Category Archives: Banning High School

And in the Last Quarter of 2015…

The last months of 2015 have flown, and 2016 is off to a fantastic start as we count down to the 16th Annual Scholarship Dinner, Oceans of Opportunity, set for Thursday, April 7, 2016. Save the date!

However, before we dive further into 2016, we’d like to share some of the great stories that made the last quarter of 2015 memorable. We thank you for everything you’ve done to help. ITEP students ended 2015 on a high note.

OCTOBER 2015

ITEP-2015 GPS FUTURE-CSUDHOur largest student outreach event, GPS Your Future, enabled almost 600 ITEP students to explore careers in maritime, finance, security, STEM, and the local trades (just to name a few) in an expanded expo hall and breakout sessions at CSU Dominguez Hills. Our industry partners shared insights with ITEP-supported career pathways in Barstow, Carson, Downey, Gardena, Harbor City, Los Angeles, San Pedro, and Wilmington. In total, 31 exhibitors, 34 speakers, and 9 sponsors joined us for the 6th annual career exploration event.

We would like to thank our event sponsors: California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), California Community Colleges – Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy hosted by Long Beach City College, Watson Land Company, Los Angeles World Airports, Real Property Collaborative, Los Angeles Harbor College, Bank of America, Comerica, and Santa Monica College.


 

ITEP-JA-Finance Park-Gardena High SchoolMore than 70 ITEP students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy learned the importance of financial responsibility at the Junior Achievement of Southern California Finance Park! In a real-life setting of stores, shops, and financial institutions, students learned about every day budgeting and the importance of making sound financial decisions.

Thank you, Junior Achievement of Southern California, for the opportunity to participate in this great event and for your continued support and partnership.


 

ITEP-DUSD-CCPT-2015ITEP began working with the Downey Unified School District (DUSD) to support the transformation of their career education programs district-wide. MADE: A Career Initiative launched in October 2015 and brought together the entire DUSD (elementary, middle, and high schools), the city of Downey, local businesses, and ITEP.

DUSD is a recipient of the California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) grant, and has subcontracted with ITEP to provide intermediary services such as internships. Our team is currently working with the DUSD and local partners to lead the development of an internship program that will be exclusive for Downey area youth.

“We are excited to expand upon the strong reputation we have built working with our LAUSD schools and move into a district-wide consultant role for Downey,” said Amy Grat, ITEP CEO.


 

ITEP-welcome banquets-Banning High SchoolEvery fall, ITEP freshmen receive a formal introduction to their pathways through Welcome Banquets. For Phineas Banning High School, this meant hundreds of new and bright faces in 5 pathways! All new students received a brief overview of ITEP, and opportunities/events available to them. The events also allow freshmen to practice their networking and team-building skills through activities and one-to-one interactions with ITEP staff and industry partners that serve as advisory board members, speakers, mentors, and internship providers.


 

ITEP-California Maritime Academy-Banning High School-Port of LATwenty-six ITEP students from Banning High School’s Global Safety & Security (GSS) Academy participated in the annual five-day trip to California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) in Vallejo, CA. Our 10th and 11th grade students imagined many maritime dreams, and completed basic safety training alongside Steve Mangold from the Port of Los Angeles, ITEP volunteer and GSS advisory board member.

Thank you, Metro Ports, for funding this field trip for 10 years running!


 

ITEP-PASHA-Banning High School-ITA-NYLF-2015Eighteen ITEP students from Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF). This year’s theme was National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense. The six-day program prepared students for careers in defense, intelligence, and the diplomatic corps through a career fair, work site visits, and real-world simulations

We’d like to express our gratitude to Jeff Burgin and the entire PASHA team, who have sponsored this trip for the past 14 years!


NOVEMBER 2015

ITEP-Kevin Oliphant-Sedgwick-Carson High School-GBLGKevin Oliphant from Sedgwick visited ITEP students from Carson High School’s Global Business Law and Government (GBLG) pathway. Thirty-three students from GBLG’s Virtual Enterpise learned about Kevin’s career track, and received information on budgeting, financial analysis, and forecasting.

Thank you, Kevin and Sedgwick for investing in our students.


 

ITEP-Linked Learning-United Way-City National Bank-Dorsey High School-BCAMITEP and its Linked Learning partner, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, connected 26 students from Dorsey High School’s Business and Culinary Arts Management (BCAM) pathway with 8 City National Bank employees to learn about their career tracks in culinary arts, marketing, finance, digital production, event planning, and IT. Events like these that show students that bankers are not the only prominent figures in a financial institution.

A special thank you to City National Bank for showing students the way up! We are also grateful for our extraordinary partner, United Way.


