Tag Archives: Banning High School

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

Job Shadow Day 2013: Students Take Local Steps Toward Global Dreams

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SPEA students climb their way up to explore the West Basin Container Terminal and Port of LA.

Spring break 2013 will be another one for the records for ITEP students. “Time off” for our high schoolers meant more than just beach time, movie dates or sleeping in. A total of 60 students from three ITEP-supported academies at Carson, San Pedro and Phineas Banning High Schools, set a new attendance record in the most unlikely of spring break destinations – the business world in their backyards.

ITEP’s Second Annual Job Shadow Day took place on March 25, 2013. Students spent five hours shadowing and learning from technicians, researchers, engineers, and management in the trade, transportation and logistics industries. ITEP Advisory Board Members welcomed students at 16 different facilities. Among them were Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, CalScience Environmental Laboratories, City of Carson, JMC2 Engineering, Ports America, US Coast Guard, Valero Wilmington Refinery, Watson Land Company, West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), and Yusen Logistics.

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GBAC student learns about Watson Land Company operations and industrial development.

Students climbed cranes at Ports America terminals, observed the US Coast Guard’s canines in action and participated in local government meetings, just to name a few of the exciting hands-on opportunities.

“This Job Shadow Program was very beneficial to me because it gave me an insight to the various positions within NOAA that I didn’t know about,” stated Talore, SPEA senior who visited NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). “It definitely opened my eyes to the different career opportunities and possibilities that are available.”

“My favorite part of the site visit was seeing a trained dog in action finding explosives,” said Osvaldo, SPEA junior who spent his day with the US Coast Guard. “I learned a lot of the different ranks in the USCG, and I’ve gotten a clear view of what I would be interested in doing when I join.”

Students prepared for the annual event by completing four workshops on resume writing, job application and cover letter basics, and interviewing skills. The final round involved interviews conducted by ITEP industry Advisory Board Members. The preparation paid off well in the end.

“The students were all professionally dressed and attentive,” stated Mary Gutierrez, GESA Advisory Board Member from Valero Wilmington Refinery. “We enjoyed hosting them and look forward to doing it again next year… I’m impressed with the way ITEP instills in their students the confidence to be comfortable around authority figures.”

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GESA students became scientists at CalScience Environmental Laboratories.

After exploring the Port of Los Angeles with West Basin Container Terminal, San Pedro student, Uriel reported, “I now know the basics of how they keep the port running, and how it comes together like a puzzle.”

How many high school students have the opportunity to don hard hats and walk among cranes and containers to view the inner workings of our global trade infrastructure? How many students get to see the relevance of their science and math classes as they examine petri dishes and work alongside lab scientists? How many of our 16-year-olds get the chance to sit in the corner office and consult with top-level executives? Not enough!

However, thanks to the support of our industry and school partners, and the hardworking ITEP team, 60 students were able to obtain an in-depth look into some of the most exciting and lucrative jobs in their communities and beyond. The exploration begins at the local level – in a city’s backyard – and leads to a global path and career. Join us in making more discoveries happen!

Contact us today to host a future Job Shadow Day , or ask how you can help create additional college and career dreams.

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Ports America welcomed our GESA students with open arms – thank you!

To view more photos from ITEP’s Second Annual Job Shadow Day, head over to our Facebook Page.

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Filed under Banning High School, Carson High School, GBAC, GESA, San Pedro High School, SPEA

MATCH Experiences the Professional Side of Fruit

MATCH-visits-Dole-img1Do you remember the first time you came across the Dole sticker on a banana or other piece of fruit? The memory isn’t a strong one for most – it’s a minimal detail that is expected and unnoticed at the same time. The blue, red and yellow logo has found a natural place in the surfaces of many fruits and if you think about it a little further, visions of plantations and fields come to mind. Among all this imagery, the business side of Dole becomes a little difficult to imagine, yet it exists. Dole is not just a banana company, but a Fortune 500 company and ITEP supporter.

MATCH-visits-Dole-img2Thirty MATCH students from Banning High School traveled to Dole Food Headquarters in Westlake Village (CA) to experience the best of Dole, as a food company and professional entity. The students along with MATCH lead teacher, Janet Furuya, learned that careers at Dole are anything but dull.

“It’s great to show our students different career options and present to them what the corporate world can offer. A lot of these students think they can only work in restaurants, so we wanted to show them there are so many more opportunities available if they work hard and pursue their passion,” stated Janet.

Students met Diana Jansson-Hamilton, Director of Global Trade Compliance and the company’s CFO, Keith Mitchell. The speakers introduced MATCH to the brand story behind Dole, the fresh fruit supply chain and the many job opportunities available – from shipping bananas to writing about them in social media.

Of course, the trip to Dole was not complete without a visit to the company’s own test kitchen. MATCH students tasted the newest company product, Dole Fruit Smoothie Shakers, and had the opportunity to create their own signature Dole juice blends. Product quality tests that check for density, color and taste also took place – a tough job, but MATCH students stepped in with ease to complete the task. Donna Skidmore, Director of Consumer Affairs and Vasso Panag, Laboratory Manager of Dole Packaged Foods were instrumental in making this portion of the trip interesting and interactive – we thank you!

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Dole professionals in Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Marketing and Social Media also addressed the students. Michael Contreras, Digital Marketing Manager, outlined the company’s social media strategy in an impressive presentation. The company uses various social platforms to connect with consumers and build a “Dole community.” Bananas and fruit as a whole were seen in a completely different light. In the end, there was plenty of swag, inspiration and bananas to share. Thank you, Dole.

