ITEP students use global brands to promote literacy and trade

“Industry is coming into the classroom to help students understand the relevance of what they are learning,” said Amy Grat, CEO, ITEP.


Last fall, ITEP scored goals with Gardena students by bringing the famous soccer brand Chivas into the classroom as part of its Passport Program: “Literacy and Soccer.”  (see article HERE on ITEP’s website) ITEP’s Passport Program uses global brands to teach students about international trade.

Recently the Passport Program shifted into high-gear thanks to support from another global brand that is also headquartered locally: Toyota Motor Sales.  On February 25th, over 100 students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy learned how trade, transportation, and logistics affect their everyday lives, and how their schoolwork directly relates to “real” work in these industries as part of ITEP’s newest program, “Literacy and Automobiles.”

Thanks to the collaboration and goodwill of GGLA Advisory Board Chair, Steve Pasienski, Director of International Customs at Toyota Motor Sales, students were able to get a taste of the automobile industry, highlighting the correlation between trade, logistics, English, math, and business. Presentations were also made by GGLA Advisory Board Members Daniel Benoit of OWI Specialized, Anthony Cangelosi of Chivas USA, and Ed La Rocque of Toyota.

Students calculated shipping costs, created a marketing plan, and designed an ad for the Toyota Prius that they had to then translate into Spanish for the Latin American market. ITEP’s goal was to get students excited about learning by showing them how subjects taught in high school relate to real-life concepts they enjoy.

By supporting the teachers in creating an exciting and enriching program, ITEP was able to meet the goal of enhancing Academy learning. Not only did Global Leadership Academy students learn to apply the skills learned in the classroom, they also walked away with a better understanding and appreciation for the global brands that surround them daily.

Ed La Rocque, National Small Car Marketing Manager for Toyota’s Vehicle Operations Group, remarked “what a great experience to give something back to the local community.”

In addition to providing hands-on support, Toyota Motor Sales has also generously donated $12,000 to ITEP to ensure that Passport Programs such as “Literacy and Automobiles” will continue to be available to our students. 

Thank you Toyota!

image of Toyota Logo

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Filed under Gardena High School, GGLA

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