County of Los Angeles
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
425 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, California 90020
Board of Supervisors MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS DON KNABE
Board of Supervisors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2010
Contact: Neil Zanville
DCFS Public Affairs
(213) 351-5886, Cell (213) 471-6302
FOSTER YOUTHS SHINE IN RISING STARS 'GLEEFEST 2010'
Foster youth Ambassadors receive scholarships to pursue performing arts careers
Super Bowl and Olympic Champion Willie Gault honored for philanthropic efforts
Rolling Hills Estates, CA (NOVEMBER 1, 2010) - "Rising Stars," an annual fundraising event to benefit foster youth education and the performing arts, will be held on Saturday, November 6, at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. A special musical production, "Gleefest 2010," featuring music from the television phenomenon, "Glee," includes performances by talented foster and at-risk youth. Super Bowl and Olympic champion Willie Gault will be honored for his philanthropic efforts. ABC-7 anchor Phillip Palmer emcees with TV actor Steve Valentine, from Disney's "I'm in the Band," assisting as auctioneer. Also in attendance lending their support will be screenwriter, director, producer and author Antwone Fisher and Elmer Hopper, recording artist with the legendary Platters and the Mills Brothers.
Foster youth Kayla Speck and Julian Green, who will be featured in the musical production, have been named Rising Stars Ambassadors and will receive college scholarships.
Rising Stars is a partnership between the Teague Family Foundation, the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services and the Norris Center for the Performing Arts. The organization is celebrating its eighth year of producing an annual benefit promoting the belief that "every child is a rising star." It is dedicated to broadening awareness of the difficulties and challenges that foster and underprivileged youths face, and is committed to being part of the solution by providing funding to allow these children to follow their dreams.
In California, less than 3% of foster children go to college, giving them little hope for a brighter future. Each year, approximately 1,800 Los Angeles foster youths transition out of the system once they reach 18 years old, leaving them with no place to live and little means to continue their education. Rising Stars provides college scholarships to these recently emancipated youths to cover the many expenses beyond tuition which often prevent them from being able to attend.
Proceeds from the event also allow the Norris Center for the Performing Arts' Education Department, the Negri Learning Center, to offer performing arts scholarships to local disadvantaged and foster children who would not be able to participate in their program without financial assistance. Theatre classes and stage experience empower youths to become more confident adults and to believe in their own abilities. With so many arts programs being eliminated from school curriculums, it is crucial that performing arts training be available to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Foster youths and Willie Gault will be available for interviews.