A special banner that many of UCLA's community partners will display.
Through its multi-pronged outreach efforts in the community, UCLA has built up over many decades working partnerships with more than 1,100 civic institutions and groups, K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, community colleges, neighborhood groups, programs and individuals.
So wide-ranging are UCLA’s outreach efforts that its more than 200 community programs touch almost every aspect of life for residents of Greater Los Angeles, from health and child care to education, legal counseling, job training, arts enrichment, college preparation and beyond.
But up until now, the sheer depth and breadth of UCLA’s pervasive presence in the city and its neighborhoods have been basically invisible to the general public. That’s about to change.
Dr. A. Eugene Washington talks to students attending King/Drew Magnet High School, served by several UCLA programs. The first banner was displayed there during a ceremony at which Dr. Washington and other dignitaries spoke.
On Thursday (Feb. 24), the first UCLA community partner banner, a visual cue to its extensive civic engagement, went up at King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science in Willowbrook before dozens of Los Angeles Unified School District and elected officials as well as campus representatives. Soon that one banner will be joined by others that will be placed in other visible locations to proclaim UCLA’s involvement.
“It’s one way we can reinforce the message of UCLA’s considerable return on investment,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor Keith Parker, head of Government and Community Relations, which headed the project. “The state and federal government, California taxpayers and our donors have made an investment in the university. We want to show them how widespread the benefits that flow from their investment are. It’s not just dollars, but it’s also the time spent as well as our commitment to the community.”
At King/Drew Magnet High School, Dr. A. Eugene Washington, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine, spoke to students, teachers and guests at an event to commemorate UCLA’s engagement with the school and its students. Present were UCLA representatives of units and programs with the largest role in outreach to schools — Student Affairs, the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) and the Center X in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.
King/Drew Principal J. Michelle Woods (center) stands with representatives from UCLA outreach programs: Jody Priselac of Center X (from the left), Bill Parent of the School of Public Affairs, Dr. Washington, Felicia Brannon of the Office of Government and Commnity Relations, and Debra Pounds of the Early Academic Outreach Program.
At King/Drew, there are several programs run by the UCLA Library, EAOP and the Center for Community Partnerships. In addition, a large number of graduates from the school have gone on to study at UCLA. In the past, Chancellor Gene Block has visited the school to applaud the academic achievements of those who entered UCLA as freshman Blue and Gold Scholars through the university’s scholarship program.
King Drew’s 9th grade students in health classes will soon be working with the Art | Global Health Center at UCLA in a program called Amp it Up!, an intervention program that will bring into their classes UCLA students as AIDS ambassadors, performers in skits that deal with teen sexuality and educators.
Banners will also be going up at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High school and North Hollywood High School, two schools that have had a long and productive relationship with the university.
“We’re putting up as many of these banners as we possibly can,” Parker said. “It will make a significant impact when you can see them and say, ‘There’s yet another UCLA partner.’”