Last fall I wrote about the fundraising event I chaired to raise money for the Hathaway-Sycamores Learning Lab. Today I am pleased to share with you a short video celebrating the dedication of this site, which you can watch here.
If you listen carefully to the story told by Henry Matson, you’ll hear not only how a simple yet visionary afterschool program is changing the lives of countless at-risk youth, but how it has transformed an entire Los Angeles county neighborhood.
Just a decade ago, our Family Resource Center in Highland Park was a much-loved landmark, but a bit of an island on a street ripe for reinvention. That transformation has now occurred. The doors of our beautiful, historic building are wide open to the community. The building has been restored to its full glory, and our Learning Lab is filled with eager minds.
Anytime you get the idea in your head that an individual can’t make a difference, I invite you to visit our Learning Lab. Look at the joy in the students’ faces. Look at the spectrum of college logos on their t-shirts. Listen to them talking about the futures they are pursuing.
They are engaged in the mission of learning. They are engaged in the mission of personal change. They aren’t waiting for the future to come to them. They aren’t letting circumstance take its toll. They are inventing their own future through math, science, language arts, and learning to work in teams.
They inspire each other and they will inspire you. They inspire me, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than to welcome your participation in our work.
Young people on our community who never thought they had the chance are going to college, many on full scholarships they win competitively on their own merits!
Paulette and Henry Matson anchored this campaign because it mattered to them. They made a choice to make a difference, and that difference is now more than an idea. It is a place, a comfort zone, a tangible path to endless possibility. Those aren’t just words. Those are a conduit to bright futures that begin with a spark, the access to a mentor, the bright light of a teacher. Once we help ignite that spark, the kids take it the rest of the way. They are virtually unstoppable.
A small amount of caring always matters. A small amount of money can go a long way.
Education opens minds and changes lives.
Come see just how powerful a living dream can be. Join us this year at Celebrating Children. One night could change your life. Then you can help change a neighborhood.
It all begins with an idea and a commitment.
We can do this. We are doing this!
Quite an achievement. You should all be proud. The difference you make will ripple for generations.
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