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2019 Commitment to Community Winners

Three alumni received the Equitas 2019 Commitment to Community Alumni Award. Excerpts from the nominations of this year’s winners:


Leslie J. (Class of 2025)

Leslie is a stellar student at Rise Kohyang High School. She is aware of the community she grew up in and is proud of it. She knows that her community, Pico-Union is currently impacted by gentrification and therefore believes that the people in the community have education as an opportunity to improve their current circumstances.

Her interest on mental health awareness is evident as she spends time in the counseling office discussing the importance of emotional intelligence. She supports one of the counselors by updating the school's "Mindset is Everything" wall. This wall displays a variety of messages on mental health, sexual orientation, identity, healthy relationships, coping mechanisms for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Besides her interest on mental health, Leslie has high grades and wants to attend a four-year university after high school. She knows the impact that a four-year university will have on her, her family, and her community.

Leslie is already taking action on causes that are important to all.


Ellmi G. (Class of 2026)

Ellmi is an exceptional leader at University Prep Value High School. Over the last year, Ellmi has challenged herself academically to take on AP and Honors classes at our campus. In the Summer of 2019, Ellmi and a couple of her peers were nominated to attend the Value Schools Leadership Conference, where she was introduced to numerous leaders of our community, including Terrence James Roberts, who she learned about in Freshmen Seminar. She is currently working with Leadership Council to plan and organize events that give back directly to Pico Union. She currently serves as a committee member for our Everest Value School "We Climb" Campaign. Her work on the campaign has allowed her to attend Neighborhood Council Meetings for Rampart and Pico-Union. At these meetings, she has been asked to speak on behalf of our school and its students.

She is kind and caring to others. She is passionate, enthusiastic, and eager to give back to her community. Above all, Ellmi is a leader at UPVHS.


James G. (Class of 2027)

James is very involved in activities at Ted K. Tajima High School. James has proven that he is capable of handling rigor and is always up for an academic challenge. He advocates for himself and for others. He always is present and involved in volunteer opportunities on Saturdays, such as the Beautification Day that we hosted earlier in the year.