Community Impact: Breaking Barriers and Bridging the Gap

SEF’s investments in breaking down barriers in access to the arts will go far in helping to close achievement gaps and creating career paths.

1. Why do you support SEF?

VP of Finance and Administration
California Institute of the Arts
Former SEF President

I support SEF as the Foundation has made art education and exposure a high priority. While I believe most people understand that the arts are important in a well rounded education, budgets and time committed for the arts has diminished over the years in K-12 education.

Recent research on the impact of the arts on academic and social development have found that there is strong evidence that arts educational experiences can produce significant positive impacts on academic and social development. Families that have resources are able to augment their child’s exposure to the arts outside of the school curriculum in ways that not all families are able to participate.

Furthermore, there are multiple career paths in the arts that can become reality with access to the arts. SEF’s investments in breaking down barriers in access to the arts will go far in helping to close achievement gaps and creating career paths.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

I believe that one thing that SEF does is to provide access – access to the arts, access to community engagement, access to summer enrichment programs through scholarships, access to program development through teacher grants, access to music through program funding, access to fun through community events – the list goes on.

Thanks to the San Marino Rotary Readers Program & the Kids Need to Read Foundation our book deliveries continue

We are excited to reminisce about our recent book delivery to Wilson Elementary School where 68 Kinder-2nd grade Mandarin Dual Language Immersion students received a special gift. All in all there were 136 individual resources including a book or learning resource and a Highlights magazine for each student.

We are thankful to our supporters from the San Marino Rotary Readers Program and the Kids Need to Read Foundation for their investment in our organization which allows us to continue our book giveaways in San Gabriel public schools!!

Books enrich students’ lives in many ways including building vocabulary, improving memory, sharpening their intellect and relieving stress. Please visit our website at if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation in support of our efforts. We thank you!

Thank YOU for joining us at Tia Gladys!

When: Thursday, February 10th ~ 4-7pm
Where: Tia Gladys Restaurant – 921 S. Gladys Avenue (next to Mission Car Wash)

Thank you to everyone who came out to support SEF during this yummy fundraising event! And much appreciation goes out to Tia Gladys for hosting a wonderful night of food, fun and family.

Thank you for your support of the San Gabriel Educational Foundation and the students in our schools!!

SEF Distributes almost 800 pieces of literature to McKinley Grades K-5 Spanish Dual Language Immersion Students

Every study confirms that reading skills are the strongest predictor of success in school, and the presence of books in the home makes all the difference.

Thanks to generous support provided by the Kids Need to Read Foundation and the San Marino Rotary Readers Program, SEF and a small group of dedicated volunteers distributed almost 800 pieces of literature to excited students.

After providing students with access to and a choice of books, we are thrilled to share that each student left the event with brand new, free, quality pieces of literature. One student said…”this is the best day ever!”

Up next: With partnership support from the amazing teachers SEF is building a dual language vocabulary bank designed to introduce and share a student developed Spanish language word bank. We can’t wait to share further details soon!!

SEF focusing on ways to increase support of student’s literacy development for all K-12 students? We say YES!

Thank YOU for attending SEFs Partnership Planning Meeting!

Your dedication and efforts individually, and for many of you as a team, continues to inspire the San Gabriel Educational Foundation. As you know, we are all fortunate to be part of a dynamic district that is rich in cultural diversity and is recognized as a leader in many outstanding programs. Together, in partnership, I am confident we can have a significant impact on the success of SEF and the financial support we provide the district.

As we plan for the future, we look forward to forging strong partnerships with each and every one of you. We will continue our commitment to excellence and strive to align SEF funded programs to the broader mission, vision and philosophy of the district. We will continue to focus on students and student achievement and strive to be flexible, adaptable and responsive to the community’s changing needs. We will move forward together as the strong community that we are.

Moving forward, we will be scheduling our next meeting and hope that when joining us you will bring along friends and colleagues (lots of them) and that we will learn and grow together to become a powerful force for all things wonderful in our community!!

In the meantime, we are hosting a SEF Board Recruitment event on Wednesday, 10/27. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about our organization or has interest in possibly joining the Board please rsvp to let me know you will be joining us.

Thank you for all that you do!

Teacher appreciation, thanks to SEF’s community partners

Thanks to generous funding provided by Schools First Credit Union, and of course the abundant support we receive from our partners at Johnny Was and Green Street Restaurant, SEF has been hopping all over town distributing teacher gift bags to all of the SGUSD credentialed teachers, the school site Principals and their incredible Office Managers. This go around, we are also thrilled to share there has even been a few gift bags accounted for and distributed at the district office accordingly!!

