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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Elected Officials Honor John Muir High School’s “Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development” at 7th Annual Benefit Gala

MPYD graduating senior Shaka Terry is congratulated on winning MPYD’s Youth Award by MPYD Academic Coordinator Saul Barajas (right), MPYD Executive Director .

MPYD graduating senior Shaka Terry is congratulated on winning MPYD’s Youth Award by MPYD Academic Coordinator Saul Barajas (right), MPYD Executive Director .

High-ranking federal, state, county and city elected officials were among the celebrants at a benefit dinner saluting Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD), a long running character education and academic support organization for male students at John Muir High School.

Approximately 300 people attended the gala at Brookside Country Club which raised funds to support MPYD’s programs which include one-on-one mentoring, college and career preparation, a four-day summer camp and an on-campus motivational speaker series known as “Lunch With the Future.”

Presenting MPYD with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu stated, “Obstacles can be daunting but the fact that you provide these (programs) really allows youth to succeed.”

California State Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden saluted MPYD leaders for “fighting hard to make sure the resources are available for this very important organization to perform its mission to…build character and integrity in our young men.”

Speaking on behalf of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Mayor Michael D. Antonovich (a longtime MPYD sponsor), Chief of Staff Kathryn Barger stated that MPYD is “a vital organization (because) mentoring can make the difference between a life saved and a young person becoming a statistic.”

Additional dignitaries in attendance at the MPYD benefit included Pasadena City Councilmember John J. Kennedy, former California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Pasadena Deputy Police Chief Darryl Qualls, Pasadena Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian McDonald, Pasadena School Board President Scott Phelps, Pasadena School Board members Kim Kenne and Elizabeth Pomeroy, Pasadena City College Trustee Berlinda Brown and Dr. Robert Bell, Senior Vice-President and Assistant Superintendent for Academic and Student Affairs at Pasadena City College.

MPYD presented its Community Partner Award to Sunny Thompson, store manager of the WalMart Neighborhood Market on Lincoln Avenue. David A. Ford, regional manager for Southern California Edison, received MPYD’s Cardinal Paint Award. Former MPYD Board of Directors member Rosalina Rodriguez was honored with the Angel Award, and John Muir High School Principal Timothy Sippel was saluted with MPYD’s Academics for Success Award. Shaka Terry, a graduating Muir senior who is an active member of MPYD, received the organization’s Youth Award.

The evening was highlighted by testimonials by four MPYD alumni who explained how the program guided them through difficult times and helped them prepare for their futures. Alumni speakers included Jose Grande (currently studying at UC Berkeley), Ishmael Bracy (a Master’s candidate at USC), David Hermes (an EMT and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy) and Destiny Iwuoma (a senior at UC Berkeley).

Founded on the Muir campus in 2002, Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD) provides one-on-one mentoring, character education, academic assistance, support with college and financial aid applications, an annual summer camp and an on-campus motivational speaker series known as “Lunch With the Future.”

For additional information on MPYD or to become a volunteer or donor please contact MPYD Executive Director Greg Middleton at (626) 396-5600 ext 82510.

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