Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet Wins Aspen Challenge: Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Building a movement to create water sustainability awareness in Los Angeles, Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet took home first place in the 2015 Aspen Challenge: Los Angeles competition at Garfield High on Saturday. The 10-member team will showcase its solution in Aspen, Colo. at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival in July.

Sixteen teams representing 160 students and educators from across the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) presented innovative solutions to current social issues in the day-long closing competition of the Aspen Challenge, a collaboration with the Aspen Institute and the Bezos Family Foundation, with support from the Moriah Fund.

“This was an adventurous journey for each team,” said. Dr. Brenda Manuel, administrator at LAUSD’s Parent Community Student Services Branch. “Each member brought his/her talent, creativity and dedication and in the process, gained a new voice as a leader.”

Other winners included:

·         Second Place – Taft High School – Common Cents, is a program for high school students to mentor middle school students in the skills of managing their finances.

·         Third Place – John F. Kennedy High School – PROJECT B.O.L.D. (Brave, Outstanding, Loving, Dependable), uses social media to be brave and outstanding against bullies and loving and dependable towards their victims.

·         People’s Choice – Rancho Dominguez – Lobos in A.C.T.I.O.N. (Action Changes Things in our Neighborhood), is producing a documentary that shows the crippling effects of bullying and how one person at a time can have an immense impact on this movement.

·         Impact – Downtown Magnets High School – Get M.E.A.N. (Media Engagement, Activism Now), focuses on digital literacy and encourages individuals to challenge negative media stereotypes.

·         Team Spirit – King/Drew Medical Magnet – King/Drew Sobriety Promoters, raises awareness of alcohol abuse via campaigns and a partnership with King Hospital.

·         Best Exhibit – Reseda High School – H2Oh Yeah, advocates the implementation of sustainable water systems in California.


Photo: Westchester Environmental Sustainability Movement showcases its water sustainability campaign, including proposed legislation to make water-use schedules permanent.

Contact: Lydia L. Ramos (213) 241-6766