Los Angeles, CA – School assignments usually don’t involve going to a major league soccer game. ITEP’s Global Leadership Academy just isn’t any ordinary class. While peers deal with mundane school curriculum, the students in ITEP’s GLA academy at Gardena High School have the chance to see how business and social principles play out in the real world and on the field with Chivas USA as a feature of ITEP’s exciting new Passport Program.
Yvette Fraga with International Relations at Gardena High explains how important this program is. Watch here
With ITEP’s Passport Program, underclassmen follow a Chivas player for the soccer season and research the player’s country and statistics. The program, a partnership between ITEP and Chivas USA, re-frames California education standards in a stimulating way.
“Students will learn so much about global business, which is exactly what our academy is all about,” Gardena Global Leadership Academy Program Coordinator, Lakisha Clark said. She talks about this program training right after the launch of the partnership.
The program builds student literacy in economics and social studies. Students in GLA’s Business Communications class will calculate the projected cost of players’ injuries, while in social studies classes, students investigate their adopted player’s home country, including its population, economy, and culture. Typical assignments include analyses of stadium occupancies and the percentage of successful goal kicks during the October 23 Chivas and Chicago Fire game.
“This gives students a very concrete idea of real-world numbers,” GLA business teacher Lee Powell said.
The program kicked off on September 24, 2010 with a speech from Chivas USA spokesperson Galo Galvan. Students were enthralled by his presentation, which included Chivas USA merchandise and slide shows of the players in action.
“I could not have thought of a better way to give back to the community than through this wonderful Passport program,” Galvan said. Listen here
Students raised funds for GGLA by selling tickets to the October 23 game against the Chicago Fire. The target mark of 100 tickets was reached quickly by excited Gardena students. Even students not involved with GGLA were excited to join the fun. Seven dollars of every 15 dollar ticket sold went directly into improving the GGLA program.
“It is amazing what happens when businesses and schools unite to make a profound difference,” ITEP CEO Amy Grat said. “It is ITEP’s pleasure be the glue of both these organizations.”
The Chivas USA players battled diligently with the Chicago Fire in the exciting final game of the season, but the Los Angeles team fell short with a 1-4 loss. Even so, students and teachers sat in the same area and cheered on the Goats. All the students were able to take home a brand new Chivas hat.
After the game, students were given the exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with a Chivas player. Throngs of students and their families waited anxiously to meet Chivas USA forward, Giancarlo Maldonado, to take pictures and receive autographs. After the game, students were grateful to take a home a wonderful piece of a high school memory.
“ITEP wants students at the GGLA Academy to realize that their local community wants them to succeed. By showing them the wealth of opportunities in their own backyard, we aim to increase student motivation to stay in school and work hard,” GGLA Program Manager Susannah Emami said.