On April 25, teens at Phoenix Academy of Los Angeles celebrated Global Youth Service Day, with posters and presentations documenting community service projects conducted in the previous months at local nonprofits. The award ceremony, attended by parents and guests from the community, featured Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles for Gang Reduction and Youth Development, Guillermo Cespedes, and a representative from one of the nonprofits, Casa Esperanza – Immaculate Heart Community’s Blythe Street Project, Sky Hutchason.
Mr. Cespedes spoke in English and Spanish about the need for service, volunteering and working together to overcome serious societal issues, like addiction and gangs. His connection to Phoenix House dated back to his youth when, as a former foster child, he befriended two graduates from Phoenix House in New York after college who became his mentors and supporters. Their friendship was a great asset in his life and helped him find and sustain a positive direction that eventually led him to his current position. The Deputy Mayor congratulated the youth at Phoenix Academy of Los Angeles for their spirit of sharing and community involvement as demonstrated by their community service projects.
Sky Hutchason spoke about how gratedful the children were at Casa Esperanza who were tutored by teens from Phoenix Academy. The teens at Phoenix House received certificates and talked about their volunteer experiences and how they learned valuable lessons about civic sprit, community, and the importance of work that, as one teen said, “makes the world go around” when everyone does their share.
In the photo: Phoenix Academy students Collin, Luis, Carolina & Maria with Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Guillermo Cespedes.