Our Thanksgiving luncheon is a special annual tradition for the Getty House Foundation, where we open our doors to a group of our neighbors in need of a hot meal and a helping hand.
As in the past, we welcomed veterans and formerly homeless families for a feast and a chance to share their stories with a community of their fellow Angelenos. This year, we were also fortunate to be joined by residents of El Puente — L.A.’s first bridge housing site under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “A Bridge Home” program. For the first time in months or even years, El Puente residents have a place to shower and sleep, a roof over their heads and a pillow underneath them, and the support they need to make a fresh start in life.
Mayor Garcetti, First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, GHF Board Members and their families were on hand to serve meals, while the Skid Row Choir brought down the house with the healing power of music.
Click here to learn more about ways you can help homeless Angelenos this holiday season.
Do you remember your first time on a plane? How about the first time you wandered the streets of another country, or found yourself face to face with a wonder of the world? These are some of the stories we heard from an extraordinary group of community college students who traveled abroad this summer — free of charge — through the Mayor’s Young Ambassador Initiative (MaYA), at a launch event hosted by the Getty House Foundation.
Established by Mayor Garcetti’s Office of International Affairs, MaYA’s goal is to connect young Angelenos with the international community, and expose them to global opportunities at home and abroad. To kick off the program, 23 students who qualify for free tuition under L.A.’s College Promise spent a week in Mexico and Egypt zip-lining over waterfalls, riding camels among the Great Pyramids, volunteering at an orphanage for children with disabilities, and making friends from all walks of life. But traveling abroad left them with more than great memories — the Young Ambassadors returned to Los Angeles as confident, engaged representatives of our City, with a new international perspective that will guide them for years to come.
MaYA’s debut comes two years after stakeholders and student leaders gathered here with the Getty House Foundation to celebrate the launch of L.A.’s College Promise, an historic pledge to make community college tuition-free for every hardworking LAUSD graduate. While the program so far has been a tremendous success for the Garcetti Administration, it’s always had a two-fold mission: to put higher education in reach for every Angeleno, and to give L.A.’s students all of the life-changing opportunities that accompany a college education. “Traveling abroad shouldn’t just be for students from certain economic backgrounds,” said First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland. “All young people should have the chance to be exposed to new ideas and innovations,” — and experience the unique languages, cultures, and societies that exist beyond our borders.
There was plenty to celebrate, but also so much to look forward to — in January, the next group of Young Ambassadors will head to Japan, as part of MaYA’s goal to send 100 College Promise students abroad in 2019. American Airlines has also graciously stepped up to become MaYA’s official airline partner — sponsoring flights for all trips for the next five years.
For more information, and to apply future travel programs, visit LAMayor.org/MaYA.
Young Ambassador Student Panelists:
- Griselda Mendoza, Los Angeles City College
- Elizabeth Lopez, Pierce College
- Iman Elijah Zeinali, Pierce College
- Cassandra Camorlinga, Los Angeles Valley College
When Team USA arrived in Munich for the 1972 Summer Olympics, only 84 of the 400 American athletes were women. Fast-forward to Rio in 2016: women outnumbered men 294-264, and outmedaled them 61-55. Had our female athletes competed as their own nation, they would have placed third overall, and tied for first in the gold medal count. That extraordinary success means one thing: we cannot stop fighting for equal representation in youth sports, because more girls — especially in our lowest-income communities — need to be empowered to pursue their own athletic greatness.
Each journey to the medal stand begins somewhere — summer camps, varsity teams, endless nights on neighborhood courts — and thanks to Title IX, discrimination doesn’t have to stand in the way of those dreams. So for our annual Title IX Day celebration, the Getty House Foundation teamed up with Nike — as well as Misty May-Treanor, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Angela Davis, and Gina Rodriguez — to help hundreds of middle school girls be fearless, have fun, and find their inner champion.
Ten years from now, the world will turn its eyes to Los Angeles for the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad — and in 2028, we want to showcase a city where no child is left on the bench because of her gender, race, ZIP code, or physical challenges.
To learn more about girls’ sports programming in your community, visit laparks.org/sports/gpla.
- Misty May-Treanor, three-time Olympic gold medalist volleyball player
- Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic bronze medalist fencer
- Angela Davis, USA Track & Field five-time All-American and motivational coach
- Gina Rodriguez, actor