You know that feeling when you do something you hope brings joy and happiness to others? Well we could not be more grateful to our funding partners, donors and supporters for giving us the opportunity to understand that special feeling today and every day!!

SEF Awards the SGUSD $10,000 in support of Visual and Performing Arts

SEF wholeheartedly believes in the necessity and benefits of the arts in education, and its role as a powerful healing and unifying expression of San Gabriel’s diverse and talented community.

We are overwhelmed by the generous support received from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation that will allow us to continue to provide much needed financial support, resources and programming for all students. We thank them and all of our donors for sharing in our vision. We are grateful for all those who are helping to make our communities a better place to live and work and for making a difference in the lives of our youth!!

Dream. Imagine. Create. Art Exhibition Recap

Click here to view the Art Exhibition video.

In the spring, the foundation launched our 2021 Youth Art Exhibition ~ Dream. Imagine. Create. which was developed to inspire youth to share their experiences of their time during quarantine and to engage and support our community. We were delighted to invite all of the almost 5,000 grades K-12 students in San Gabriel public schools to participate in a virtual art exhibition during a time when in-person engagement was not possible.

We recognize the faith and trust that has been placed in our organization and are proud to share the exhibition proved to be overwhelmingly successful from the very beginning. We wanted to give students a chance at the opportunity to publicly display their artwork in the community for all to enjoy and to share in a community celebration of creativity and resilience.

We kicked off our celebratory events with a drive-thru gift distribution on Tuesday, May 18th. All participating students were invited to move forward and “stop” by each of the gift tables (while remaining in their cars at all times) to receive a swag bag containing a custom deck of playing cards, developed with their very own masterpiece, gift certificates to Nothing Bundt Cakes Pasadena and Wetzel’s Pretzels, a themed baseball cap, and even a sweet treat. It was an incredibly uplifting event filled with spirit, much enthusiasm and marvelous artwork!

Then on Thursday, May 20th we unveiled the 2021 Art Exhibition ~ Dream. Imagine. Create. virtual art exhibit during an online celebration. Guests were invited to enjoy the exhibit which contained 63 original pieces of artwork commissioned by inspiring grades K-12 San Gabriel public school students. Please click the link at the top of this article to enjoy the video.

That same evening we were pleased to announce the 2021 Art Exhibition Award of Excellence winners whose artwork best captured the theme “Art in a Time of Quarantine.” Each winning artist was invited to the San Gabriel Grapevine to receive their winning prizes. The SEF Board President, Alison DeVriendt, Vice President, Events Rosiris Paniagua, Executive Director Adela Angiuli together with the San Gabriel Unified School District Superintendent Mr. Jim Symonds and City of San Gabriel Councilwoman Denise Menchaca congratulated the winning artists and presented each of them with a $50 gift card and a framed print of their masterpiece. With much enthusiasm we continue to congratulate the winners:

Grades K – 2: Emily “My Gratitude Tree”

Grades 3 – 5: Connor “Daydreaming in My Version of School”

Grades 6 – 8: Samantha “Quarantine Essentials”

Grades 9 – 12: Subrina “Road to Home”

As you can imagine, there was an immense sense of pride to be able to share in the celebration in a public space of such historic significance in our community.

The fun does not end there…it is with great pleasure that we publicly announce the thirty individual masterpieces that were selected, developed into pole banners and are hanging within the City of San Gabriel Mission District for public viewing now through the end of June. We are happy to share the selection process took place by an outside agency not affiliated with the foundation and the announcement that took place during our virtual celebration was a wonderful surprise to everyone! The artists whose masterpieces were selected for public display and viewing are:

Adrian: 12th grade, “Don’t Rain on Me”
Alexis: 3rd Grade, “Let’s Work Together”
Angelina: 12th grade, “Day & Night”
Caylee: 5th grade, “Half way there”
Colleen: 1st grade, “Undersea Adventure”
Conner W: 3rd grade, “Daydreaming In My Version of School”
Daniel: 11th grade, “Ice Cream”
Dax: Kinder, “The Covid Heart”
Devin: 4th grade, “Harry Potter”
Divine: 5th grade, “Dream Imagine your creation”
Emi: 1st grade, “Life Underwater”
Emily: 2nd grade, “My gratitude Tree”
Henry: 12th grade, “Bonsai Tree”
John: 6th grade, “We Choose to go to the moon”
Kaiya: 11th grade, “Current!”
Kayce: 4th grade, “Wishing Bridge”
Kyle: 11th grade, “Red Dawn Samurai thing, thing”
Madeline: 2nd grade, “Bebe Elefante/Baby Elephant”
Megan: 11th grade, “Awaiting”
Moya: 12th grade, “Tea Time”
Natalie: 2nd grade, “I Have a Dream”
Odin: 6th grade, “Let your Imagination Soar”
Paxton: 5th grade, “Dream, Imagine, Create your future”
Rachel: 12th grade, “Tiger Cloud”
Raidyn: 3rd grade, “Imagination Flowers”
Samantha: 6th grade, “Quarantine Essentials”
Samantha: 10th grade, “Monster of Dreams”
Skyli: 1st grade, “My Dream Animals”
Subrina: 12th grade, “Road to Home”
Sydney: 6th grade, “California Flowers”

