Monday, September 24, 2012

Anaheim Achieves

Today, Sept 24, 2012, marks the return of Anaheim Achieves for its 5th consecutive year on Loara High School's Campus and I couldn't be any more thrilled they are here!

What is Anaheim Achieves?

Anaheim Achieves is an afternoon program, sponsored by the Anaheim YMCA, that came to Loara in 2008 and it has since become a mainstay on the Loara campus. It started as an elementary program but with good hiring and some great philosophical changes the program is something that Loara really can't live without.

Anaheim Achieves is a place where students can get help with their academics, CAHSEE prep, community service hours, social skills and also focus on their creative side with art projects, dance, hanging out, career workshops, games, music and video production. One of their goals is to introduce students to traditional and nontraditional professions to prepare them for life after high school. Throughout the year, they plan to have career workshops, where the students will be able learn and explore different types of professions in the work force to see if they would like to continue after high school.

Last year they had photography, dj and music production, dance, art design, and this year they would like to grow with cosmetology, sports management, and movie production. It’s a fun place to be after school where students have the opportunity to understand who they want to be and find out where they want to go.

This year we are looking for people to come and talk to the kids once a week for about a month on topics like:
Anaheim Achieves Jonathan Abbas @ Sign Up Day 9.21.12
  1. Cosmetology
  2. Art
  3. T Shirt Screen Design
  4. Photography
  5. Graphic Design
  6. Promotional for the Kick Off Event
  7. etc.

OR One Day Presentations for the kids job fair style so if you are a:

  1. FBI Agent
  2. Fireman
  3. in the Music Industry
  4. Television and Movies
  5. Sports Athlete
  6. Miliatary
  7. Make Up Artist
  8. Stunt Man
  9. in Theatre
  10. Dance
  11. Education 
  12. Disneyland
  13. etc!

and have an afternoon free contact Jonathan Abbas at

Last year, Loara was lucky to have many volunteers come and help out. We had an art program where students learned different art skills and how to present their art. Artist from Hybird Apparel has a non profit program called "Blackbook Sessions", they visited Loara to help the students with their art. After a three month art program at Loara, the students where able to enter their art into a contest at a Blackbook Sessions event at Westwood College. It was a great event with food, live art, and a challenging art contest. When the day was done, one of our own students Mohammed Bibi won third place. Students found a college to explore their art oppertunities for life after high school because of this program and the visit to Westwood College.

If you would like to volunteer at Anaheim Achieves to share your occupation or a life skill with the students please contact Jon Abbas at

Jonathan Abbas working "Join a Club Week 2012"

Who is Jonathan Abbas?

Jonathan was the key that turned this elementary idea into a High School program.  Along with Loara graduates Chris Moses and Chris Kent who work at other school sites, he was able to recruit kids that really wanted a home after school. Jonathan has worked at YMCA for 5 Years and has been 3 years at Loara High School. He is married with a 8 month son named Micah.  Furthermore Jonathan is involved with programs at the YMCA like Camp Fox and Miehana, Youth Institute, and Volleyball Coach. He likes volleyball, high fives, soccer, video production, long walks on a short pier, and does hardcore parkour only in his sleep.


Program began in 1999
Serves 4,600 students in 46 school sites each day (37 elementary sites, 6 junior highs and 5 high schools)
Award-winning Collaboration
The Anaheim Family YMCA is the lead facilitator. Other partners include the City of Anaheim, California and O.C. Departments of Education and dour school districts (Anaheim City, Magnolia, Savanna, and Anaheim
Union High School)
Provides a balanced curriculum of academics, enrichment, character and fitness/nutrition
Keeps kids safe from 2:37 to 6 p.m., the hours where kids are most susceptible to negative influences.
Provides students with tutoring and mentoring
Quarterly community events: Student Showcase, Student Film Showcase


Keeps kids safe and our community safe
Gives parents peace of mind during the work day
Builds community pride by involving students, parents, business leaders and volunteers in the lives of our young people.


Safe, on-site after-school environment
Fun and engaging learning activities
Highly-trained staff
Career Academy Program (CAP)
Homework assistance and tutoring
Academic enrichment that supports state and district standards
Activities designed to build assets in students and support their success
Character-building activities
Fab 5 fitness & nutrition program
Mentoring programs
Student interest clubs (art, music, cooking, dance and many more)
Life skills, goal setting, and more!


Top collaboration in California by the Cities, Counties & Schools Partnership in 2001
Regional Learning Center through the California After School Partnership (serves as one of 13 outstanding “learning hubs” in the region)
Award for Educational Excellence from the Association of California School Administrators in 2003
Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association in 2003
National nomination as a promising after-school program in mathematics by the Southwest Educational
Development Laboratory (SEDL) in 2005
Certificate of Congressional Special Recognition, 2007

Kids enjoying the day

Why do a blog about it?

Anaheim Achieves has changed the landscape of the school.  When Loara started the nuclear family was a nuclear family.  Now we have split families, multiple families under one roof, Motel kids and the likes.  These kids need a place to be and Anaheim Achieve fills that void.  As stated above the programs they offer truly connect kids to the school, and as a teachers day is long, they no longer can hang in one room for a group of students to hang with them.  Programs like this aren't just cool they are essential.  As the Anaheim Achieves liaison I'm truly happy that they and especially Jonathan are on our campus.

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