you, Dick, and thanks for the memories and for all you have done!

By Harlene Stanley, Program Manager: GBAC, GESA, Mojave XP, SPEA

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ITEP Shares Maritime Education Best Practices With JAXPORT

On May 14 and 15, ITEP and the Port of Los Angeles hosted a group of educators, port officials and business partners from Jacksonville, Florida to share best practices in promoting maritime career pathways.  JAXPORT’s Community Outreach Manager, Joanne Kazmierski, along with eleven members of the NE Florida Education – Business Partner Consortium, a group made up of school district and state college leaders were given insight into how ITEP and the Port effectively partner to introduce local youth to careers in trade, transportation and logistics.

During the visit, ITEP’s CEO Amy Grat briefed the group on the ITEP 10-Point program model for effectively engaging industry.  Port of Los Angeles HR Director, Martin Chavez and Internship Coordinator, Gabriela Perez shared best practices from the highly successful ITEP/POLA Summer Internship Program.  The group also visited Phineas Banning High School and was given a student-led presentation on the four maritime-focused academies supported by ITEP.

The grand finale of the visit was a luncheon meeting at APM Terminals where ITEP Board Members Gerry Fisher of Freeman Freeman & Smiley, Caroline Brown of Comerica Bank and John Ochs of APMT shared insights on the personal and professional motivation for business leaders to become involved with programs such as ITEP.

ITEP looks forward to continuing the discussion with JAXPORT and the NE Florida Education-Business Partner Consortium.   In addition to helping raise organizational visibility, such nationwide collaboration between ports and educators plays an important role in ensuring the continued growth and success of the goods movement industry.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Gardena High School, San Pedro High School

Mary Gutierrez is recognized with GESA Spirit Award

By Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager: GBAC, GESA, Mojave XP, SPEA

At the April Global Environmental Science Academy (GESA) Advisory Board Meeting, Bonnie Bair and Harlene Stanley of ITEP,  honored Mary Gutierrez from Valero Wilmington Refinery, with the 2011-2012 ITEP Spirit Award for GESA at Banning High School.

Mary is an active member of the monthly GESA Advisory Board, and has participated or sponsored the on-campus Industry Coaching Program, Environmental Science Guest Speaker Series, multiple Community Service Projects, the Los Angeles Youth at Work Employment Preparation Workshops, and recently hosted nine GESA students for the first Job Shadowing Day at Valero.

Mary’s heart for community service is also reflected by her active participation in Wilmington LIONS Club, as President; the 2012 Wilmington ACS – Relay for Life; LA Holiday Afloat Boat Parade; the Wilmington Heart of the Harbor Holiday Parade; and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce as Secretary to the Executive Board.

Through her willingness to partner and support the ITEP staff and program, and GESA’s Lead Teacher, Margarita Aguilar, Mary has helped to provide motivational activities for the students, and encouragement for the staff. Mary’s outstanding contributions and commitments continue to make a difference in the lives of everyone around her.

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The Titanic Resurrected: ITA Law Day 2012

The Titanic Resurrected

By Jose Sanchez & Erika Vega ITA Class of 2014

On a bright and early Saturday morning, 27 ITA students resurrected the Titanic at the offices of Keesal Young and Logan for Law Day 2012. ITA Advisory Board member Jennifer Meeker, Nossaman LLP, along with Lisa Barnett, RJS Law, and Samira Seidu with the San Diego District Attorney, led the students through a case preparation and trial. ITA juniors and seniors gave up their Saturday to participate in this exercise and Ms. Seidu took notice: “The fact that these students showed up on a Saturday morning and presented a jury trial that same afternoon was truly impressive.”

In the trial of Estate of Hans Jensen v. The White Star Line, each student was assigned a different role and the morning session was devoted to getting prepared. The students were separated into the following groups: Defendants, Plaintiffs, Witnesses, Juries, and Reporters. Ms. Meeker played the judge. Both the defendants and the plaintiffs worked in small groups with Ms. Meeker and Ms. Seidu to come up with a clear case that they would use in court. The plaintiffs gave their opening statement “The Titanic’s Captain WAS responsible for Jensen dying!” while the defendants strongly disagreed and argued that the “Titanic’s Captain was NOT responsible for Jensen’s death.” ITA senior Bryan Tahuite gave this advice: “stick to the words and never give up.”

