2012 Fundraising Madness Continues

Students attempting to make a trip to Washington D.C. trip are venturing into new territory: fundraising.

They have no fear.







They have no shame.








They forgo Christmas and birthday gifts in exchange for cold, hard cash to make their trip payments.







They persevere.

“My hands were shaking,” commented Jaime Mora as he recounted his adventure in cornering the manager of a Hometown Buffet and asking him for fundraising assistance.

Michael Ponce, another 8th grade student,  has nerves of steel and has contacted Ralph’s, Mayor Villaraigosa and even President Obama in search of funds, but all to no avail. “We wish you the best of luck in your endeavor but our office is unable to provide any funds to you at this time”  is the common response he has received from these notable figures.

Another "no funds available" letter for Michael

Lesly Chavelas is also throwing caution to the wind. Having been kicked out of the Bank of America parking lot twice where she was trying to sell her See’s Candy to make her monthly trip payment of $50, she came back a third time and this time the manager was impressed with her gumption. “You know, I’m going to let you have exclusive rights to this parking lot,” he said, after admiring her spirit.

“Unfortunately, due to our rigid budget there are currently no funds available to provide financial support for your trip”- Mayor Villaraigosa

It is the indefatigable spirit of these South Central L.A. middle schoolers that has allowed the group to raise over $20,000 for the Washington D.C. trip, an amount unheard of in a school community where field trips have grown scarce since the recession.  Still, the group is $56,000 short of the $161,00 total cost.  The clock is ticking to make final payments.

The parent fundraising machine

Parents are forming groups to seek business sponsorships.  Teachers have sponsored individual students for at least a portion of the cost of the trip.  The entire school community has participated whole-heartedly in the delicious food sales and raffles that have yielded our meager profits.

But the group will need larger funds if this trip is to become a reality.

Do you know someone who can help?  If so, please contact the Teacher Leader, Martha Infante, at 323-270-0588 or by email at martha.infante@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by!

New School Year Begins With a Goal In Mind

Students at L.A. Academy Middle school began their year as 8th graders and a firm commitment to what will promise to be the highlight of their middle school careers: a trip to Washington D.C.

No other middle school in South Los Angeles has ever attempted to take as many students on such an educational trip. With 100 students working relentlessly to raise the money for this trip (cost per student is $1900), there is a lot of work we must do.

Our most recent fundraiser was a Tupperware raffle. The winner was announced on Halloween, and I’m sure they are thrilled to receive the $200 prize of Tupperware products. Below is the video of the raffle.

Are you interested in helping any students in the video achieve their dream? Simply write a check in any amount to Los Angeles Academy Middle School c/o Martha Infante and mail it to 644 E. 56th St. Los Angeles, CA 90011

Any amount would be greatly appreciated!

Mr. Briceno Wins the TV Raffle!

One of L.A. Academy’s own staff members scored the lucky raffle ticket for the flat screen TV raffle.  Thanks to the generous support of the community, the raffle raised over $1000 for the April 2012 Washington DC student trip.

Our goal is to raise $75,000 and we are currently at $8,357.  We will do this!

Congratulations also goes out to Daniel Jimenez who wins the $100 Amazon.com gift card for selling the most tickets (17!) and Jazmine Rodriguez who sold 13.  Jazmine will be awarded a consolation prize upon returning to school.

Check out our video of the raffle drawing that captured the excitement of the event!

Tupperware Raffle

Do you want to score a $200 Tupperware set for $5? Then enter the latest Washington D.C. trip raffle by purchasing as many $5 tickets as you like from any of our participating students. The complete set is below:

A Summer of Dreaming, Working

What are students in South Central Los Angeles up to these days?  For most, scarce opportunities to do something productive have left them home alone, with endless weeks of watching T.V. or playing video games.

Congressman Isadore Hall III

Summer school has been shut down in most schools due to budget cuts.  Summer programs are of limited enrollment. Adults struggle to get jobs leaving teens with jobs not a reality.

But students at L.A. Academy vow not to let these circumstances get them down.  They are working every day to raise the $1895 dollars they will need to pay for their educational trip to Washington D.C. in April of 2012.

Some are selling See’s Candy, some are writing to ask for donations, many are performing old fashioned jobs like mowing lawns and babysitting to raise cash.

But these students are a special group.  When the parents and students overheard a grandmother sharing the pain and turmoil at not being able to raise the $99 deposit for the trip for her granddaughter, they got together and volunteered to make the deposit for her.  This, from families who can barely scrape the deposit themselves.

We will be canvassing the neighborhood for business sponsorships in the next few weeks but are thrilled by the phone call we received from Congressman Isadore Hall III’s office asking how he can support our endeavor.  It is a true fact that it takes a village to raise a child, and we appreciate the support offered by Congressman Hall.

Care to help?  Contact Martha Infante at 323-270-0588.  Thanks for reading!

Summer Hustling

Gift of Education letters!

snacks, anyone?

Our 100 South Central Scholars are busy at work during summer vacation hustling to get together their monthly payments for the April 2012 Washington D.C. trip.












Delicious See's Candy... would you like a box or two?










Teachers are volunteering vacation time to gather funds, issue raffle tickets, and help parents fill out money orders and scholarship forms.












Are you interested in learning more about the scholars making this historic trip? Stay tuned for student videos coming soon.

Who's Going to Win the Flat Screen TV?

Fundraising Adventures

Our school DOES NOT have a history of fundraising.  This is a community of workers and immigrants, and many are struggling to find and keep a job.  Nonetheless, a determined group of parents is working hard to raise funds to send students to Washington next year.  Below are the chronicles of our adventures in fundraising:




Can you cook?  Do you have a special talent?  Can you carry large boxes?  All of these questions were asked of parents on the night on May 23d as the fundraising activities for June were announced.  There was not shortage of parents who are working hard to raise money to send their children on this valuable educational experience.

Parents sign up for fundraising events



How does a menu of chicken fajitas, tacos, and tamales sound?  It sounded great to our LAAMS faculty which ordered heartily in support of students

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A small group of energetic parents got together on a Thursday night to sell pizza and water to participants of a parent group meeting on campus.  It was our first fundraiser!  The parents did a great job of selling the pizzas and we made a net profit of $50!

We will have to regroup and see how to maximize  profits by increasing advertising and publicity, and timing the sale for the end of the meeting as opposed to the beginning.  Nonetheless, a great start!

Getting Organized

Money raised as of 7/1/11

Washington teachers attending workshop on fundraising

Do you want to help one of our deserving students get to Washington DC?  Contact Martha Infante at 323-238-1844 or by email at martha.infante@gmail.com   ALL HELP IS WELCOMED AND SORELY NEEDED

D.C. or Bust!

Thank you for your interest in the quest for 100 South Central scholars to take an educational journey to Washington D.C. in the Spring of 2012.

It will take hard work, desire, and perseverance.

It will take a fervent desire on behalf of these students to venture beyond the confines of their urban, industrial neighborhood.

It will take support from our national community.

Check back frequently for updates on our quest to make this once in a lifetime dream come true for our students, and to hear from the students themselves.