LOS ANGELES – Calibrate co-founder Charletta Johnson was introduced in the mid-1990s to the Ojai Foundation, which trained her in a process later named Connections – the very tool used as she started schools to create the safe school culture needed by her South Los Angeles students to foster trust, mutual respect and accountability.
When the Class of 2006 had their reunion in 2016, it invited former teachers Marcos Vann and Marcie Gilbert and used Connections as its format. What Gilbert found from surveying the reunion – which served as the basis for her M.A. thesis – was that alumni felt Connections cultivated social-emotional skills and provided a foundation for personal successes. That led to the formation of Calibrate in July 2018 to increase the number of places where kids could benefit from Connections.
Today the organization's executive director and co-founder, Gilbert's role in continuing that work is why she was recently recognized as the Rams' 12th pLAymaker honoree.
"The money helps us meet the demand (for mental health services), for sure, but it's the honor and the recognition by this organization," Gilbert said. "Because I have to say, I've done my homework into seeing what our resources are here in Los Angeles, and the Rams really are about the community. I see it in the work you do, the relationships you build. We call you guys in my household our 'Ramily,' so it is an amazing honor to be part of the Ramily because it feels like a reflection back of our own value and integrity because that's what we see in you."