The room was quiet and very intense while the plaintiffs and the defendants bravely stated their arguments. The jury remained alert, sustained focus and respectfully gave their full attention to both parties. With the help of Ms. Barnett, the jury of 10 deliberated while everyone waited patiently for the results. After what seemed like forever, the jury came to their conclusion: “White Star Line is NOT responsible for the death of Jensen.” The defendants won for having a stronger case!

After the trial was over, students had the chance to ask the three attorneys questions about practicing law. While they learned about different fields and different career opportunities in law, they also learned that you cannot chew gum in a court room and were told that a person was once charged $500 because their cell phone rang during a trial.

All three attorneys were thoroughly impressed by the students. “I was impressed with how hard-working and engaged the students were in the legal system.  I look forward to participating again next year! said Ms. Barnett. Jennifer Meeker was impressed with their hard work and professionalism.”I have served on the ITA Board for over a year now and the students wow me each time I meet them. They were professional, engaged, and hard-working. I would welcome the opportunity to work with each and every one of these students in the future.”  ITA showed a lot of potential and Ms. Seidu encouraged the students to pursue careers in law. “I hope these students choose to pursue legal careers because the profession would be lucky to have them.”   

The students had a lot of fun and learned a lot through the process. They learned how to trust their teammates and how to work together. ITA would like to thank Jennifer Meeker for putting this event together, and with the help of Lisa Barnett and Samira Seidu, teaching us about the field of law, and giving us a chance to resurrect the Titanic.

In advance, students were assigned different roles to prepare for the trial. ITA Juniors Jose Sanchez and Erika Vega were assigned to be Court Reporters. Throughout the trial, Jose and Erika jotted down notes, interviewed participants and took photos. above is the article they co-authored commemorating the 1st Annual ITA Law Day.

***

Lisa Barnett is a senior associate with RJS Law located in San Diego, which specializes in resolving civil and criminal tax controversies with the IRS and California state tax agencies.  RJS Law has significant prominence within the San Diego community through established relationships with current and former clients as well as an established track record of success dealing with federal and state government officials.  Ms. Barnett also volunteers her time as Treasurer and Board Member of the Jarrett Meeker Foundation.

Jennifer Meeker is a litigation associate with the law firm Nossaman LLP, which is an all-service national law firm with 150 professionals working seamlessly within California and across the United States.  The Firm has a history of serving clients in the Port area including the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, the City of Long Beach, Valero and Tesoro, and worked extensively on the Alameda Corridor Project in addition to other projects.  Ms. Meeker serves on the board of the Jarrett Meeker Foundation and on the International Trade Academy advisory board. Ms. Meeker organized the Law Day, prepared the mock trial based on a wrongful death suit arising out of the sinking of the Titanic, helped the defense team prepare its case and acted as judge. 

Samira Seidu is a deputy district attorney with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office where she prosecutes domestic violence cases.  In addition, Ms. Seidu is a board member of the Jarrett Meeker Foundation and also coaches a  San Diego area high school mock trial team.

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The results are in! ITEP Spring Break Job Shadow is a success!

By: Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager

Spring Break 2012 – This year, 27 students from 3 high schools had unique and special memories of what they did on their Spring Break Vacation, because they were selected to participate in this year’s ITEP Job Shadow Program.

On April 4, 2012, each student had 5 hours of on-site experience at one of 12 different Advisory Board Members’ facilities where they had the opportunity to learn about local career opportunities, the professional skills necessary to succeed in various job functions, and the leadership and teamwork skills needed to thrive in a professional setting. Currently, three of the Job Shadow students are in the interview process for a summer internships. Job Shadowing is definitely on its way to be coming an annual ITEP event!

Both Site Coordinators and students were very happy with the results, and had the following to share about their experiences:

Jessica Neil: GBAC Advisory Board Member from Shell Pipeline reported, “The employment preparation workshops well prepared these students for the job shadow experience. They asked intelligent questions, had good manners and were excited to gain exposure.”

Ruby: GBAC Junior, wrote “I learned so much and I love the fact that all the employees have a really great positive attitude towards their work. I felt very welcomed at the Shell Pipeline Facility.”

Pax Bowman: a member of the San Pedro Earth Alert (SPEA) Advisory Board from West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), evaluated the program by saying that, “the ITEP support and communication was excellent leading up to the Job Shadow Day… Our Job Shadow Applicant was well prepared and able to engage with the staff, which made his visit more productive.”

Ivan: SPEA student, “I was fortunate to be selected for the Job Shadow Program this year. We had to go through a process of creating a resume and cover letter, and what we needed to do for an interview. Then we had to do research on the company we wanted to Job Shadow and interview with them. It was really helpful and good information. Then I went there on Spring Break – no ‘party’ for me! I learned a lot about how important they are to the job world and to the environment.”