 

ITEP-Carson High School-ESET-Tesoro-Republic ServicesITEP students from Carson High School’s Environmental Science Engineering and Technology (ESET) pathway mixed things up by coordinating a different type of welcome banquet for their freshmen. The “Prep For Success” Retreat welcomed 120 freshmen and 30 seniors to the South Coast Botanical Gardens. The all-day retreat allowed students to learn more about ESET and build their communication, leadership, and team building skills. These freshmen are on their way to high school success!

We would like to thank Tesoro and Republic Services who sponsored student swag for the event. We’d also like to acknowledge our host, the South Coast Botanical Gardens and last, but not least, Ms. Tammy Bird, lead teacher at Carson High School, and all staff/chaperones who support our students and staff year-round.


 

ITEP-LAWA-Day of Discovery-Carson High School-ESETTwenty-five ITEP students from Carson High School’s Environmental Science Engineering and Technology (ESET) pathway attended Day of Discovery presented by the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). Students interacted with more than 26 aviation-related companies and heard from General Kevin P. Chilton, Space Shuttle Endeavour Pilot, and Space Shuttle Atlantis Commander.

We’d like to thank LAWA for coordinating and inviting us to this wonderful event. We’d also like to acknowledge General Chilton for sharing his story about driving the Endeavour into space, and giving our students a special shout-out during the event.


 

ITEP-Jorge Martinez-Global Pro Logistics-Gardena High School-GLAITEP students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy heard from Jorge Martinez of Global Pro Logistics, and learned about Microsoft Office skills necessary to excel in any workplace. The presentation was part of “Ctrl+Alt+Del,” Workshop 2 of our 2016 Internship Program. In total, 134 potential interns will compete with their peers for summer internships this year!

Thank you, Jorge and Global Pro Logistics for dedicating time and resources to Gardena High School.


 

ITEP-22nd Annual Policy Conference-POLA-POLB-Carson-GardenaTeachers from Carson and Gardena High Schools joined ITEP staff at the Pat Brown Institute’s 22nd Policy Conference, “The Ports of LA and Long Beach: Links in a Chain.” The event is aimed at bringing additional light to the ports and supply chain world – industries that are unexplored by many, yet do so much to drive our local economies. We learned much in speeches from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, as well as the numerous industry panels.


 

ITEP-USCG-Day of Discovery 2015-Photographer RHuezoOur 7th Annual Day of Discovery event took place at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Terminal Island and proved to be our largest to date! More than 320 ITEP students from Barstow, Carson, Gardena, Phineas Banning (Wilmington), and San Pedro High Schools attended. New participants included Narbonne High School (Harbor City) and Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School (Carson) along with a new ITEP-supported business-themed pathway in San Pedro High School.

A total of 10 displays/demonstrations were available for exploration and represented U.S. Coast Guard careers in the areas of Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Medicine, Emergency Response, and Navigation.

We were also thrilled to welcome the Daily Breeze on the base. The paper included a short photo gallery of the event on their webpage. You can view it here.

Click here to view more event photos on our Facebook Page!

Special thank you to LTJG Shaun Doyle, Captain Jennifer Williams, and the rest of our Coastie friends at the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.


 

ITEP-United Way LA-Homewalk 2015ITEP staff participated in United Way’s 2015 HomeWalk and raised $1,042 to help end veteran homelessness in Los Angeles. Go ITEP team and United Way!


DECEMBER 2015

ITEP-2nd annual ITA Business Entrepreneurship Expo-Banning High School-ITAITEP students from Phineas Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) kicked off the 2nd annual ITA Business Entrepreneurship Expo. The event was created to prepare ITEP students for this year’s Virtual Enterprise Business Competition, set to take place in February. Students split up into teams and were given 60 seconds to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges. Each judge evaluated student groups in the following areas: marketing/sales, HR, elevator pitches, business plans, and website design.

We’d like to thank our business volunteers and supporters who contributed to the event’s success: Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Phillips 66, Port of Los Angeles Port Pilots, and Yusen Logistics.


 

ITEP-Narbonne High School-Business and Technology Pathway-Holiday Mixer 2015First the harbor, and now Harbor City! In early December, we celebrated our newly added Business and Technology career pathway at Narbonne High School with a holiday-themed mixer.

This new career pathway will follow the ITEP model and bring career awareness, career exploration, career training, and paid work experience to 418 students in the first year! Additionally, curriculum will be aligned to meet the pathway needs as well. Read more about the event here.

