Founding UNITE-LA Partners Honored at 25th Anniversary Celebration

During UNITE-LA's 25th anniversary celebration, we were honored to recognize our three founding entities with awards, represented by organizational leaders. The City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) were awarded for their pivotal role in founding UNITE-LA in 1998, and for continued partnership throughout our 25 years. Without these three institutions, UNITE-LA and partners would not be able to make such significant strides in improving education and opportunities for students across the region.

The event, held at L.A. Trade-Technical College (LATTC), brought together leaders, educators, students and community members to commemorate the enduring legacy of UNITE-LA's initiatives, including the L.A. Compact.

  • The City of Los Angeles was honored for its unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration between local governments, educational institutions and community organizations. Lisa Salazar, who serves as General Manager of the Youth Development Department for the City of Los Angeles and is a member of UNITE-LA's Board of Directors, accepted the award on behalf of the city. Lisa Salazar highlighted the importance of the Compact's convener role, which has brought together cross-sector leadership, including from government, local school districts, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations, to make accelerated progress for young people.

  • LACCD, represented by the Board of Trustees President David Vela, was recognized for its invaluable role in collaborative efforts to ensure all students can complete a postsecondary education, whether a vocational certificate, apprenticeship, associate degree, bachelor’s degree or higher. President David Vela highlighted the ways that the L.A. Compact has played a vital role in preparing students for higher education, and LACCD’s role in the development of the Los Angeles College Promise Program. Since L.A. College Promise welcomed its first cohort in 2017, the program has served more than 25,000 students, providing free tuition, priority enrollment, financial support and a dedicated support team.

  • LAUSD, the nation's second-largest school district, was represented by Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. The District was awarded a Founders Award to acknowledge its instrumental role in improving the connection between K-12 education and postsecondary institutions. Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho reiterated LAUSD's commitment to strengthening student outcomes through partnerships with the L.A. Community College District and the City of Los Angeles, which he expanded upon during a fireside chat held immediately following the ceremony. We are grateful for the Superintendent's efforts to expand key L.A. Compact priorities, including LAUSD's commitment to leveraging dual enrollment opportunities which enables students to jumpstart earning college credits before they graduate high school. We also look forward to seeing LAUSD further integrate families, businesses and community-based organizations into school campuses. Through building partnerships, we anticipate seeing an increase in the accessibility of student-centered resources. Thank you, Superintendent Carvalho!

These Founders Awards symbolize the enduring commitment of cross-sector partners to the L.A. Compact's mission. UNITE-LA is so grateful to the numerous partners who have trusted us for the last 15 years to create space for collaboration, setting the table for courageous leaders to make big ideas happen for our students. We look forward to making more progress with partners in the coming years.

For more information, please reach out to Carrie Lemmon, Vice President of Systems Change Strategy, at [email protected].

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