Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles broke records at their Accessories For Success Scholarship Luncheon

.... and we are so honored to have been a part of it. 

 Pictured (L-R): Amanda and her Big Sister Tracy Underwood with Laurie Zaks and her Little Sister Carla. 

Pictured (L-R): Amanda and her Big Sister Tracy Underwood with Laurie Zaks and her Little Sister Carla. 

A record breaking $302,650 was raised while we honored amazing women in entertainment. A record breaking 108 scholarships were also handed to college bound youth from the BBBSLA program. The room at the Beverly Wilshire was filled with inspiration for the entire afternoon, and we left feeling soooooo good about doing good! 

 Carla, Yara Shahidi, and Amanda.

Carla, Yara Shahidi, and Amanda.

The “Excellence in Mentoring Award” honoree Tracy D. Underwood is the Senior Vice President of ABC Signature, and takes time out of her amazing career to be a Big Sister to Amanda. Ms. Underwood became involved with BBBSLA though the Women in Entertainment mentorship program, where she was matched with Amanda Cornish during her junior year at Kennedy High School. Amanda received the honor of a scholarship through the prestigious Posse Foundation in partnership with Pepperdine University where she’s currently a freshman.  “It is a privilege and honor to carry out a mission set forth by one of my role models, Sherry Lansing and to be a member of the BBBSLA family through the Women in Entertainment mentorship program,” said Underwood. “Meeting Amanda and becoming part of her life’s journey is truly one of my proudest achievements. I am as much her mentee as she is mine. I’m honored to share this award with a dear friend and colleague, Laurie, as we carry on the tradition of supporting generations of women in all aspects of our industry.”

 Carla and her Big Sister Laurie Zaks

Carla and her Big Sister Laurie Zaks

Excellence in Mentoring Award” honoree Laurie Zaks is the President of Mandeville Television and has been at ABC Studios since 2006, when she became president of Beacon Television. She also takes time out of her busy career to be a Big Sister to Carla. Ms. Zaks was perfectly matched with her Little, Carla, when she was a junior in high school, and Carla is now a freshman at Loyola Marymount University.  “Working with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Women in Entertainment program has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my career,” said Laurie Zaks. “It’s a tremendous honor to have been chosen to mentor and provide leadership to such outstanding young women.” 

 Martha Henderson and her dear friend Laura Lizer

Martha Henderson and her dear friend Laura Lizer

BBBSLA Board Chair Laura Lizer, presented the “Innovator Award” to her friend Martha Henderson, Executive Vice President of Entertainment Banking at City National Bank, who is an avid BBBSLA supporter.“City National Bank is honored to have supported Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles for nearly 20 years,” said Henderson. “This organization is near and dear to my heart because I have personally benefitted from having strong mentors in my life. Mentorship gives kids the guidance and encouragement they need in order to achieve their dreams. I am grateful for this experience with BBBSLA and honored to accept this recognition.”

 Paola Franco and her Big Sister Jennifer Salke

Paola Franco and her Big Sister Jennifer Salke

 Paola Franco and her Big Sister Jennifer Salke

Paola Franco and her Big Sister Jennifer Salke

A highlight of the afternoon was a speech from little sister Paola Franco, who thanked BBBSLA for matching her with Jennifer Salke in the Women In Entertainment Mentorship Program in 2013. Paola is a DACA student and is now graduating Loyola Marymount University in one year, on a full ride scholarship. “Jennifer has been a shoulder to lean on, my biggest cheerleader, and my honorary mother,” said Paola. “If you take one thing away from this, it is that your circumstances and challenges don’t define you.”

 Desiree and her Big Sister Jenah Doucette

Desiree and her Big Sister Jenah Doucette

AND OF COURSE.... the most adorable fashion show in the world! Given $30 per pair, these matches went on a shopping "spree" at Goodwill, and they strutted down the catwalk at the luncheon to show what they bought. Fashion gurus Lloyd Boston and Jenna Fredrique Aponte emceed the fashion show.

 Littles and Amber Valletta on stage

Littles and Amber Valletta on stage

Big thanks to City National Bank, who was the title sponsor!

Big thanks to Vince Bucci, who took all these photos. (: 

Anna YanComment