Tag Archives: Susannah Emami

The UK Comes to LA with British Consulate’s Visit to Gardena High School

On May 1st, over 25 students from Gardena’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) ventured across the pond  to the United Kingdom from the comfort of their third period Government class.

British-Consulate-Visit-GGLA-2

GGLA Advisory Board Chair and Director at BNY Mellon, Rob Vickery, shares UK fun facts with students.

The UK came to GLA in the form of a special visit by Ying Yee, Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate in LA. With the help of GGLA Advisory Board Chair, Rob Vickery, who is also the Director of Wealth Management at BNY Mellon, our high-profile visitor immersed GGLA  into the UK culture and an introduction to international careers. Students learned about the role of the British Consulate in Los Angeles and throughout the world, and the importance of learning emerging languages like Mandarin and Spanish.

Did you know that over 300 languages are spoken in Great Britain?

British-Consulate-Visit-GGLA-3

Ying Yee, Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate in LA talks about the Foreign Service and international careers.

Gardena High School students played both tourists and hosts. In the days leading to Ms. Yee’s presentation, students prepared for the private group discussion by organizing marketing pitches for Great Britain and learning the basics of global economics. Now the time had come to present, and despite a few ‘ums’ and shaky voices, you couldn’t help but feel proud of our young people, representing their school to their global visitor wearing bow ties and business skirts.

A temporary escape from the ordinary classroom laid the foundation for a global perspective.

British-Consulate-Visit-GGLA-5

Two Gardena High School students present to their special guest and classmates. Subjects covered by students ranged from the life of Winston Churchill to the UK Legislative Branch.

“I think one thing I learned is that by making connections now, they always lead to other connections later down the path… The future looks bright,” said Cameron, student presenter and Gardena High School senior.

“I want to go into bio-engineering,” added Cameron. The tall, JROTC officer said this proudly, but now had a global view of the job. “… Maybe helping out a different country’s government in terms of science, policies – helping their people get what they need. I feel as though that would be a very good field for me.”

British-Consulate-Visit-GGLA-9

Cameron, JORTC cadet and Gardena High School student, talks with Ms. Yee and GGLA support staff.

Then there was Helen, who was contemplating the medical field. Ms. Yee’s speech on international careers and the Foreign Service seemed to come at a fitting time. As a senior, she was captivated by the promise of travel and assistance to other individuals, possibly through a future role in an embassy.

“…It really opened my eyes to a whole new different world that I wasn’t aware of… It actually made me change my mind on what I want to do… I like helping people… and I always thought a way to help a person was through the medical field. Now I’m thinking of psychology or religious studies to learn about other cultures,” said Helen.

British-Consulate-Visit-GGLA-7

Gardena High School students network with Ms. Yee after her presentation.

An imaginary trip of sorts was the beginning of something bigger.

“I’m really glad my classmates got involved, and I thought it was a privilege, so thank you,” said Helen with a bubbly smile.

ITEP students are natural-born explorers and travelers.

Help us build the next set of global citizens and scholars. Visit the ITEP website to see how you can get involved. 

For event photos, visit the ITEP Facebook Page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gardena High School, GGLA

ITA students build towers tall and soar spirits high


On Friday, October 7, over 140  juniors and seniors, along with teachers and ITEP business partners from the International Trade Academy (ITA) at Phineas Banning High School welcomed incoming sophomores with the challenge of building the tallest tower and the call to take responsibility for their own academic and career success at the very first ITA “Earning The Right” Conference.

Traditionally, this event has been an informal party; however, this year, ITA Lead Teacher Leticia Finley and ITA Advisory Board Member Akary Busto of Lloyds TSB International traded the cake and karaoke for an afternoon of team-building activities, motivational presentations, and networking with alumni and board members.  The overall theme of the Conference was that students cannot sit back and expect things to be given to them, but must work actively to “earn the right” to partake in the many opportunities available through ITA.

The highlight of the Conference was Business Keynote Speaker, Rob Vickery, who shared his own career journey from an economically challenged upbringing in Cornwall, England to his current role as U.S. Director at Lloyds TSB International.  Vickery described both his successes and his failures along the way and challenged the students to embrace adversity and never take no for an answer. “No mission is mission impossible.”

