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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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Students Honored for Show of Will and Perseverance

This is a column dedicated to the philanthropic activities of businesses. High School Student Angela Sanchez didn’t let financial and emotional hardship get in the way of her academic goals. Living at a homeless shelter in Pasadena for 18 months, after struggling with her mother’s bipolar mania and her parent’s break-up, she took the bus each day back to Hoover High in Glendale so she could graduate with her classmates. At the shelter, the mandatory “lights out” policy didn’t keep her from studying. She bargained with staff for extra study time for her advanced placement courses and ultimately found a study spot in a linen closet. She managed to graduate with her class with a 4.0+ GPA along with numerous academic awards, and she’s headed to UCLA in the fall to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Sanchez is among three outstanding high school students who received The Spirit of American Youth Scholarship presented by Caruso Affiliated. The scholarship program, launched earlier this year, provides a $10,000 scholarship to each winning student who has shown commitment to community improvement and dedication to academic excellence. Brandi Seaman, a San Marino High School graduate and Suzanne Stathatos from La Canada High School were also awarded the scholarship. Seaman, who has been a dedicated volunteer, working with pediatric patients, is headed for Scripps College in Claremont where she will major in human biology. Her ultimate goal is to be a pediatrician. Stathatos will be a freshman at Stanford University. A talented trumpet player and a member of the school’s marching and concert band, Stathatos was also a dedicated volunteer at Homeboy Industries, where she worked with former gang members seeking to change their lives. Competing for the scholarship were seniors from public and private schools in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. “These three students embody the spirit, honor and idealism that is reflected in the inspiring bronze statue at the center of The Americana at Brand — `The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves,'” said Rick Caruso, CEO of Caruso Affiliated, in a statement. “Their curiosity and passion for learning, coupled with their creativity and compassion in helping their communities are very impressive, “Caruso said. Cross Promotion Tough economic times often call for creative marketing, cross promotion and partnerships. “Thinking outside the box” is often mutually beneficial, as is the case with Fiamme Restaurant & Bar’s new “Fire Up the Community” program. As a way to support non-profit organizations with their fundraising efforts, the restaurant and music venue based in Thousand Oaks is encouraging non-profit groups to promote their cause by inviting people to dine at the restaurant during select nights, and in turn Fiamme will donate a percentage of the sales that night to their cause. The restaurant has already helped raise funds for groups such as Agoura High School Charger Club, the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura, the Dignity & #381; Memorial Vietnam Wall, the Lilly of the Valley AIDS Organization Mission, and the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, among others. Another Win-Win Similarly, Simi Valley Ford is helping raise money for local schools by inviting customers to visit their dealership and test drive a new Ford on August 20. For every test drive completed, Ford Motor Company will donate $20, up to $6,000 total, to Royal and Simi Valley High Schools in support of special programs. The event called Drive One 4 UR School, will hopefully attract crowds to Simi Valley Ford while allowing the public to support local schools in tough economic times. Each school will receive up to $3,000. Also in pursuit of mutual benefit, California Lutheran University’s Master of Business Administration students will offer free consulting services to local businesses as part of their coursework. Teams of MBA students will help address business owners’ concerns about bookkeeping, financial plans, compensation, marketing, human resources and technology, while getting valuable hands on experience that will further their education. Need for Blood Antelope Valley Hospital is hoping to attract more blood donors this summer by offering incentives. Each person who donates blood at AV Hospital this summer will be entered into a monthly drawing for a prize package. They will receive a rubber duck with a numbered tag and the same number will be entered into the drawing. Drawings will be held on Aug. 25 and Sept. 22 for the prize package. The winning numbers will be posted on the AV Hospital website. Blood donations typically decline during summer months when people leave for vacations or are distracted by other activities. Through these incentives, the hospital is hoping to meet a constant demand. The hospital expects to transfuse approximately 1,500 units of blood this summer. Compiled by Andrea Alegria

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