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Bill Rosendahl - Council District 11






Monday, June 08, 2009

Giving Back

For the nearly 200 volunteers gathered at Venice High School, the majority of them youth, Saturday, June 6, was a day of change, of rebirth and of moving forward. It was a day for giving back.

The day's activities were organized by Communities In Schools Los Angels West, part of the nation’s largest dropout prevent organization, whose sole mission is to champion the connection of needed community resources with schools, in order to help young people stay in school, successfully develop their talents, and prepare them for productive and positive lives.

Under the leadership of Communities In Schools Los Angels West Executive Director Bud Jacobs, volunteers from the national organization City Year joined students from the Venice High campus, volunteer staff from Creative Artists Agency and youth from the "j.k. livin foundation," headed by actor Matthew McConaughey.

Mathew's contribution contributed not only to the toil for the day but also to the spirit of the moment; for had Matthew simply taken the time to attend the event, offer motivational remarks, and thank the attendees, he would have been viewed as another celebrity who is involved with his surrounding community. But in pouring his heart and soul in the investment of both the competence of the youth's volunteer efforts, as well as their resulting moral fiber building experience, he showed a character in his participation; one which far exceeded the actual time he spent working with all of the other volunteers - during the entire day's effort.

His leadership in words inspired a shared vision of closing the gap between where the campus was when they started the day and where it would be when they completed their tasks. His leadership in actions demonstrated a man who actually "walks the talk"; cultivating an atmosphere of individual commitment to a team effort.

Together, each and every participant benefitted from one of the basic tenants of Communities In Schools; recognizing the indispensable link between learning and leadership. In addition, everyone showed just how the community is the servant of the individual, with each individual a source of progress for the community; allowing for each person to truly make a difference.

Abraham Lincoln once said that while most people can deal with adversity, the real test of a person's character is what they will do with power. On this Saturday in the Coastal Community of Venice, on a beautiful sunny Southern California day, Matthew McConaughey, Bud Jacobs and the volunteers of Venice High, City Year, Creative Artists Agency and "j.k. livin foundation" had the power to do many things with their time. They chose to give back to the community and to make a difference. That’s power put to great use.
-Mark-Antonio Grant
Special Assistant to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl


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