Mary Gutierrez: Global Environmental Science Academy (GESA) Advisory Board member from Valero: “My favorite moment was when the student sitting next to me at lunch said he wished it was a week-long event so he could learn more about the other jobs that the Refinery Leadership Team was mentioning.”

Lt George Kolumbic: United States Coast Guard, “It was a great learning experience… I think it says a lot about the students that they came on their Spring Break to learn about the Coast Guard, and I really have appreciated the opportunity with these students who care about their future and really want to be here.”

Luis: GESA Junior said, “I learned that I could join the Coast Guard and still go to college, and they will pay for my college, and I could become a teacher.”

To read more about the program click here!

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Filed under Banning High School, Carson High School, GBAC, GESA, San Pedro High School, SPEA

The D-Q 5: Going back to take it all… An awe inspiring comeback!

Banning High School FHA- Hero

An Awe-Inspiring Comeback!

By: Felicia Herrera, T.A, Banning High School Graduate of 2005

Working with high school students is like being on a roller coaster; there are ups, downs, spins, turns and unexpected winds and twists. A good example would be my personal experience with working with this year’s FHA-HERO, a group of students who are part of a chapter here at Banning High School. FHA-HERO is a student organization that focuses on all the different area of home economics, from Culinary Arts Display, Energy and Resource Conservation, Job Application and Interview, Applied Technology, to Fashion Design.  Within this organization students learn leadership skills, professionalism, responsibility and many other traits that help them become excellent members of society. Through FHA- HERO, students are also able to compete at regional, state, and national levels.

As I recall at this year’s competition, I’m sitting at the edge of my seat, waiting for the award ceremony to begin. Camera at hand, butterflies in stomach, and knees shaking; remembering how we did this time last year.

Last year, what we thought was going to end up in high spirits ended up being unbelievably devastating. All of our students were disqualified! It wasn’t because they were late or being irresponsible, but because of missing the customary dress check before the ceremony started. To our misfortune we were waiting in the wrong room. By the time we realized it, they were fifteen minutes late. The worst part is that shortly after they had to sit and witness other students receive what should have been their potential trophies and scholarships.  The first three hours of the bus ride home weren’t the most blissful. However, being the determined students they are, they chose not to give up. They decided they were not going to let this unfortunate incident defeat them; they were going to come home and get started on projects for next year’s competition that would surely knock the judge’s socks off  and bring home the gold! They were known as the “D-Q 5(Disqualified Five)…Going Back to Take it All” and that’s exactly what they did!

After months of hard work, all nighters, sweat, blood, burns, and tears, those same five students, now seniors, along with two others, accomplished the unthinkable. When the ceremony finally started I practically sprinted to the front of the room and waited for the winners to be announced. Before I knew it, tears began to fill my eyes as I heard every single one of our students’ names being called! Banning High School’s FHA-HERO Chapter placed the highest on almost every category they competed in!

Below is the list of this year’s winners:

Competition/ Category

Student/ Competitor

Place/ Award/ Prize

 

Decorated Wedding Cakes

Lipsia Rosales

1st Place

 

Appetizers

Jacqueline Rodriguez

$1000.00 Scholarship to Johnson and Wales

 $100.00 Cash

 

 

Culinary Arts Display

Jacob Griffith

Glen Hernandez

1st Place

And $100.00 Cash

2nd Place

 

 

 

Breads Display

Jonathan Alvarez

Michael Haynes

1st Place and “ Best of Show”

$1000.00 Scholarship to Johnson and Wales And $100.00 Cash, Plus an additional $250.00 for “Best of Show”

3rd Place, $100.00 Cash

 

 

Fashion Designer Recycled Garment

Jasmine Barajas

3rd Place, $100.00 Cash

As you can see the last two years have been a crazy roller coaster ride with the biggest down, yet the greatest up. The Banning High School FHA-HERO Chapter may have fell down and tumbled but they did not crumble! Against all odds, they picked themselves back up and had an awe-inspiring comeback!

I am proud to say that the Banning High School FHA-HERO Chapter of 2012 is personally one of the best groups of students I have ever had the pleasure to work with. After this whole experience, I have been tremendously inspired into not giving up on my dreams. I will personally continue to go to school and become a Home Economics Teacher and hopefully, in time, have my own FHA-HERO Chapter.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BANNING HIGH SCHOOL FHA-HERO CHAPTER OF 2012! YOU DID IT!!!

