New Computer Lab is Up and Running

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Events, Featured Slider, News | 0 comments

Community members recently joined friends and supporters at Hathaway-Sycamores’ Highland Park Family Resource Center for the dedication of a new Computer Lab, the latest addition to the agency’s Learning Lab. The Computer Lab is decked out with twenty new laptop computers available for at-risk area youth to use free of charge.

We invite you to watch the brief video of the dedication ceremony of the Computer Lab. You will hear from one student, Javier, as he shares how important this resource has been to him.

Hathaway-Sycamores Board Member Henry Matson and his wife Paulette Matson trying out the new Computer Lab.

Henry and Paulette Matson trying out the new Computer Lab.

The new addition to the Learning Lab was made possible by a generous gift from Long Beach philanthropists Paulette and Henry Matson. The Matsons are longtime supporters of Hathaway-Sycamores in general and of the Learning Lab in particular.

Speaking to the assembled guests, Henry explained his passion for the work done at the Learning Lab. He recalled his first visit to the Lab when Simon Gee, then the Lab’s Manager, shared a box of letters from grateful former students. “Many were struggling when they came to the Lab but with the help of tutors were able to achieve success.” Henry realized that the Learning Lab changes lives. “The chance to go to college changes the trajectory of that student’s life,” Henry said. “When their lives change, they also change their own families. And when families change, communities change. We change communities one student at a time.”

Hathaway-Sycamores Board Member Henry Matson, Learning Lab Manager Mabel Ramirez and Learning Lab student Javier Reyes

Henry Matson, Learning Lab Manager Mabel Ramirez and Learning Lab student Javier Reyes

Hathaway-Sycamores President & CEO Debbie Manners thanked Henry and Paulette Matson for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children and families and presented them with a framed photo of the Matsons with kids from the Learning Lab and photo book from last year’s Celebrating Children Awards Reception – which honored the Matsons – and a proclamation from Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar.

Ken Goldstein, Annsley Strong, Renée LaBran, Hathaway-Sycamores President & CEO Debbie Manners, Michael Galper and Malcom Boyd

Ken Goldstein, Annsley Strong, Renée LaBran, Hathaway-Sycamores President & CEO Debbie Manners, Michael Galper and Malcom Boyd

The Learning Lab – which serves area students ages 5 to 18 – provides a safe place to study after school, including access to computers and printers. Open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Learning Lab personnel also provide tutoring, SAT prep, and assistance completing college applications. Nineteen local public schools refer students to the Family Resource Center, and it is the only free resource of its kind in the Northeast Los Angeles community.

Area high school students who have taken advantage of the Family Resource Center’s tutoring, SAT prep, and college-application assistance have earned acceptance – often accompanied by full-ride scholarships – at Ivy League and other top-rated universities. In recent years these have included Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Brown University, University of California (Los Angeles, Irvine, Berkeley) and the University of Southern California. Additionally, teens who completed the Center’s SAT prep course boosted their SAT scores by more than 150 points, and students who received tutoring improved their grades by at least one letter grade and – in some instances – two letter grades.

The Learning Lab is part of Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services’ Family Resource Center recently restored, eye-catching Craftsman home located at 840 N. Ave. 66 in Highland Park. The 110-year-old structure – which was designated Historic-Cultural Monument (#411) in 1989 – today houses clinicians and program personnel for the agency’s Highland Park Family Resource Center which also provides therapeutic and other support services to area children, teens and families.

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