My grant writing side gig highlighted how complex and unwieldy getting goods and services to people in need can be, and at some point I pivoted from trying to secure money for nonprofits to being the one that delivered the money to the people in need. So this summer I started my own nonprofit foundation with the singular purpose of granting scholarships to Title 1 high school students in the Los Angeles area.
I’m so happy to announce the winners of the 2019-2020 Second Chances Scholarship awards. These six outstanding high school students have demonstrated perseverance and strength in overcoming adversity, establishing academic distinction, and giving back to their communities. These kids have made an impact on my heart and continue to inspire me; truthfully, I am not sure who helped who in this whole process. They are quite simply remarkable young people and a reminder to never give up on any child or youth.
Anyway, if you want to read their stories, here is the link. There is also a donation tab on the site if you feel inclined to do so. Zero money goes to administrative fees or expenses – it all goes to the kids. Meaning, the more money raised —> the more students like Stephanie, Naidelyn, Arlet, Angel, Linda, and Cecilia get served.
Love wins. Yay.
Stephanie Hernandez Hijar
Animo Leadership Charter High School
Career Goal: Pediatric Nursing
Lynwood High School
Career Goal: Criminal Justice/FBI
Manual Arts High School
Career Goal: Social Work/Therapist
Lynwood High School
Career Goal: Journalism and Business/Entrepreneur
Nava College Preparatory Academy
Career Goal: OB-GYN
Van Nuys High School
Career Goal: Filmmaker
I have been going with a red lip more than usual in 2020, and yesterday I got a compliment about my lipstick. 99% of the time I go make-up free except for lip color, so in this area I exercise great discernment (read: I will spend). Finding the perfect red had been particularly challenging…until I went to Bite Lip Lab. I have posted about it before, but it’s been only in the past year or so that they opened a Larchmont Village location, so now it’s accessible to all my LA friends.
This past weekend I took my buddy and board member out to lunch to thank him for helping me with the scholarship selection process. Thanks to social media, I’ve been able to connect with some awesome people who I would not normally be in spaces with – and Wells is one of them.
I was listening to a podcast yesterday, and Chadwick Boseman’s name came up, and I thought about how he had my favorite/most memorable outfit (guy edition) of the decade. It was not technically a suit but a Versace jacket ensemble that he wore for his opening monologue on SNL. His stylist is a young woman named Ashley Weston, and I love her choices for him. He is always interesting.
When it came to education, I was born into a good situation: I had excellent role models and funding. This is a photo of my family, a bit daunting to live up to (my parents are on the far right). Anyway, I have been wanting to pay it forward, and since I don’t have my own kids, I decided this year to put a little to the side and create a nonprofit for the singular purpose of granting scholarships to five high school students from Title 1 schools. The scholarship name is the Second Chances Scholarship — because you know I love a redemption story — and is specifically geared to young people who have experienced hardship and then demonstrated resilience in changing course. I have read essays from kids who have come back from the consequences of their own poor choices, being bullied, trying to commit suicide, and major health scares. I am humbled. I don’t know how we’re going to decide the awardees, but luckily I have a board of awesome people to help me out with that. I am excited to do this and grateful to be in a position to do so.
If you want to read more, please see the Lagman Foundation tab on this site.