Neily L. participated in Idyllwild Arts Academy this summerNestled in the San Bernardino National Forest, 100 miles from downtown Los Angeles, sits the Idyllwild Arts Academy. During the summer months, the center hosts a sleepaway retreat for artists of all ages. 

Each year for nearly a decade, former Board Chair Rob Lovelace and his wife, Alicia Miñana Lovelace, have sponsored highly talented and motivated student-artists from Value Schools to develop their craft. 

This year, sophomore Neily L. from University Prep Value was selected to participate in the program. In her first-ever experience away from Los Angeles and her family, Neily was exposed to a new world of possibility and focus.

Everything connects back to art. Geometry, architecture, history, everything is wrapped with art.”
-- Neily L., sophomore, University Prep Value High School

“The experience changed me, and pushed me out of my comfort zone,” recalls Neily. “I did this drawing and I felt like I found my voice. I’m still working on my art style, but I was proud of it, and it felt like me. You have to keep trying to get to that point. Sometimes the criticism hurts, but when you keep going you can say, ‘This is what I did and I like it.’”

While Neily developed her artistic skills at Idyllwild, she also grew personally from the experience. 

“I got to be more independent,” she said. “I’m not very social, so I was nervous leaving my mom and my home and meeting new people, but the whole thing was amazing. I’m a private person, but this helped me be more confident and it changed my point of view. There were so many animals and plants. We could draw outside. It was my first time using oil paints, and I even made friends.”


Click to see Neily's work

She discovered her love for drawing in second grade when she won a few small contests. Art became a way to better understand and cope with her feelings and the world around her. 

“Art helps me express myself and get out of my head” she said. “Developing your potential is in your mind, and in art you always try new things to make yourself and other people better. My family is a safe bubble, but going Idyllwild showed me a different perspective I didn’t know I wanted, and it was amazing.”

Neily sees art everywhere, and feels she can interpret her life through art. “Everything connects back to art,” she reminds us. “Geometry, architecture, history, everything is wrapped with art. My aunt is a carpenter. When I see her work, it’s her imagination that comes alive. That’s art.”

Value Schools thanks Rob Lovelace and Alicia Miñana Lovelace for expanding Neily’s experience, and for helping youth like her thrive. Watch Rob Lovelace's vision about giving back to his communities in the video below.

 
Yiting at UP's PianoThree years ago, our generous donors Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Dorothy Clougherty, gave their piano to Value Schools.
 
Since then, students from University Prep Value and Downtown Value have used the piano in musical performances, dance recitals and theatrical events.
 
It also acts as a space of daily practice and joy for one of our students, Yiting, a sophomore at University Prep Value. Take a look at Yiting’s video. Her talents are striking and infectious.
 

We've reached 60% of our goal!For the second year in a row, our students and families came together to support We Climb, our $4 Million campaign for a state-of-the-art campus for Everest Value School. 

Students from every campus celebrated, heightened community awareness, and raised over $1250 toward the campaign by making and selling t-shirts and participating in “free dress” day.

And... we have achieved 60% of our $4 Million dollar goal!

With plans to open a new building in September of 2021, our We Climb committees have been busy. The Architecture and Planning Committee has surveyed parents, students and faculty to collect a united vision for the new building. Our Community and Government Committee is working with the Rampart Village Neighborhood Council, the city planning office, and Councilperson Mitch O'Farrell's office to secure permits. The Fundraising Committee has been busy planning events and reaching out to donors. 

We can now see the summit in the distance. We know our community's growth lies not at the mountain's peak, but with each step we take on our journey toward the summit. Together we plan, strive, and persevere. We know you will be with us when we reach the top. We climb as a team. We succeed as a team. Together, We Climb.

Ana Chavez, Chief of Operations and Compliance at Value SchoolsWe are thrilled to announce Ana Chavez has been selected to fulfill the newly-created role of Chief of Operations and Compliance at Value Schools. In this role, Ms. Chavez will be a critical member of the Value Schools leadership team responsible for directing and coordinating organization-wide and multi-campus events and programs. Ms. Chavez will work with school leaders and administrators to help support and develop:
  • LAUSD compliance, charter renewals, accreditation, LCAPs, WASCs, and school policies
  • Leverage Leadership implementation
  • Best practices for student recruitment and retention
  • Collaborative projects involving multiple school sites
  • Risk management and safety procedures
  • The strategic direction of Value Schools
Ms. Chavez brings a lifetime of experience to this exciting new position. Her deep and longstanding appreciation for the values, along with her positive relationships with the home office leadership, principals, teachers, and staff make her a natural choice.
 
