Akbar Gbajabiamila, host of NBC’s hit show “American Ninja Warrior” planned a Christmas surprise on Saturday, December 16th at Baldwin Hills Mall for 25 children from Tom Bradley Global Awareness Magnet School.
Gbajabiamila, a native of Crenshaw and a former student of Tom Bradley Elementary School, surprised the group of 4th and 5th graders, all who come from underserved communities, with a present from Mattel Toys along with a $50 gift card to shop at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHCP). Gbajabiamila chartered a bus from LuxBus America and also took all the children out for lunch at Michelle’s Country Diner after their Christmas shopping excursion.
“I was so excited to give back to the community that I came from. I remember Christmases where we just weren’t sure if presents were going to happen, so this was really special for me,” Gbajabiamila commented.
The students departed from Tom Bradley at 9:30am on Saturday and spent the morning with Gbajabiamila and Bradley staff at BHCP.
“The holidays can be really hard for our kids,” Principal Monique Bell remarked. “It meant so much to our Bradley Scholars to spend time with Akbar, an alumni of our school, who not only is taking time out of his busy schedule but also organized such a memorable experience for our kids.”