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SPEA Celebrates 42nd Earth Day Anniversary

By: Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager


The students and Advisory Board members from the ITEP San Pedro Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) at San Pedro High School, celebrated the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day on Friday April 20, 2012, with on-campus presentations and demonstrations that generated interest and awareness for the “Green Generation.” More than ever before, young people are getting involved by taking steps in their schools, homes and neighborhoods to protect the environment by recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, volunteering for coastal clean-ups, and exploring the possibility of entering into green careers in the future.

To celebrate this event, 10 members of the US Coast Guard Base on Terminal Island, gave presentations that showed students the importance of their missions in the protection and stewardship of natural resources by eliminating environmental damage associated with maritime transportation, fishing, and recreational boating.

More than 45 presentations and demonstrations during the day gave students a wide range of topics and points of interest to consider. Guest Speakers from local organizations included Advisory Board Chair, Mike Schaadt, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Administrator, who, along with two other scientists from the aquarium, gave presentations on “Careers in Marine Biology and Oceanography,” as well as displaying a live grunion lab for students to interact with.

Pax Bowman, an ITEP Partner from West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), presented the “Enviro-Jeopardy Game,” modeled after the television game show. Students showed how much they knew in areas  including:Earth Day, Recycling, Port Related Environment, and What Not to Do. Student teams became very competitive with each other, and were quite involved in capturing the most points to win the game.

In addition, Nancy Felix, from SA Recycling, spoke to students about “Careers in Environmental Management,” and had a presentation about how SA recycles scrap metal. Attorney Vivi Heger spoke on Environmental Law, and Dr Raymond Wells presented a community college approach to Programs in Marine Biology.

Student Council members were able to secure more than 200 signed commitment cards during the day-long event, with students having the opportunity to complete written pledges for “A Billion Acts of Green,” Earth Day’s way of mobilizing the power of people to create change by taking small steps. Each student was encouraged to write down at least one thing they would do to help protect the environment. The statements made by these high school students, show how much they care about the environment, and what they plan to do to help.

 

I wonder how many of us can pledge the same things that these high school students have?

“I will try not to leave trash anywhere so it doesn’t lead to our oceans or pollute,” said SPEA student, Juan G.

“I will reuse and save my bottled water…I also pledge to carpool to school,” R.C.

“I will use the bag I was given at thestore and that will help save plastic bags,” D.A. wrote.

And, other statements made by students include,

“Take shorter showers…”

“Turn off lights when not using it…”

“Walk, instead of ride…”

“Grow more plants!” What are the rest of us willing to do?

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Building dreams one scholarship at a time!

If every dream is built one step at a time, ITEP students took one giant leap on March 22, 2012 at the 12th Annual Scholarship Dinner, Building Dreams. Held at the World Cruise Terminal in San Pedro, nearly 600 students, teachers, and industry partners cheered on 12 ITEP seniors as they received well deserved scholarships and awards that will help them continue their success and dreams after high school.

Along with eight ITEP scholarship winners, Violet Paredes from GSS Academy won the HAIC Scholarship, and Alberto Limas from GESA won the LACBFFA Cecilia Castellanos Memorial Scholarship. Dennis Lord from Southern California Gas Company presented a scholarship to Nicole Diaz, a GESA Senior, and Dan Benoit, on behalf of the LACBFFA and FTA, presented the Rising Star! Award to Karima Dyes from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy. The Carol Rowen 180 Degree Award went to Kaipo Soriano-Weeks, a hardworking and dedicated senior from GBAC at Carson High School.

ITEP was thrilled to present our Keeper of the Flame award to BNSF Railway, a longstanding supporter of ITEP and Mojave XP at Barstow High School. Trini Jimenez, Director of Government Relations and ITEP Board of Directors member, accepted the award along with Lawrence Dale, a retired BNSF employee and Mojave XP Advisory Board member. “We at BNSF are proud to be associated with such a remarkable organization. We look forward to continuing to support ITEP’s goal of building dreams and connecting students to jobs.” George Kolarov from Banning High School was recognized as ITEP’s Educator of the Year, and Tom Good from Matson received the Bill Stein Memorial Leadership Award.

MATCH and the Los Angeles Harbor College Culinary Arts Programstudents outdid themselves with their dazzling culinary creations. Led by MATCH Advisory Board member Chef Giovanni “Chef Gio” Delrosario, LAHC students delighted the crowd with scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, and MATCH dished up a wonderful pasta dinner with an impressive array of cupcakes and edible arrangements for dessert.