Among the most powerful experiences available to ITA students is the opportunity for seniors to participate in the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) in Washington, D.C.   For 11 years, Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals (PST) has generously sponsored this program, enabling hundreds of ITA students to experience a world far beyond Wilmington.  Nancy Perez, alumna from the Class of 2011, presented David VanWaardenburg and Peggy Barteske of Pasha with the Above and Beyond Award in recognition of their generous and continued support.

After enjoying a delicious lunch prepared by the MATCH Academy and served by ITA alumni, students and ITEP Advisory Board members participated in a team-building exercise.  Each team was given a bag of supplies with the goal of making the tallest tower out of cups and paper. But, there was a twist:  each group received a slightly different set of building supplies.  ITA teacher Marlene Mendez facilitated the discussion afterwards. “…the point was to challenge them to work with what they had.  Life isn’t fair… it’s about working with the tools you are given… it’s not about a competition, it’s about working together” said Mendez.

Attending the event as honored guests were ITEP business partners from the Port of Los Angeles, Conoco Phillips, U.S. Department of Transportation, Fast Lane Transportation, Los Angeles Harbor College, and Lloyds TSB International.  Students also had the opportunity to visit booths and speak with representatives from the United States Coast Guard, Los Angeles Harbor College, Cal State Dominguez Hills and USC.

ITEP would like to thank Rob Vickery, not only for his inspirational remarks, but also for Lloyds’ generous sponsorship, which made possible the delicious food and delightful décor.  Many thanks as well to Leticia Finley, Akary Busto, and the ITA student leaders who put together a phenomenal event that will set the tone for the rest of the Academy experience.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banning High School, ITA

MATCH welcomes students with food, fun, and FHA!

MATCH Alumni returned to their roots to support incoming sophomores during the MATCH Welcome Banquet last Thursday hosted by MATCH Academy seniors. Richard Tucker, 2011 summer intern for Friendship Transport, Inc., and Evelin Cortez, 2011 summer intern for Tesoro, emceed the Banquet. The incoming sophomores received a great introduction to MATCH’s award-winning program and the business leaders from companies including the Port of Los Angeles, International Cargo Equipment, PCC Logistics, and Good Source Solutions, who work diligently to support them.

New this year, board members attended a private mixer before the Banquet for an opportunity to speak with MATCH faculty about their challenges and needs in the classroom. Immediately following, the group headed to the Banquet where they mixed and mingled with the new class, and reconnected with  junior and seniors who they were already well acquainted with. “It is such a pleasure to watch students, like Richard Tucker, develop into confident role models for the younger classes. In a true example of the success of our program, I am excited to see the sophomores grow throughout the next three years.” – Susie Emami, MATCH Program Manager.
 

The Banquet featured a presentation by Culinary Arts instructor Virginia Marsoobian of the Future Homemakers of America-Home Economics Related Occupations (FHA Hero) Program. Students engage in local, regional and state competitions in various culinary arts categories such as commercial food preparation and culinary arts displays. These competitions allow MATCH students the opportunity to use lessons learned inside the classroom and apply them in a fun and creative way. MATCH students have been competing since 2005 and have enjoyed a great deal of success.


MATCH alumni were on hand to welcome the new sophomores and offer words of wisdom. They explained how participating in MATCH and competing in the FHA Hero competitions changed their lives.  Many have attended or are attending culinary programs throughout the U.S. on substantial scholarships won through the various competitions. Alumni who came to the banquet included Amber Jones, class of 2007, who received a scholarship to attend culinary school in Vermont, and Richard Aguero, class of 2007, who received an $85,000 scholarship to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Special thanks go out to MATCH Lead Teacher Janet Furuya for putting on such an enjoyable event and Patricia Scott, of LAUSD, for her continued support. With dedicated faculty, industry support, and alumni who come back again and again, it is obvious the MATCH Academy “family” bond is very strong. Here’s to another great year of fun, learning, and culinary excellence!

~Food Network Star Jaime Oliver interviewed Rigo Salas, another successful MATCH alumni! Check out the article here!

Leave a comment

Filed under Banning High School, MATCH