We’d like to acknowledge Los Angeles Harbor College, the Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce, LAUSD school district, and Narbonne High School teachers (especially our new lead teacher, Mrs. Carol Shaw-Loose) and staff for all their support and hard work. We’re ready to accomplish great things with these bright Gauchos!


 

ITEP-Ports America-West Basin Container Terminal-San Pedro High School-GEHFor the 3rd year, West Basin Container Terminal LLC (WBCT) and its parent company, Ports America, welcomed ITEP students from San Pedro High School’s Global Environmental House (GEH) to their terminal for a holiday luncheon, employee raffle, and exclusive tour. Students lunched with WBCT staff – clerks, managers, longshoremen, etc. Moreover, all proceeds raised from the employee raffle directly benefit our Pirates- $6,101 in total!

For many harbor area students, this was their first time exploring the working world that enables thousands of goods to move in and out of the Port of Los Angeles – and it’s all in their backyard.

We’re extremely grateful to call Ports America a lead partner. Their generosity goes above and beyond the classroom and into the community where so many of our youth are curious to explore their future careers. Thank you, WBCT and Ports America!


 

ITEP-thank you

We are so grateful for the outpouring of generosity from our supporters to the 2015 year-end fundraising campaign. This year’s contributions wildly exceeded our expectations – your donations surpassed the 2014 campaign by more than 500%! What an incredible way to end the month and year! Thank you!


 

ITEP-staff-Carson-Christmas 2015The stories and successes you are reading about here were made possible because of you. Your support has fueled our continued growth – we moved to a larger office space last summer and our team continues to grow to support the 88% increase of students in our network over the last school year.

We look forward to partnering with you in 2016 to inspire more college and career dreams.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Dorsey High School, Downey High School, Gardena High School, ITEP, Narbonne High School, Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School, San Pedro High School

Five Things Students Learned at Our Annual “GPS Your Future” Event

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Expo hall at CSU Dominguez Hills filled with ITEP students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

Take charge of today and plan for tomorrow. Earlier this fall, this is exactly what over 580 ITEP students did during our annual GPS Your Future event, held at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Here are the 5 things our students learned during the event:

1. It’s never too early to network
ITEP students explored our biggest expo hall to date! With more exhibitors this year than ever before (31 total), students had the opportunity to explore a variety of booths manned by great event sponsors and supporters like the Port of Los Angeles, Bank of America, Long Beach City College, SoCalGas, DoubleTree Hotel Carson, and trades represented by Ironworkers Local Union 416 and Pile Drivers Local 2375.

Hard hats and suits came together to educate our young leaders on life after high school and career options in their communities. Students who envisioned following one career path left the day curious to explore a new track. One ITEP student from Phineas Banning High School revealed that he was always interested in becoming an engineer, but after speaking with a U.S. Coast Guard representative, he is considering a new career.

2. Let the fear go and ask questions
Students (and even some professionals) are often afraid to ask questions. Our thoughts sometimes get the best of us and we hold back and the exploration process stops. GPS Your Future was created to spark curiosity and give students a forum to begin navigating and discovering a brighter future. In order to help the exploration process, all ITEP students and exhibitors participated in a “Ticket to Success” activity. Each student received a “ticket” that was filled with a sticker every time they asked a compelling question to an exhibitor. At the end of the event, the top three students who collected the most stickers received a reward. Shout out to Gardena and Dorsey High Schools for asking terrific questions and making the most of our expo hall!

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An exhibitor rewards an ITEP student with a sticker for the “Ticket to Success” activity during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

3. Always dress for success
Will Rogers said it best: “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Even as a high school freshman, you never know whom you might meet at your next field trip or an event like GPS Your Future. ITEP students took note and dressed as young professionals, not typical freshmen. Even our exhibitors and speakers commented on how impressed they were with our students. Check out how sharp they looked!

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ITEP students pose for a picture during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event held at CSUDH.

4. Love what you do, always
Our students heard firsthand life lessons from our keynote speaker, Anthony Pirozzi, Director of Systems Integration, Test and Launch at Boeing. Mr. Pirozzi also serves on the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission and is a San Pedro High School alum. His love for electronics and STEM started at a very young age while fixing televisions with his father. Today, he launches satellites into space.

“I didn’t know I was going to do this… I can put a satellite in space, but I still can’t fix a television. When you’re in something that you love, you find a way to continue to grow and with that comes different rewards,” exclaimed Pirozzi.

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Keynote speaker, Anthony Pirozzi from Boeing, addresses students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

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Jesse Gomez from Boeing, addresses students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

Another Boeing employee, Jesse Gomez, shared the stage with Mr. Pirozzi. Mr. Gomez is a System Engineering Lead and a big STEM proponent. His road to success began while serving in the U.S. Army as a Flight Operations Specialist. Thank you, Boeing for introducing ITEP students to STEM and promoting the success of all youth.

