Friends,Today I thought some pics from LIT could be uplifting.I have a unique vantage point to see this crisis in 3 ways. Education: with what we are trying to do and why we are trying to do it. Check out LIT included in Teach For America's Rushing to Fill the Gaps Coronavirus Has Widened. Healthcare: hearing from my partner what it's like to work the hospital front door on Nellis Airforce Base daily. Economically: hearing from my own parents who work hourly jobs and still have to physically go to work to earn their paychecks.Though 3 very different experiences, I've found that one thing connects them all. Small gestures of kindness, appreciation and humanity go a long way to fuel optimism, hope and perseverance. In the most safe and healthy way possible, we have been trying to empower this through our LIT community. Your support empowers this to happen. Thank you for being the fuel for our small gestures below and know what an incredible difference you're making while supporting us at home. Wishing you a happy and healthy weekend,Erica V. MoscaFounder & Executive Director Pictured: LIT biweekly supply disbursement to families: bags, drop-offs & assembly; LIT staff volunteering with other community initiatives Delivering with Dignity & Direct Care to Kids; Weekly virtual program cohort meetings; CA Wholesale Produce, Spread the Word NV & The Martinez Family (Easter baskets for families!) supply donations & Leader Jerome (Cohort 1 member) serving our country in the US Navy during these times of crisis.
Friends,On our multiple zoom calls with students the past 2 weeks, we remind them because we have our health, a roof over our heads, running water and electricity, we have much to be thankful for. While many of our students' families cannot break through the unemployment claims busy signal or have the additional fear surrounding their documentation status, they have still supported one another in ways that are worth sharing. As we end this week, we hope LIT can provide a minute of positivity from our past week and we send well wishes to your family healthwise and economically. The Becerra Family (David, Cohort 1) donated $50 to a family who has 2 students in LIT where the mom is laid off and the dad is in physical therapy recovering from a previous workplace injury that has impacted his memory. The Martinez Family (Eddie, Cohort 2 & Haddee, Cohort 6) is making 50+ Easter Baskets for LIT families with young children who would have gone without one this year. The Aguirre Family (Nestor, Cohort 1) filmed family members reading bedtime stories in Spanish for other families to use. The Johnson & Ortiz Family (Paul & Aldo, Cohort 5) both have done grocery and supply runs for LIT families who need it most. And with program, Leader Destinee (Cohort 6) found out this week she is our first ever LIT student to win the prestigious Harvard Prize Book and Cohort 5 college acceptances now include: UC Berkeley, USC and Emory University. 100% of LIT students completed their LIT virtual homework, last night's Cohort 6 (11th grade) call had 100% attendance and Cohort 7's (10th grade) call was ran by Cohort 2 member & UNLV junior Leader Ashley. We are continuing to make sure we pay our hourly staff, meet families foundational needs with supply drop-offs twice a week and create virtual content for everyone to learn alongside LIT students at home here. Thank you for taking a minute with us to remember all the good that does exist because of your support and that we will get through this together. In much gratitude,Erica V. MoscaFounder & Executive Director
Friends, I hope you are continuing to be safe, healthy and virtually connected to your friends and family. I should not have been surprised that our survey results pointed to LIT staff and volunteers to get creative and safely continue to be connected with students and families. We need one another: equally. Connectivity-- even if it's on the phone or through a laptop screen-- has proven to be a core value not only essential to our program, but maybe at the core of what it means to be human. I watch every day my partner leave in his green Air Force uniform and his Mike O'Callaghan Military Medical Center hospital badge. As he uses his skillset to support battling this pandemic, I socially isolate at home and make youtube videos and call kids and families-- it's what I can think of contributing at this time. Though it may seem silly to continue building a college access path when our Cohort 1 graduating college seniors don't even get to experience a traditional commencement, our family and student response reminds us it's not. Last night 100% of 9th graders (Cohort 8) and new 10th graders (Cohort 7) were on their first weekly zoom cohort call with Program Manager Ms. Romero who herself continues to work for LIT while at home in California.Bridging the digital divide means dropping off laptops at homes, connecting families to wifi services and lending out mifis. In our most oppressed communities, connectivity is vital. Even if it's only for 300+ students and families, we know our role is to do something and we appreciate our students and families for giving us a way forward. Because of them, all our content is now open source and available for anyone to learn along with us here (please note content updated daily):https://sites.google.com/litlv.org/litwayforward Whether it's an LIT family making a pot of Korean food to give to another family where both parents are laid off from their casino jobs, a Cohort 5 member/12th grader getting an acceptance letter from Boston University to over a dozen community members volunteering to make content videos from home, our community remains connected, consistent and productive.Thank you for being part of our LIT family over the past 8 years. If you are in a position to help, our 3 most immediate needs are: 1)Gift cards to grocery stores 2)toilet paper 3)Funds to support monthly tuition payments for college students who lost their part-time jobs. All donations at this time are supporting students and families through COVID-19: litlv.org/donate. Stay safe, healthy and know how appreciated you are and what a difference you are making, Erica V. MoscaFounder & Executive Director
Dear LIT Supporter, First we wish you good health physically and economically during these troubling times. As school is closed in NV, we are using this week to transition and move to virtual program next week. After receiving over 120 survey respondents in a day, we are focused on connectivity, consistency and productivity in a safe and healthy manner based on what our students and families want. This is a time where the educational inequity gap will widen as access to resources and opportunities will continue for students whose parents can work from home or order groceries and toilet paper online. Our friend Colin Seale’s Forbes article “Distance Learning through the Coronavirus Pandemic: Equity and Access Questions for School Leaders” published today says it best: “But what about the moral obligation schools have to give all children a real opportunity to learn? That does not go away because doing so is complicated. Fortunately, this challenge can also be a tremendous opportunity.” As you know LIT is not a school on purpose. We provide critical conscious leadership development and college access information to make sure first-generation students have an equitable opportunity to succeed and become leaders of their own community. We are also a small community of committed and passionate parents, high school students, college students, volunteers and staff members. We will not only continue with virtual programming but empower our students and families to contribute their voices to help others during these trying times. I look forward to sharing content with you and sharing ways you can get involved. At this time we are individually supporting students and families needs and have our first supplies donation distribution this afternoon. When we have a better idea of need, we will reach out for support. In the meantime, any donations to Leaders in Training now will be used towards supporting students and families through these hard times: litlv.org/donate. Thank you for being part of our team and excited to keep you updated on how we stay virtually connected, consistent and productive at Leaders in Training in the coming weeks, Erica V. MoscaFounder & Executive Director