Los Angeles Rams front office staff visited LAUSD???s Dymally High School for a school beautification project.
In partnership with City Year, the Los Angeles Rams participated in a school beautification project at LAUSD's Dymally High School in Watts on Thursday, February 22. Front office staffers and City Year AmeriCorps members painted murals around campus to provide inspiration for the school's current and future students.
The murals depicted Rams Pro Bowl players including quarterback Jared Goff, punter Johnny Hekker as well as the NFL's Defensive & Offensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley. Each player mural was paired with a positive character traits such as perseverance, dedication, determination and teamwork. The Rams staff also painted the Dymally High School logo, as well as the logos of state universities for students to use as visual reinforcement for their academic goals and aspirations.
"The murals are positive imagery," said Principal Simone Charles. "When my students walk through the hallways and see the murals painted, it's as if they're seeing a 'vision board' that was created just for them and that the work that they're doing in class is leading them closer towards their goals of going to college. It lets my students know that college is not a dream but a reality and they can choose which college they would like to attend, they just have to put in the work, and as it says on the Rams mural, 'perseverance' and 'dedication' are the keys."
Rams COO KEVIN DEMOFF believes creating an environment that drives learning and creativity is of paramount importance for our students in the Southern California region. Therefore, he has made it a priority for the Rams organization to creatively find ways to inspire youth, and to improve their learning spaces in order to maximize their engagement and passion for school.
"We partnered with City Year at Dymally High School to do a beautification project with murals really to help students be inspired to learn," said Demoff. "I think the things we've been involved with working alongside City Year is really for the social and emotional well-being of kids as they walk into school and making them feel proud about their environment and walking into class with their head held higher, and hopefully that helps them do a little better in the classroom."
Although the Rams season will officially begin in September and hopefully end in February, the team's passion to improve both on the field and in the community is unwavering all-year round. Demoff doesn't see the team's community initiatives as volunteer work, rather a civic duty.
"Part of the job of being a sports team and an NFL team in Los Angeles is not just playing games on the field and hopefully winning games, but about giving back to the community in a meaningful way," said Demoff. "I think our job is to roll up our sleeves as a staff or organization and get involved with the schools, get involved to try to solve homelessness, work with the veterans locally, and any other way we can contribute to the LA community and give back to remind people we're here 365 days a year and not just 16 Sundays a year."
Having partnered with the Rams on numerous occasions throughout 2017, City Year's Executive Director Mary Jane Stevenson has been encouraged with the work they've been able to do together in the Southern LA community. Through the various different initiatives, City Year and the Rams have been able to elevate the learning environment for local schools and give back to our community in creative and engaging ways.
"I have been personally inspired by the Rams' enthusiastic embrace of the City Year team at Grape St. Elementary and the school community as a whole," said Stevenson. "Whether it's helping students write letters of gratitude at Thanksgiving time or showing their love by giving every student a brand new bike, Rams players and staff have stepped up both professionally and personally to show our students that they matter. In addition to their sponsorship of Grape St. elementary, we are incredibly grateful to the Rams for helping to transform Dymally High School into an inviting learning center where South L.A. students can learn and thrive today and for generations to come. We are excited to grow our relationship with the Rams so together we can continue to help more kids graduate high school and create lasting social change in Los Angeles."
City Year is a national organization that mobilizes AmeriCorps members for a year of full-time service in underserved communities to serve as tutors, mentors and role models for students so they graduate high school, college, and become career-ready. During the 2017-2018 school year, the Rams partnered with City Year by sponsoring a team of AmeriCorps members to help serve Grape Street Elementary School in Watts.
The beautification project was part of the Rams' monthly Day of Service program. Each month, the Rams front office staff takes time out of the office to volunteer with local non-profits. For more information about the Rams community outreach programs, please visit therams.com/community.