5. Be enthusiastic
Our students were in the best environment to practice great eye contact and firm handshakes. The expanded expo hall allowed for many one-on-one conversations and small breakout rooms provided an intimate classroom atmosphere so that even the most shy attendee felt welcomed. This year, we also utilized CSUDH’s Financial Market Trading and Business Simulation Lab, which enabled students to feel like they were in the middle of Wall Street. A 22-foot-wide LED ticker tape and 110-inch video wall displayed current news from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We’re sure tomorrow’s stockbroker was allured and impressed!

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Two engineers from Tesoro discuss their road to success during a breakout session at ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event. Thank you, Tesoro!

Whether it’s a job in finance, the goods movement, STEM, or hospitality, GPS Your Future makes options visible and attainable for ITEP students. The event is just the beginning of many career dreams. The rest is yet to be written, so stay tuned.

To view additional event photos, please visit our Facebook Page here.

A special thank you to our event sponsors: CSU Dominguez Hills, California Community Colleges-Doing What Matters for Global Trade and Logistics hosted by Long Beach City College, Watson Land Company, Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles Harbor College, Real Property Collaborative, Bank of America, Comerica, and Santa Monica College. 

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Dorsey High School, Downey High School, Gardena High School, Narbonne High School, Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School, San Pedro High School, Warren High School

ITEP Students Rise to the Challenge: Summer Bridge Program

“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.”
-Mark Twain

Public speaking is tough. The most confident adults find it hard to escape their sweaty palms and rapid heartbeat. You’re probably thinking about one of your own nerve-wracking presentations or speeches now. The good news is that we’ve all survived this challenging task and have gained a greater respect for seasoned speakers and rookies alike.

This summer more than 90 students from Phineas Banning and Carson High Schools charmed us with their public speeches. Just look at how sharply they dressed!

Dressed for Success

ITEP students from Banning High School dressed to impress for their Summer Bridge project presentations.

ITEP teamed up with the Center for Powerful Public Schools to support their Summer Bridge Program and introduced incoming freshmen to high school and leadership opportunities. These students researched local businesses (20 total) and collaborated with their classmates to create marketing plans aimed at attracting teen customers.

Students from Carson High School explored eight businesses at Carson’s SouthBay Pavilion Mall while youth from Banning HIgh School discovered businesses within walking distance to their campus. At the end of their research, all student groups presented their recommendations via PowerPoint to a panel of judges consisting of business owners/managers, ITEP industry volunteers, and school faculty.

Woodbury University sponsored a campus tour for Summer Bridge Program participants from Carson High School.

Woodbury University sponsored a campus tour for the Summer Bridge Program participants from Carson High School.

Incoming ITEP freshmen presenting to a room full of students, teachers, parents, and local business panelists.

Incoming ITEP freshmen present to a room full of students, teachers, parents, and local business panelists.

The summer project enabled students to be a part of their business communities, not as teen consumers but as supporters, researchers, and marketers. This was the first of many steps these youth will take to explore the world of work. These students now have a head start in high school and are connected to a community of peers, teachers, and administrators to support their journey during the next four years.

ITEP loves to see parents supporting their children prepare for their future!

ITEP loves to see parents supporting their children as they prepare for their future. Parents are a vital part of the ITEP family!

We’d like to thank the Center for Powerful Public Schools along with our outstanding business participants and volunteers who support our promising youth. The Summer Bridge Program is supported by Linked Learning at LAUSD via funding from the Department of Labor’s Youth Career Connect grant.

Check out our Summer Bridge program students at Carson High on ITEP’s Facebook at: http://on.fb.me/1JS2iFg.

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Filed under Banning High School, Carson High School

Coastie for a Day: Careers at a Berth and Beyond

It’s not every day that you get to meet an intelligence specialist, an electrician, a recruiter, and a K9 unit all on the same day. However, that’s exactly what ITEP students were able to do during ITEP’s Day of Discovery at the U.S. Coast Guard Base, Los Angeles-Long Beach. Students from Barstow, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, and Phineas Banning High Schools spent the day in San Pedro to explore careers offered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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ITEP students explore a U.S. Coast Guard “helo” after it lands on the Los Angeles-Long Beach base during our “Day of Discovery.”

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ITEP students visited stations throughout the base to explore U.S. Coast Guard careers. At this station, students received a demo on the Coast Guard’s role in handling oil spills.

Check out more photos from our recent Day of the Discovery here and don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook Page!

