On Sunday, September 29, the Los Angeles Rams surprised their first Community Quarterback award winner of 2019, EMMA POVEDA, on the field during pregame of the Buccaneers-Rams matchup. The Community Quarterback Award, presented by SoCal Honda Dealers, is a volunteer recognition and grant program that awards funding to deserving volunteers and the non-profits that they serve.
Attending her first NFL game, Poveda was beyond excited when she arrived at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Little did she know that she was going to be the first recipient of the Rams Community Quarterback Award of the 2019 season.
"I had no idea! I genuinely thought that we were just going to watch some Rams football," said Poveda. "I was super excited because it was my first time going to an NFL game. The energy on the field was electric and everyone was so welcoming. My experience on Sunday is something I'll never forget."
Poveda began volunteering with Los Angeles Family Housing (LAFH) over two years ago and is one of the most dedicated and dynamic volunteers within the organization. She serves as the President of the Youth Action Council, a community service leadership group for teens in the LA area. She also independently organizes and executes enrichment activities for the program participants.
"Emma is the type of volunteer that every agency would be lucky to have. She educates her friends and family on issues of homelessness and encourages them to get involved in LAFH's work," said LAFH Grants Manager, Chelsea Mottern. "She upholds LAFH's core values of dignity, perseverance, leadership and collaboration. Every time she volunteers, she shows up with a positive, inspiring energy and a willingness to do whatever it takes to give our participants a positive experience."
Over the winter holidays, Poveda organized a well-attended holiday cookie-decorating and greeting card party for LAFH program participants living in Bridge Housing, a temporary housing development for individuals and families. She managed the entire event from conception to execution. With a passion for creative writing, Poveda recently organized and led a workshop for youth program participants called the Writers Room. After receiving positive feedback about the workshop, Poveda now plans to lead additional workshops at other LAFH interim housing sites.
Emma Poveda was honored by the LA Rams and SoCal Honda Dealers as a Community QB for her work with LA Family Housing.
"I created Writers Room because of my passion for creative writing and my goal with the project is to cultivate that same outlet for the younger LAFH residents," said Poveda. "In writing workshops, community members can develop language tools to express themselves and connect with their emotions in a creative and constructive way. Through this project, I've met some of the warmest kids. It's been incredible to see them get in touch with that creatively-inclined side of themselves."
Poveda was introduced to LAFH when a staff member spoke to her at Harvard-Westlake about the program and she immediately knew she wanted to get involved. She is passionate about her school's mission to serve a purpose beyond themselves and implement that purpose outside of school grounds. Poveda educates her friends and family on issues of homelessness and thinks its great that the Rams celebrate these efforts.
"Our school mission statement at Harvard-Westlake encourages students to serve a purpose beyond ourselves," said Poveda. "My work at LAFH allows me to do that and receiving this honor is truly so meaningful. The Rams hold such a prominent place in the heart of the Los Angeles community and it's really special to see the Rams give back in big ways. Grants such as the Community Quarterback Award allows organizations like LAFH to make a lasting impact in our community and keep families together. I feel honored to have a role in supporting LAFH so impactfully...this is just the beginning!"
For more information about the Rams Community Quarterback Award presented by SoCal Honda Dealers, please visit www.therams.com/community/communityquarterback.