President's Message - DECEMBER
WLALA President 2015-2016
The holiday season has arrived. It is a time filled with family, friends, and traditions; a time of giving and sharing. This year I ask that you consider supporting WLALA Foundation by donating to our Annual Giving Campaign. Your donations allow WLALA Foundation to offers scholarships, and public interest grants to law students. These funds also support numerous pro bono services including domestic violence counseling through the Sojourn Clinic, continuing support of the Harriet Buhai Family Law Center (which WLALA helped create) and the Downtown Women’s Center. WLALA Foundation also supports the Power Lunch Program for high school students.
These programs make a difference. Last school year, WLALA conducted eight Power Lunches, serving almost 400 students. The Power Lunch Program provides high school students from under-served communities with information about and positive access to the justice system. Students go to courthouses throughout Los Angeles County to have lunch with legal professionals including judges, lawyers and members of law enforcement. By providing the students with role-models and a positive experience with the legal system, the Power Lunch Program inspires, and cultivates a diverse new wave of future members of the legal system.
While the numbers are impressive, the impact of the program is inspiring. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a “graduate” of the Power Lunch Program – Pedro Vargas. Pedro attended a Power Lunch five years ago at the Van Nuys Courthouse. He credits the program with single handedly changing his life. He went from barely passing his classes to straight “A’s”. I am happy to say that he recently graduated from California State University Northridge with a double major and double minor, and he is in the process of applying to law school.
WLALA Foundation also offers scholarships and public interest grants. You may have seen public interest grant recipient Molly Frandsen’s Title IX informational and inspirational video at the WLALA Installation Dinner. The video explains the importance of gender equity in sports and girls’ right to equity in school sports under Title IX.
Over the past 8 years, WLALA Foundation has raised more than $123,000 for these endeavors, awarding 31 scholarships and 11 public interest grants. Please consider giving to our Annual Giving Campaign.