Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies Receives 2013 Gaston Caperton Inspiration Award

Award Celebrates High Schools Promoting High Standards For Student Achievement, Doing Exceptional Work In College And Career Readiness

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies has been named a 2013 Gaston Caperton Inspiration Award school by the College Board for providing low-income students with the support they need to succeed academically. One of only three high schools nationwide to receive the award in 2013, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies will receive a $25,000 award to apply toward programs that encourage more students to attend college.

“Inspiration Award-winning schools epitomize the incredible work done by teachers and administrators across the country to ensure the success of each of their students,” said Peter Negroni, senior vice president of relationship development at the College Board. “Though their students come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and represent 50 different ZIP codes across Los Angeles, last spring LACES educators celebrated as over 90 percent of their seniors both graduated and went on to attend college. Their efforts demonstrate that with access to rigorous academic opportunities, every student can be successful. The College Board is proud to recognize LACES’ with a 2013 Inspiration Award.”

College Board representatives will present the award this morning to Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies during a celebratory event held on the school’s campus attended by administrators, faculty, students, parents, and community leaders.

Award Reflect Importance of Access to Higher Education

Created by former College Board President Gaston Caperton in 2001, the Inspiration Awards honor high schools that help expand access to higher education by providing students with rigorous academic offerings and innovative college-preparation programs. Selected by a panel of higher education faculty from across the country, winning high schools demonstrate significant and consistent growth in the number of students taking honors and college-level courses and in the percentage of seniors accepted to two- or four-year colleges.

The Gaston Caperton Inspiration Award-winning schools do much more than meet basic eligibility requirements: They are selected for their innovative ability to inspire student success.

About Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

 Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES), one of Los Angeles’s premier high schools, was founded in 1977 through a voluntary school integration program. With students attending from neighborhoods across the city, and over 50 percent qualifying for the free and reduced-price lunch program, LACES continues its long legacy of providing rigorous academic opportunity for students through an enriched and diverse educational environment. On average, LACES celebrates a 99 percent college-going rate among minority students, and many go on to attend some of the best colleges and universities in the country. LACES’s success proves that when taught at high standards, all students can achieve at high standards.

“I am delighted to be a part of this outstanding community,” said Harold Boger, principal of LACES. “I embrace the virtues and values of integrity, cultural awareness, creative expression, the importance of scholarship, and the shared responsibilities of all stakeholders to provide the best learning experiences possible for each and every one of our exceptional and talented students here at LACES.”

Although 27 different languages are spoken in the homes of LACES students and 48 percent of families speak a language other than English at home, the universal language at LACES reflects the goal of college for all. Integral to getting students on the road to higher education are the school’s many parent organizations, including Friends of LACES and the Black, Korean, and Latino Parent organizations. LACES parent organizations and parent volunteers work closely with school leaders to create a supportive and engaging educational environment for all students. Through parent education workshops given in various languages, college nights, guest speakers, and community partnerships, these organizations seek to educate and engage other parents in the college-preparation and admission processes. Last year, the Black Parent Organization created “Discovering College Admission” (DCA), a parent-run, grassroots program that educates African American students and their parents on the college admission process beginning in the ninth grade. With a portion of the $25,000 Inspiration Award, LACES hopes to replicate DCA for all LACES parent groups and student populations.

 "LACES has achieved the great honor of being one of the top schools in Los Angeles, the state, and in the nation,” said Mary Jane London, assistant principal of LACES. “We are proud of our LACES family (students, teachers, staff, and parents) who have made education and preparing for college a goal for each child who walks through our doors."  

LACES currently offers a variety of rigorous college-level courses and unique learning opportunities, including: 28 Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) classes; academic offerings in partnership with the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles; and programs with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. AP classes are open enrollment, and all students are expected to complete at least on AP course before graduation. The school’s motto — “In Pursuit of Excellence” — represents the academic rigor, strong college-going culture, parent and community engagement, and dedication of LACES educators and administrators to student success.