GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation has recently announced the expansion of its community service role in the Pasadena Foothills area headed by Kathy Lee, naming her Director of Community Services. GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE is a non-profit organization serving Los Angeles County youths and young adults in crisis, who are at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of human trafficking. Lee is supervising a significant, immediate and continued support endeavor, tasked with being a power of example of guidance, unconditional love and leadership for the long term.
“As GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation’s Director of Community Services, I help recent high school graduates from Learning Works Charter School,” said Lee. “This Pasadena school is for students who have previously dropped out of the traditional school setting. We are helping them transition into the next phases of their lives. I help them enroll in vocational studies, find jobs and give them that extra nudge toward their passions and interests. I work alongside a small, highly dedicated group of professionals who encourage and guide students struggling to deal with life on a daily basis.”
Lee has numerous responsibilities. She assists in organizing financial aid and continuing education, as well as locating potential internships and apprentice opportunities for the youth and young adults the organization serves through its partnership with Learning Works. According to Dr. Mikala Rahn, Founder of Learning Works, “The GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation has been a true blessing to Learning Works, not only in terms of funding, but support staff and students directly. Kathy Lee has been amazing at supporting our graduates to transition to postsecondary education and employment.”
Most recently, Lee has placed two women in medical assistant roles, with tuition covered 100% by financial aid. Currently, she is assisting with placing a young man in a First Responder Program in pursuit of his ultimate goal of becoming an emergency medical technician and helping a young woman enroll in the Navy. Lee added, “The opportunities for these youth are endless. They just need a little help, and a lot of encouragement.”
Locating opportunities and possibilities for people who think that they don’t deserve or have the possibility of a productive and happy future is what drives Lee in her work. As Raul Zarate, Learning Works Middle School Program Coordinator, put it, “Kathy Lee is helping individuals who perhaps lack researching skills or motivation, those who would not have received help after getting their diploma.” He added, “She embodies the definition of what we call a ‘Chaser’ here at Learning Work. She tirelessly chases our graduates trying to figure out their individual needs as well as researching opportunities, and options currently available for them to take advantage of near the individual’s residency.”
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation, as well as the Learning Works, recognize great value in having Lee as an advocate for the students. Donna Pierson, Founder of GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE Foundation, remarked, “There is a very warm and kind nature about Kathy that attracts the youths to her side.” Pierson added, “She has a special and natural talent in mentoring, encouraging and counseling. She can calm the most agitated youth with soothing conversation and get them to focus on the task at hand. Kathy is truly one of the most tenacious, yet gentle, individuals I have ever met, which is why I think her success rate with these graduates is outstanding.”
Currently, Lee is in the process of applying to become a Master of Social Welfare at UCLA and a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy at USC. With both degrees to her name, Lee plans on implementing her knowledge with the youth and professionals she works alongside with by offering resources to assist in education, childcare, mental health and practical skills in hopes to have positive outcomes in a magnitude that would be far more effective than addressing problems in adulthood.
Lee stated, “I am privileged to be a member of an organization that works humbly and believes deeply that we can make a real impression on the lives of the underserved youth in our community.”
Photography by: Diana Ramirez
This article was featured in the Pasadena Outlook Newspaper on February 25, 2021.
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE is a Foundation of dedicated professionals serving LA County youths and young adults in-crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of Human Trafficking.
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