We are excited to announce that JLOCC won the Colgate Community Impact Award at the 2017 AJLI Annual Conference earlier this month. JLOCC was recognized for our 30+ year commitment to foster youth, our work with Orangewood Children’s Home, the Orangewood Foundation, and the Samueli Academy. Sara Young and Maria de Vera-Suarez accepted the award on behalf of JLOCC. To get more information about our partnership with the Orangewood Foundation and the Samueli Academy, please visit our website.
The purpose of the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Community Impact Award is to recognize League projects that concretely illustrate the Junior League tradition of achieving significant community impact through collaboration. Successful community impact is rooted in a League’s ability to respond creatively to needs in a community that are unmet or underserved through the inspired efforts of Junior League members as powerful leaders for community change. The program must achieve long-lasting measurable results that are significantly the result of the skilled work of trained volunteers working in partnership with community agencies. The award will recognize up to two Junior Leagues each of whom will receive $10,000.
From the Award:
Building on a longstanding partnership with Orangewood Foundation, JLOCC eagerly supported Orangewood’s initiative to establish a residential high school for foster and underserved youth providing a safe, consistent school experience. Research demonstrates that the foster youth dropout rate is unacceptably high and without foundational education, there is increased risk of homelessness, joblessness, criminal activity, or victimization through human trafficking. The Samueli Academy started with a vision of giving foster youth and at-risk youth a chance for success.
JLOCC was invited as a partner in 2006, the earliest stage, and worked to identify and support relevant community issues while the Academy secured land, gained a charter, and opened its doors in 2013. JLOCC leadership effectively cast the vision and value of this school to its members, and worked with Orangewood leadership to develop programming cultivating academic support and student engagement.
Having identified the impact the school would have on the students, families, and the community, JLOCC pledged $100,000 in 2009 and an additional $150,000 in 2012 – both pledges were matched through a development campaign resulting in a $500,000 total donation from JLOCC to The Academy.
JLOCC is an indispensable partner to the Academy. Members have been part of each step of the Samueli Academy’s success: walking the neighborhood to secure applicants, supporting mentorship and career-development programs, and providing ongoing financial and womanpower support to extracurricular activities. JLOCC is an integral and permanent voice in planning and strategic development – and is proud to support the first graduating class this spring.