Green Dot Public Schools, the largest charter school organization in Los Angeles, announced last Thursday that Ten-Time World Champion boxer, Oscar De La Hoya, donated $3.5 million to fund his namesake Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School and additional Green Dot schools. De La Hoya presented this gift to Green Dot Public Schools at the commencement ceremony of the Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School on Thursday, June 19. The ceremony took place at Sullivan Field at the Loyola Marymount University campus.
De La Hoya, whose foundation is dedicated to helping underprivileged families in East Los Angeles, has been actively involved with his namesake school since its inception in 2003 and delivered the commencement speech last year to the first-ever graduating class. De La Hoya is a strong believer in supporting the community and often visits the school to encourage the students to study hard and dream big.
“Growing up in East Los Angeles, I know how important it is to keep a positive attitude and to stay focused on your goals,” said De La Hoya. “I’m so proud of these students. Every one of them deserves a quality education and I’m honored to help them realize their dreams! This is a landmark day for everyone involved with Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School and I’m thrilled to be building a new school in my hometown.”
Green Dot has founded and is in the process of building Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School and sixteen other Green Dot high schools, including several new schools representing the re-structured Locke High School in Watts. Green Dot schools offer quality education facilities to Los Angeles communities faced with educational, social and economic adversity. Last year, 92 percent of the seniors at Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo graduated and 71 percent of those students were accepted to four-year universities. Students from this year’s graduating class are expected to go on to four-year universities including: University of California Los Angeles, University of California Davis, University of California Berkeley, University of California Irvine and many others.
“Oscar De La Hoya has been an amazing source of inspiration to Green Dot since its inception,” added Steve Barr, founder and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools. “With his generosity and goodwill, so many gifted students have been granted the opportunity to obtain a safe, quality education and a chance to succeed in life. With De La Hoya’s current donation, we will be able to continue to build schools that will ensure all kids receive a quality education for years to come.”
The success of the Green Dot schools, whose students score on average 113 points higher than Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools on the state of California’s Academic Performance Index, is credited to the “Six Tenets” school model. The “Six Tenets of High Performing Public Schools” calls for schools to: 1) be safer and no larger than 500 students each; 2) implement a college preparatory curriculum for all students; 3) empower principals, teachers, parents and students to own all key decisions related to budgets, curriculum and hiring; 4) add more dollars to classrooms and significantly increase teacher pay, 5) value and support parent participation; 6) stay open later for community use.
By implementing this model, Green Dot has produced incredible results, helping students close the achievement gap, graduate from high school and attend four-year colleges. Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo is ranked among the top 10 percent of high schools in the state of California that serve similar communities.