The Lionakis Foundation was established in 2009 as a charitable organization dedicated to philanthropy, giving back and volunteerism to promote a better future for the communities in which we all live and work. The charitable organizations we give back to are held close to our employees’ hearts and are nominated and funded by them. In March, we gave back to the Los Angeles Trust (LA Trust) for Children’s Health, nominated by Ana Perales in our Healthcare Studio. The LA Trust was established in 1991 and has an important mission of improving the health of Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) children who may live in poverty and have inadequate healthcare. By serving as the District’s health entity, LA Trust bridges the gap between LAUSD, community clinics, mental health providers, advocacy groups and program partners to collaboratively work together in improving the urgent health issues affecting the lives of young people.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has one of the highest concentrations of low-income students in California, with more than 84% of students living at or below the poverty line. Students who receive low-quality or inconsistent healthcare are more likely to be absent from class, perform poorly in school and dropout altogether. Without a high school diploma, youth are then at greater risk of continued poverty and potential incarceration.

The LA Trust makes a difference in the lives of students in need by:

  1. Providing free screenings referrals and student-led education on urgent health issues, including mental health, oral health, vaping, substance use, nutrition, and sexual and reproductive health, all in the safe and trusted setting of public schools.
  2. Collecting and analyzing data to help drive policy change, seeking answers that will guide funding as well as make the case for expanded school-based healthcare.
  3. Bringing educators, healthcare providers, students and community agencies and leaders together to tackle urgent issues affecting the lives of young people. Together they dissolve barriers to access through advocacy and collective impact.

Last week, the Lionakis Foundation hosted a virtual Lunch and Learn for the LA Trust to learn more about their impactful mission, and the ways our employees can volunteer their time and efforts to help give back. At the conclusion of the program the Lionakis Foundation presented LA Trust with a check for $2,500 to contribute towards their mission of bridging the worlds of health and education to achieve student wellness.