I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to every member of our community. Your unwavering support, dedication, and commitment have been the driving force behind our collective achievements. We have worked together as a diverse and dedicated team, and the impact we have made on the lives of our students, families, and educators is truly remarkable.
Our school leaders deserve special recognition for their exceptional talent and unwavering dedication by providing a superior education to the underserved students of Los Angeles. Their passion and commitment have transformed countless lives, empowering students to reach their full potential. I am immensely proud of the exceptional team we have on the ground, supported by an impressive Board of Directors that consistently advocates for the best interests of our community. Together, we have brought about significant change, and I am confident that under Vince's leadership, we will continue to make a profound impact on the lives of our students.
As I step down from the School Board, I want to assure you that my commitment to the Value Schools Foundation Board remains strong. I will continue to serve as Board Chair for at least another year, working closely with David Doyle and the Foundation team to further our shared goals. Additionally, I will remain engaged in various programs that have brought us immense joy and success over the years. The Back East Scholars Trip (BEST), for example, has provided our students with transformative experiences and expanded their horizons. For ten years now, we have invited students to embark on official college tours of esteemed institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, and many more. BEST has had a profound impact on how our students, parents, and educators' approach and achieve higher education opportunities. We are now privileged to witness Value Schools alumni leading these campus tours, bridging the gap for our scholars, and making these universities more accessible than ever before. Thanks to your unwavering support, we have achieved over 91% acceptance to four-year universities this year, a significant increase from the 12% acceptance rate when I assumed the role of Board Chair.
It was an immense privilege to lead Value Schools’ recent CEO search, and I take great pride in Loreen Riley's remarkable achievements thus far, as well as her inspiring vision for the future of our organization. Throughout my tenure, I have had the fortune of collaborating with four exceptional CEOs, starting with our esteemed founder, Dr. Jerry Porath, followed by Gerry Jacoby, David Doyle, and now, Loreen Riley. Each leader has brought their unique strengths and perspectives, contributing to the ongoing success of Value Schools.
As I reflect on my tenure, I am filled with a profound sense of pride and gratitude. Together, we undertook ambitious endeavors, expanding our footprint from 2 to 4 schools; we established the LLC Foundation, a crucial milestone in securing adequate facility funding for our schools; we dedicated efforts towards enhancing our financial and accounting expertise, establishing robust systems to ensure sustainable growth; and we provided invaluable guidance in the selection of school properties, enabling Value Schools to create optimal learning environments for our students.
We have been united in our commitment to values-based education, and positively impacting the lives of students in Los Angeles and their families. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering dedication and collective wisdom of our donors, School Board, Foundation Board, school leaders, educators, support staff, and home office team. Together, we have weathered challenges and celebrated triumphs, always staying true to our values.
I have the utmost confidence that Vincent Gonzales, alongside the new leadership of CEO Loreen Riley, will continue to build upon our successes and lead Value Schools to new heights. With your continued support, I have no doubt that our community will flourish, and our students will continue to receive the exceptional education they deserve.
With gratitude and pride,
Grant L. Cambridge
Board Chair, Value Schools Foundation