All in all, this year’s event was a stunning success, breaking all previous fundraising records. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, ticket takers and silent auction bidders, over $180,000 was raised to support the mission and programs of ITEP. Heartfelt thanks go out to our top sponsors — Port of Los Angeles, Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals, and Metro Ports – as well as to the dedicated members of ITEP’s Dinner Committee, led by Bill Collier, and the ITEP Board and Advisory Boards who devoted countless time and energy toward making this event successful.

 

To view more photos check out our Facebook page!

Video blog story by BNSF Railway

 

Sponsor List:

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA

LA Convention Center rolls out the red carpet for MATCH

On Friday, March 16 the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) rolled out their red carpet for 23 MATCH seniors from Banning High School for a behind-the-scenes look in to the world of trade show operations. The students received exclusive backstage tours and were treated to a board room presentation from top LACC executives who spoke about careers and all the industry has to offer.

The students were able to get a feel for the preparation and hard work it takes to put on a trade show as they watched the Food & Beverage division preparing culinary delights for the International Health and Sports Racket Expo. After the tour, the students listened to a presentation from Mary Jane Aquino, Acting Assistant General Manager for LACC, Phillip Hill, COO, Greg Rosicky, Vice President of Event Operations, and Reza Semadi, General Manager of Food Services and enjoyed a salty sweat treat: chips and fresh mango salsa courtesy of Executive Chef Lewis.

The hot topic among the students was job opportunities and COO Phillip Hill didn’t disappoint them. He explained that the new project, Farmer’s Field, would create a large demand for jobs and Reza Samadi introduced the student to Aramark’s internship program. Both drove home the importance of finishing school so they could be considered for prime opportunities.

The MATCH students made a huge impact on the LACC professionals who facilitated the tour and took pride in knowing one day they’d be able to bring their exceptional culinary skills to the Convention Center. Greg Rosicky, remarked, “this is the best group of students we have ever had.” Thank you to the LA Convention Center, and everyone who was involved in making this tour possible, it was an amazing experience for our students!

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Students spend spring break preparing for their future!

Spring Break for students has become synonymous with “partying.” Scenes of young people in bikinis and shorts, playing in the sand, and staying up all night are not unusual. This year, spring break means something different to 30 ITEP students, who have decided to PREPARE for their future, rather than PARTY.

Through the new ITEP Job Shadow Pilot Program, students from  GESA at Banning High School, SPEA at San Pedro High School, and  GBAC at Carson High School will have a first-time experience at ITEP’s Industry Partners’ facilities to discover some of the career opportunities that are available locally, and to see the skills and experience that is expected in a professional environment.” We wanted the students to be actively engaged so that they can learn firsthand what it takes to succeed in these industry settings,” commented Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager.

More than 50 juniors competed for the 30 limited spots overall at the three academies. Students were selected based on  how well they completed the job application process including cover letter writing, resume preparation, interviewing and professionalism. For GESA juniors, each completed three Employment Preparation workshops for the LA Youth at Work Certification Program (Resume, Job Application, Interviewing Skills). GBAC and SPEA juniors each completed four on-campus Employment Preparation workshops (Resume, Cover Letter, Job Application, Interviewing Skills), with workshop materials developed by Harlene Stanley.

The selected juniors will be shadowing at some amazing companies: GESA students will be shadowing a Calscience Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, Valero Refinery, SA Recycling, or the US Coast Guard. GBAC students will have their “shadow” opportunities at Shell Pipeline, NYK/Yusen Logistics, Watson Land Company, or Custom Goods Logistics Warehouse, Distribution and Transportation Services. SPEA students will have their “shadow” time at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, US Coast Guard, West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), or JMC2 Civil Engineering.

All selected students will receive 5 hours of community service, which is a requirement for academy graduation, and will develop and submit a report on their job shadowing experiences – detailing the skills necessary to succeed in these careers. They will also have the opportunity to see how high school helps pave the way for their goals, and how additional education can help them to achieve even higher possibilities.

This has truly been a team effort between ITEP, ITEP academies and ITEP industry partners to develop this program. We look forward to this becoming an annual event for juniors to give them this “real-world” experience, and encourage them to graduate, be job-ready and college prepared!

Stay tuned to hear what ITEP’s industry partners though about the program and what the students learned through their experience!

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Filed under Banning High School, Carson High School, GBAC, GESA, San Pedro High School, SPEA