Category Archives: GGLA

Events and News relating to the newest Academy, Global Leadership Academy at Gardena High School in Gardena, CA. For more information on this Academy, contact Program Manager Susie Emami at susie@itepinc.org

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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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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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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