In collaboration with the Coast Guard’s Partnership in Education (PIE) Program and thanks to the great support from PIE Coordinator LTJG Kristen Bradley, ITEP students began their field trip by watching a Coast Guard “helo” (helicopter) land on the base.

After receiving a very warm welcome from the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port Jennifer Williams, students then explored stations throughout the base to learn about search and rescue, emergency response, law enforcement, medical services, navigation, and the branch’s K9 unit. ITEP students were also introduced to Coast Guard Officer Programs available to college students.

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Our great Coastie plays the role of an injured patient while ITEP students work together to place a neck brace on him.

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ITEP students explore the U.S. Coast Guard Boat Station to learn about search and rescue and navigation.

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At this particular station, ITEP students learn about law enforcement and security practices within the U.S. Coast Guard.

When asked what he loved most about ITEP and activities like Day of Discovery, Cristian said, “Getting to meet new people, honestly. Getting to know their stories and all that – how they came to be where they’re at and what they had to go through to become who they are now. That’s what I love the most.”

“I learned a lot about the Coast Guard… You have a lot of opportunities available for you. There’s a little bit more freedom than any other branches… I really, really like this place,” he added. Cristian is a current ITEP Junior from Barstow High School’s Mojave Express Logistics Academy (MXP).

 We thank our Coasties for showing ITEP students that there are men and women in uniform who care about their futures and the endless careers that wait for them at a berth and beyond.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Mojave XP

ITEP Students Dive Into STEM with Underwater Robots

They dove and they swam – underwater robots that is!

On April 17th, we celebrated the completion of ITEP’s first Underwater Robotics Program. A total of 22 ninth graders from Banning High School completed the 8-week program that was funded by Phillips 66 and supported by the Pacific Battleship Center – Battleship USS Iowa.

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ITEP students from Banning High School’s first Underwater Robotics Program show off their robots to family and guests during their Culmination Ceremony at the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA.

Check out more photos from the Culmination Ceremony here and don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook Page. 

Students were divided into seven groups to construct their underwater robots, from concept to completion using SeaPerch kits. The program also included three, after-school field trips and one overnight trip at the Battleship USS Iowa. During the field trips, students learned about the naval history of battleships, tested their knowledge of the metric system, learned how to calculate ocean turbidity and depth, and explored marine radar. Keep in mind that these aspiring engineers are only in ninth grade!

First adventure aboard the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA. Students received an overview of the history of the battleship and tested their knowledge of the metric system.

First adventure aboard the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA. Students received an overview of the history of the battleship and tested their knowledge of the metric system.

I think that it’s an experience that I would’ve never gotten if I wasn’t in this particular program,”  said Viviana Gallardo, freshman at Banning High School. . . . Actually having that hands-on experience instead of people just coming over and describing it, gave me more of a push to kinda look into majors aside from what I’m thinking of right now. I’m actually thinking about or looking into an engineering major.”

Viviana originally planned to study psychology, receive a PhD, and become a child psychologist. Her advice to future program participants: “Keep an open mind about engineering.”

Mike Haworth, an engineer from Phillips 66, helped students improve their robot assembly by providing tips on waterproofing and soldering for underwater operation.

Mike Haworth [RIGHT], an engineer from Phillips 66, helped students improve their robot assembly by providing tips on waterproofing and soldering for underwater operation.

During their second field trip to the USS Iowa, ITEP students learned how to calculate two of the most important nautical measurements: ocean turbidity and depth.

During their second field trip to the USS Iowa, ITEP students learned how to calculate two of the most important nautical measurements: ocean turbidity and depth.

During their third field trip, ITEP students were introduced to the world of radar - how radar is used on ships, as well as during battle. The field trip also included exclusive access to the Command Engagement Center, where war plans were once created.

During their third field trip, ITEP students were introduced to the world of radar – how radar is used on ships, as well as during battle. The field trip also included exclusive access to the Command Engagement Center, where war plans were once created.

ITEP students test their underwater robots at Banning High School.

ITEP students test their underwater robots at Banning High School.

ITEP would like to thank our sponsor and supporters (listed below) for their immense support. We look forward to creating more college and career dreams in STEM. 

The Phillips 66 Team: Janet Grothe, Nancy Perez, and Michael Haworth

Mike Getscher and Joshua Stutz from the Pacific Battleship Center – Battleship USS Iowa

Banning High School Faculty & Administration: Principal Rudy Mendoza, Dominic Lackey, and Marci Lischer

Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi, Port of Los Angeles

Office of Councilman Joe Buscaino, City of L.A., District 15

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Filed under Banning High School, Maritime Scholars, PATHS

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

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