Ms. Chavez began working with Value Schools In 2005 as a 7th grade Math and Science teacher. She was promoted to Assistant Principal in 2007 and took the role of Principal in 2012. In those roles, Ms. Chavez worked collaboratively with teachers, staff, administrators and parents to ensure that students at Downtown Value School were academic achievers, goal seekers, respectful scholars, and global citizens. Over the last two years, Ms. Chavez held the role of Attendance Specialist and helped raise ADA considerably and secure over $100,000 in additional educational funding for our schools.
 
With a BS in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), an MA in Education and Administrative Credential from the California State University, Sacramento, Ms. Chavez has supported students throughout her career. She began as a math and science teacher for Soledad Enrichment Action (S.E.A) Charter School in 1999. As a lead teacher and academic counselor, she led a team ensuring the safety and education of at-risk female students in the juvenile justice system.
 
Ms. Chavez immigrated to the United States in 1986 from El Salvador at the age of ten. She attended Magnolia Elementary School, Berendo Middle School, and Los Angeles High School. Her work with children in inner-city schools has been and continues to be her passion as she strives to remain knowledgeable about community and education issues that affect students and their families.
 
We are proud to have Ms. Chavez represent Value Schools in the newly created role of Chief of Operations and Compliance.
The We Climb campaign is now in full swing!The We Climb campaign is now in full swing! Value Schools is excited to announce the completed negotiations and thirty-two-year lease of a new Everest Value School campus.
 
Located at 241 N. Westmoreland Avenue, the new Everest Value campus will be directly across the street from Central City Value High School, providing a convenient opportunity for a seamless kindergarten through 12th grade experience.
 
We now begin the two-year trek to a new campus together with architects, project managers, government leaders, our Everest community and our other Value Schools.
 
We've raised over 58% of our $4 million goal!Our government committee will partner with the Rampart Village Neighborhood Council to help secure the Conditional Use Permit from the city of Los Angeles planning department. The architecture team, with input from our stakeholders, will help design a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that will allow Everest to provide a Value Schools' education for 480 students (at its current site, Everest is limited to 250 students). With over 58% of our $4 Million goal raised in the first year alone, we know we will reach the top as our fundraising efforts continue.
 
We plan to open the new building in the fall of 2021, and the Value Schools community is inspired. When hearing the news, parents, students and teachers quickly committed their time to spearhead our architectural, government and fundraising committees.
 
Your commitment of time, expertise, and financial support will ensure we complete our journey. With such dedicated and visionary people on our side, We Climb is proving a great success - what a difference your support makes in the lives of our students!
 
We can now see the summit in the distance. We know our community's growth lies not at the mountain's peak, but with each step we take on our journey toward the summit. Together we plan, strive, and persevere. We know you will be with us when we reach the top. We climb as a team. We succeed as a team. Together, we climb.
 
 
Stay tuned for exciting We Climb sponsorship opportunities and, from all of us at Value Schools, thank you for your ongoing and continued support!
 
WE CLIMB!
 
Value Schools

Charter Chat PodcastAna Chavez, Attendance Specialist at Value Schools and former Principal of Downtown Value School, was recently featured in the first episode of The Charter Chat Podcast, a media program hosted by Juliet Lucero focused on the stories from the charter school movement.

In the episode, Chavez discusses her own educational history and how it ultimately motivated her to give back to a community that supported her own educational journey as a youth. She reminds us of the foundational underpinnings of Value Schools and why its founder, Jerome Porath, aimed to create a secular educational option for students that focuses on the development of character, as well as their educational outcomes. 

Ana Chavez, Attendance Specialist, Value SchoolsShe goes on to explain how the Values help families envision positive educational outcomes for their children, and how the Values support not simply the idea going to college, but graduating from college.

Chavez considered the challenges charter schools face when attempting to secure facilities, and how our We Climb Campaign for Everest Value School epitomizes the need for safe, engaging spaces for youth. 

We now have quite a few students at these Ivy League schools now providing tours for our incoming students. That is so incredibly rewarding!”
-- Ana Chavez, Attendance Specialist, Value Schools

Chavez also discussed how the educational framework at Value Schools is working by exposing students to educational environments they may not have otherwise experienced. She highlighted how the Value Schools Board of Directors works on multiple levels to support our students. 

“Grant Cambridge takes students each year to the East Coast to tour Ivy League schools like Brown, MIT, and Harvard,” Chavez said. “We now have quite a few students at these Ivy League schools providing tours for our incoming students. That is so incredibly rewarding!”

Check out Ms. Chavez's episode here and listen to all the episodes of The Charter Chat Podcast here! You can also subscribe the podcast on Apple or Google Play.

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Downtown Value School Downtown Value School 
950 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: (213) 748-8868
Fax: (213) 742-6684
Everest Value School Everest Value School
668 South Catalina St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 487-7736
Fax: (213) 487-7745
Central City Value High School Central City Value High School
221 North Westmoreland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: (213) 471-4686
Fax: (213) 385-5127
University Prep Value High School University Prep Value High School
1929 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 382-1223