C5LA “Inspire the Dream” Gala

Angelenos showed their inspiration and helped teens reach for the stars!  Hundreds of supporters, celebrities and students joined C5LA at its 1st annual “Inspire the Dream” fundraiser to benefit high-potential youth from underserved neighborhoods with the opportunities and tools to succeed in education and in their career goals. On Friday, November 11, 2011 at the Skirball Cultural Center, distinguished guests came together to commend and celebrate the achievements of C5LA’s high-performing students.

C5LA’s 1st Annual “Inspire the Dream” included a cocktail reception, sit-down gourmet dinner, high-end online auction, and a presentation and awards ceremony for Coca-Cola Refreshments Los Angeles, a long-term supporter of the program. This special evening was hosted by Celebrity Chef Scott Leibfried, best known for his weekly turn in the number 1 rated show, FOX’s “Hell’s Kitchen”. The evening also included special musical performances by EMI recording Artist Shawn Hook and award winning singer/songwriter Sarah Lonsert, both of whom were accompanied for an encore by former Matchbox 20 Guitarist, Adam Gaynor.  Additional celebrity attendees include: Steven Bauer (Scarface), Rachel G. Fox (Dream House, Desperate Housewives), Áureo Baqueiro (13x Grammy Winner, producer/composer for the 2011 Pan American Games), George Gray (The Price is Right), Nadia Lanfranconi (Italian Actress/Pop-Star) and more.

C5LA’s mission is to inspire high-potential, at-risk youth from under-resourced environments in Los Angeles County to pursue personal success, to prepare them for college, work and life, and to motivate them to become role models in their communities.  At the heart of C5LA’s efforts, and one of the “Cs” in C5LA, is the introduction of college to the youth as a very realistic goal along with high school graduation. Through extensive consultations with thought leaders in the youth development field, C5LA has compiled a platform that incorporates all the critical elements necessary for youth to become successful and productive college-bound adults. The program builds strong relationships between youth and adults as well as peers in order to provide a solid adult and peer support system. C5LA introduces youth to new activities, ideas and concepts, which expand their horizons and visions for their futures.  C5LA has the results to prove its program is working. For over 10 years, C5LA has consistently achieved a 90% year-over-year retention rate, a virtual 100% high school graduation rate, and an over 95% college matriculation rate for all program graduates.

C5LA believes that empowering youth to attain higher education and achieve personal success is more than just fixing our schools or getting higher test scores, it’s about affecting the entire environment, both inside and outside of school. C5LA wants to put the choice back in the hands of these young people. College is now their choice. And you can help make that a reality. To learn more on how you can help motivated students achieve their dreams, please visit: www.C5LA.org.