To read more about MATCH and their visit to Dole, check out our latest newsletter. Sign-up to receive one today and learn about ITEP happenings and the many students that make our communities proud. For more photos on our visit to Dole, check out our Facebook page.

The ITEP team would like to send a warm and special thanks to Diana and Griselda Rapp for coordinating a once-in-a-lifetime Dole experience for our hard-working MATCH students.

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Filed under Banning High School, MATCH

API scores are up!

ITEP congratulates all five high schools  we work with on increasing their API Scores! The Academic Performance Index is an achievement gauge for California public schools based on standardized test results. Carson High School alone improved their score by 37 points for an official API score of 689, the highest score among LAUSD South Bay High Schools! Way to go, Colts! This great achievement is a product of the successful community partnerships among the schools, ITEP, and its industry volunteers.  Together, we are helping our young people think globally and earn locally. Our students rock!

Carson High School API Score for 2012 – 689 (Improvement of 37 over last year’s score 652)

Banning High School API Score for 2012 – 682 (Improvement of 23 over last year’s score 659)

Barstow High School API Score for 2012 – 696 (Improvement of 22 over last year’s score 674)

San Pedro High School API Score for 2012 – 716 (Improvement of 5 over last year’s score 711)

Gardena High School  API Score for 2012 – 633 (Improvement of 15 over last year’s score 61)

“I would like to express my gratitude to ITEP for their support throughout the years at Banning High School and Gardena High School. The support that you give students in the Small Learning Communities through  Community Advisory Boards, career presentations, summer internships, team building activities, and student recognition are the reasons our students stay on task to graduate. The partnership established with ITEP has allowed the resources to create an environment that is personable and nurturing. It is an experience that all students involved in an ITEP Academy will remember for a lifetime. The students that have benefited from the ITEP Academies are making positive contributions in the PORT because of your organization. We salute you, and thank you as we move into yet another exciting year of partnership.” -Rudy  J. Mendoza Principal, Phineas Banning High School

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA

Safe, Secure & Fun: GSS goes behind-the-scenes with Securitas at Universal Studios

GSS students had the ultimate Hollywood experience May 12, 2012 at Universal Studios Hollywood. Thanks to Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. 30 students were able to tour the action-packed amusement park and get a behind-the-scenes look into the complex world of securing Universal Studios’ sprawling, 386-acre property visited by 30,000 visitors per day. GSS students got the full VIP treatment, getting to ride Transformers: The Ride-3D before it opened to the public.

GSS students are well aware of security related careers at the Port of Los Angeles and GSS Advisory Board member Ernie Mendoza, Business Development Manager for Securitas USA wanted to show something different that would motivate and inspire. “It’s important for the students to interact with professionals they can relate to and who work in exciting venues like a major theme park, it gets them excited about their possible future in this career.” GSS learned how the security officers utilized technology, training, and other resources such as teamwork and communications to deliver a customized and complete security solution. Security team members; Watch Commander Axel Herrera, Lt. Jorge Calderon, Officers Marcia Mejia, Deloris Nixon and Hugo Rodriguez, answered many questions and offered generous insight.

This fantastic experience for GSS students is part of a larger partnership between ITEP and Securitas USA. In addition to Ernie Mendoza’s role with GSS, ITEP is also grateful to Ivory Phillips, Area VP for Securitas USA, who sits on the ITEP Board of Directors. Securitas USA is dedicated to their community and is passionate about helping youth. Ernie notes,”Securitas is committed to improving the quality of life and enhancing the communities where our company operates. Students are our future and it is imperative that they are surrounded by people who believe in them and want to see them succeed.”

Thank you, Ernie, for securing this opportunity for GSS; and the Universal Studios Security Team for guiding and mentoring the students. Special thanks to Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. for sponsoring the trip and continuously supporting ITEP. We couldn’t do it without you!

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Filed under Banning High School, GSS

ITA and GGLA “Apprentices” Practice Their Pitches

Dressed for success and ready to compete, sixteen upperclassman from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) and Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) were picked up from school in stretch limousines and whisked downtown to the 26th floor boardroom of the U.S. offices of Lloyds Banking Group, where they squared off in an “Apprentice”-style case competition between Team Disney and Team Apple. The prize was something that even The Donald would agree is invaluable: the skills and self-confidence to pitch a company today…and themselves tomorrow.

Channeling the energy already present in their cross-town football rivalry, Banning and Gardena students battled in the boardroom to prove their business prowess. Each team had been assigned to research either Disney, Apple, or McDonalds and identify the unique selling points (USP’s) for each company. The team with the strongest argument would be chosen as the winner. After being assigned a company, each team worked swiftly to put together a convincing presentation.

Under the careful eyes of Rob Vickery, North America Regional Director for Lloyds TSB International (GGLA Advisory Board member) and Akary Busto, Vice President of Corporate Account management (ITA Advisory Board member), students crafted their selling points to create a persuasive pitch. The aim was to let students take the lead to bolster confidence within the group. “I want to reach those kids at the back of the class that have potential but are too afraid to speak up” said Rob.

Although the competition was intense, the “apprentices” quickly developed a mutual respect for one other and even took the opportunity to do a little networking. By the time the limos pulled up to take them back to campus, everyone agreed that they were all winners. So did the judges, who declared both teams equally deserving of victory.

ITEP is extremely grateful to Rob Vickery, Akary Busto and Lloyds Banking Group for offering our students this phenomenal experience to push themselves to compete and to succeed. “This learning experience has been like no other. I enjoyed communicating with the Gardena students and learning about Lloyds Banking Group,” remarked ITA junior Diana. Thank you Lloyds in helping our students on their journeys!

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Filed under Banning High School, Gardena High School, GGLA, ITA