Kathy Ireland, whom Forbes Magazine describes as “Supermodel-turned-mogul,” will be honored with the inaugural Dream Big Award at the Los Angeles Team Mentoring (LATM) 19th Annual Soiree celebration.

Twenty five years after the eruption of the L.A. riots, Los Angeles Team Mentoring (LATM), Los Angeles’ pioneering non-profit organization guiding middle school students from challenging urban neighborhoods to reach their full potential and develop their leadership skills, is celebrating its Silver Anniversary. The gala will take place on the evening of Thursday, October 19 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.

“We are thrilled to recognize and honor Kathy for her innovation, compassion, and long standing commitment to bettering the lives of at-risk youth. Kathy is recognized as one of our country’s most successful self-made women and at the same time is a shining example to our youth that dedication to causes that can better our future and the future of our kids, is just as important as the dedication and hard work that we put into our professional life. We are honored to present Kathy with the inaugural Dream Big Award for her commitment to our city’s youth who are striving for a better life and a better future,” says Maria Melton, Executive Director of LATM.

The Dwight Stuart Fund and William Figueroa, LATM’s Director of Programs, will also be honored for their many years of service to L.A.’s most vulnerable communities and for their long standing dedication and partnership to LATM.

Immediately in the wake of the 1992 LA Riots, LATM launched its first after-school mentoring program at Horace Mann Middle School, just three miles from the riots epicenter. Its unique team-based mentoring model, developed by the Princeton Center for Leadership, was developed to address the needs of students living during a time of gang activity, extreme violence, poverty and high drop-out rates.

Since its inception, the organization has impacted the lives of 25,000 students through 2.5 million hours of mentoring. The organization focuses during the critical non-school hours– to ensure that students have access to trusted role models in a safe and structured environment. 89% of students served come from low-income households, 35% come from single-parent households, and 29% live in a home where neither parent has graduated from high school.

LATM’s 19th Annual Soiree is the organization’s signature fundraising event, which ensures over 1,300 at-risk youth receive critical mentoring services for an entire school year. The event sells out each year through sponsorships and support of organizations such as Live Nation, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Haim and Cheryl Saban, Ernst & Young, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Bank of America, Anthem Blue Cross, Dolby, Goldman Sachs & Co., The Wonderful Company, Pac Sun, Toyota Financial Services, TPG, Southern California Edison, Banc of California, Keenan & Associates, and many more.

LATM’s core team mentoring model, includes a team of three mentors consisting of a teacher, college student, and a business volunteer utilizing an activity-based curriculum aimed at building resiliency and allowing students to their social and emotional skills. Additionally, LATM conducts a Summer Leadership Camp aimed to give students the college knowledge needed to become competitive applicants. The program currently resides in 11 middle schools across L.A.:

• Bethune Middle School/ South LA • Edison Middle School/ South LA • Wilmington Middle School/ Wilmington • John Burroughs Middle School/ Mid-Wilshire • Peary Middle School/ Gardena • Para Los Ninos/ Skid Row, Downtown LA • James Madison Middle School/ North Hollywood • Johnnie Cochran Middle School/ Mid-City • Webster Middle School/ West LA • Pacoima Middle School/ San Fernando Valley • Richard Merkin Middle School/ Pico-Union District

For more information, please visit www.latm.org.

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