On Nov. 9, the Orfalea Foundation received the Partners in Educational Excellence from the Sacramento-based Association of California School Administrators at the organization’s annual Leadership Summit in San Diego.
The Partners in Educational Excellence award is given annually to exemplary school-community partnership programs that promote effective educational performance, enhanced student achievement and strong community involvement in educational quality.
The ACSA singled out the Orfalea Foundation for its long-term commitment to students at all grade levels.
Contributing factors in ACSA’s decision to recognize the Santa Barbara-based foundation were its School Food Initiative, School Gardens collaboration, early childhood education support system, generous college scholarships, and extensive working partnerships with select community organizations that offer academic and financial advice to students.
Also cited was REACH, Orfalea’s ongoing experiential program to prepare motivated students for lives of purposeful action, continuous learning and the courageous pursuit of opportunity.
“We especially appreciate this award because of its focus on partnership and teamwork,” foundation co-founder Natalie Orfalea said. “We pride ourselves on bringing talented people together to solve problems and help young people reach their full potential, so it means a lot to be recognized for those efforts.”
— Dean Zatkowsky is the communications manager for the Orfalea Foundation.