GESA alums explore green growth at the port… and meet the Mayor!

GESA alums participated in the second annual PortTechLA Expo. They didn’t just volunteer, they explored a whole new world of opportunity and innovation. Thanks to the hospitality of Executive Director Jeffrey Milanette of PortTechLA and Herb Zimmer, Chairman of PortTechLA, GESA Alumni Cecilia Armenta, Alma Garduno, and Oscar Vargas got a firsthand look into the world of emerging green technologies and peered into the minds of business leaders and budding entrepreneurs.

They greeted participants and prepped speakers, listened to Keynote Speaker, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speak about growth and job opportunities. “I got to meet a lot of different people… I really liked seeing them present their products, it was very interesting and inspiring” said Cecilia Armenta. Oscar Vargas was captivated by the idea of using algae instead of fossil fuels. “Volunteering gave me the opportunity to network that I wouldn’t normally have had. I had a great conversation with Tim Bentley an Aerospace Engineer. We talked about the use of algae to produce fuel. Instead of using fossil fuels or ethanol, they use algae: a fast reproducing organism. Because algae it isn’t used for human consumption,  we can sustainably grow it and use is solely for fuel” said Vargas.


ITEP’s support for our students doesn’t stop at graduation. Through our expanding Alumni Network, we continue to engage students and provide them with career resources, job opportunities, internships, and conferences like the PortTechLA Expo.

Thank you, Jeff and Herb, for making this experience possible. We are excited to see where these young people will go and know that this opportunity only intensified their aspirations for the future. Go green generation!

PortTechLA is a public/private non-profit technology center and business incubator operated by a coalition consisting of the City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles and the San Pedro and Wilmington Chambers of Commerce. Its mission is to attract and mentor companies with technologies that will enable the Port of Los Angeles, and ports worldwide, to meet their immediate and future environmental, energy, security and logistics goals.

1 Comment

Filed under Banning High School, GESA

One response to “GESA alums explore green growth at the port… and meet the Mayor!

  1. Carol rowen

    Terrific. What a great job you and your ITEP Board and ITEP staff are doing.

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