LIFT-Los Angeles’ Third Annual Backpack Drive

By LIFT on August 15, 2018

Categories: Events, Our Work, Personal Well-Being, Social Connections

The new school year is upon us, and that means students and parents all over the country are gathering up their supplies to prepare for the year ahead. Last week, LIFT-Los Angeles hosted its third annual Backpack Drive to ensure that our LIFT families and their children were set up for success this year. Thanks to generous donations from CBS Interactive and ICM Partners, we distributed 130 backpacks to 60 LIFT members and their children.

True to LIFT’s two-generation focus, the day offered valuable programming for parents as well as their children. While LIFT kiddos took part in craft activities, parents gathered to hear from two education experts with powerful messages.

Sergio Hernandez, Director of Events at City Year, opened the parent program. Sergio shared his experience of being an undocumented student, and the journey he went through to become the first Latino president of his high school and the first in his family to obtain a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Isidro Armenta was up next. Isidro is the Manager of Family and Community Engagement at Ednovate, a network of USC affiliated public charter schools helping families reach their educational dreams. Isidro spoke of his efforts to contribute to his community through endeavors that help children and families reach their full potential.

Both Sergio and Isidro shared insights into how our members can support their children in setting their own educational goals and to dream big. They also helped our members to better understand how best to advocate on behalf of their children in their schools and to connect their children to resources and programs like extracurricular and afterschool programs.

Hearing these two inspirational speakers helped our LIFT members shift their perceptions about their own educational goals. Some members commented that they intended to go back to school to obtain their GED, while others began to think about higher education – goals that they can continue to strive for with the support of their LIFT coach.

Meanwhile, our incredible volunteers facilitated activities for the children. Creating and decorating their own piggy banks, the LIFT kiddos were encouraged to think about what they wanted to save for. The responses were heartwarming, with one child expressing his intention to help his parents buy a house!

Thank you to all of the families in attendance as well as our partners, CBS Interactive and ICM Partners, for donating the backpacks full of supplies. A big shout out to LIFT-Los Angeles Board Member Carrie Southworth Johnson and all of the volunteers who gave so generously of their time. It is events like these that empower our families to reach their full potential, and we couldn’t have done it without your support!

See photos from the event over on Flickr.

This blog post was written by Linda Rosen, a 2018 development intern at LIFT-Los Angeles.