LA’s Best gathered a brilliant collection of educators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists to celebrate the power of education. The entertainer and innovator will.i.am was honored with the Children’s Champion Award for his work with his i.am angel Foundation.
Also, LEGO Education received the Corporate Partner Award, and America and Penelope Cruz (also known as the CyberCode Twins) received the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Will.i.am may be best known to audiences as a member of Black Eyed Peas, with whom he has sold 31 million albums and 58 million singles worldwide, not to mention won 7 Grammys. He’s also worked with superstars such as the late Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, and Hans Zimmer. However, he is also the founder and CEO of i.am+ and the president of the i.am angel Foundation to transform lives through education, inspiration, and opportunity.
I.am angel provides ample financial assistance to young leaders and innovators to complete their post-secondary education. In addition, i.am angel has established i.am.STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to provide underserved elementary and middle school children with learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
Kids have long loved playing with LEGO, and now LEGO Education extends the joy and inspiration with learning experiences that encourage students to become active, collaborative, motivated learners, as they set the foundation for the skills and traits they’ll need for future success. In particular, LEGO’s robotics program is the perfect example of the power of play and the path to innovation. Today’s toys can easily become tomorrow’s breakthroughs.
America and Penelope Cruz together have made a name for themselves as the CyberCode Twins, and they’re known for their range of technical and social-entrepreneurship efforts. Working with the community, they champion diversity and inclusion in STEAM. First-generation American Latinas, they were born in Ramona Gardens public housing in Boyle Heights, right in Los Angeles. They became involved with LA’s Best while attending Murchison Elementary School.
LA’s Best has a long-standing record for providing safe and supervised afterschool education, enrichment, and recreation programs. The program serves more than 25,000 children who lack other resources in the City of Los Angeles. At no cost to parents, LA’s Best provides a safe haven for children ages 5 to 12 at 194 elementary school sites during the crucial afterschool hours. Now, in partnership with Sanford Harmony and National University, LA’s Best will integrate the PreK-6 Sanford Harmony program into its established schools. Sanford Harmony brings social learning to the LA’s Best’s foundation, to the benefit of all the children.
Create values, build skills, and solidify peer relationships: This is the multifaceted goal of the LA’s Best-Sanford Harmony-National University union, and it can only mean a brighter future for LA’s children and, ultimately, everyone around them. It starts here and now.
The event/brunch was held at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica and presented by Sanford Harmony.
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Written by Jane Emery