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October 12, 2016
One of our Beat the Odds scholarship recipients was a featured speaker at the "Women of Color in Leadership: Improving our Communities through Education," presented by the Office of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Empowerment Congress Education Committee, Children's Defense Fund-California, Community Coalition, and LA Promise Fund.
The Sept. 27 event, held at Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ Exposition Park District Office, was a discussion with Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King and Los Angeles County Office of Education Superintendent Debra Duardo. The two discussed being a leader of color and a woman, the importance of partnering with parents and community, and addressing the needs of all students, especially the most vulnerable.
Cierra Gunderson, one of 2016 scholarship winners, shared her story with the crowd and spoke about her challenges of being in the foster care system after losing both parents by the time she was 11.
“It is crucial that foster youth have the support and resources from educators because on top of our personal situations we face, school can be another struggle for us,” she said.