We would like to thank All of the amazing artists for sharing their creativity, joy and resilience with us!! We invite the community to take a walking tour of the public display of the 30 pieces of youth art, which has been hung in the Mission District. The walking tour begins on Mission Road in front of the San Gabriel Mission Church and runs through Mission Drive north to Broadway (there are plenty of small shops and eateries to stop by and visit during your walk. Don’t forget to tell them SEF sent you). We truly believe the public display of talent is sure to leave you with a sense of the magnitude of the importance of the arts in education.

Inspired by our grades K-2 Award of Excellence winner Emily….we continue to add to our “Gratitude Tree” as the celebrations continue!!

Recently, City of San Gabriel Mayor Chin Ho Liao and Councilwoman Denise Menchaca presented SEF Board President Alison Devriendt and Executive Director Adela Angiuli with a Certificate of Congratulations in celebration of the success of the program. Included was a special thanks for the contribution of art towards the beautification of San Gabriel.

Dream. Imagine. Create. is hosted by SEF thanks to generous grant funding received from event sponsors and the wider community.

We are incredibly grateful to the following Event Sponsors:

An anonymous donor advised fund at the California
Community Foundation
Cathay Bank Foundation
Chick-fil-A, Pasadena
Mission Valley Free Methodist Church

Shout out to the incredible team of highly skilled professionals at the CRP Group who have designed and developed creative marketing collateral for our organization each and every time they are called upon. CRP Team, your commitment to our organization has helped us achieve our goals and meet our sometimes impossible deadlines. Your investment in the mission of SEF has played a pivotal role in the branding of our organization and in our efforts to effectively communicate with all of our stakeholders and for these reasons and so many others, we are extremely grateful to you for your support!

We would also like to thank the City of San Gabriel for their partnership in our inaugural event. We appreciate the confidence you have placed in our organization and your collaborative efforts in support of the students in San Gabriel public schools. A huge thank you to all of the amazing student artists for sharing their talent and creative energy with us. We are inspired to dream, imagine and create because of you!!

We extend our deepest gratitude from the bottom of our hearts to all those who believe in our mission. You have allowed us to promote and enhance the community’s capacity to support the educational environment in our community for all students!!

What’s next? It has been an incredible honor for us to bring this shared celebration of the arts to our community. We hope that by bringing the students’ artwork together we have been able to effectively show how they were able to conceptualize their individual experiences during quarantine. We have been asked what we feel is the secret formula to the success of the event….our answer is simply there is no secret. It is the meaningful engagement and contributions of many that allowed us to support our youth and build community.

As we continue to promote the power of the arts we remain thoroughly committed to collaborating with a diverse group of individuals in support of the arts in San Gabriel public schools. We will continue to do what we do with passion, integrity, and a positive attitude all while remaining mission driven and self-directed. We invite you to join us in our cause, donate your time, treasure or talent to help us continue our good work. If you have questions about our organization please continue to refer to our website and our Facebook page . Reach out to SEF’s Board President at if you would like more information on joining our team!!

The San Gabriel Community Needs YOUR Support

We all know that supporting local businesses during this time means they will still be there when the lock-down is over and that makes the San Gabriel community a better place.

Below are a few ways you can support the SG Community today:

1) Shop local. Strengthen our community from within; make your daily, weekly or monthly purchases from a local SG business.

2) Purchase gift cards. Establishments like bars and restaurants who were forced to close will be suffering right now, with no patrons filling the barstools or booths. Consider buying gift cards for the businesses you visit most often to use later when they are officially up and running again.

3) Order takeout. Can’t wait until you can eat your favorite meals from your favorite local restaurants? Many are keeping things going by offering meals to go, and some are even providing free delivery. This is a great way to keep money going into the local community, and as a bonus, you still get to enjoy all your favorite dishes.

4) Increase the tip amount. Don’t forget, servers and delivery people will also be feeling the decrease in business, and many of them survive on the tips they’re now missing. If you’re ordering takeout or delivery, consider giving a little more than usual when tipping. The tip may not go right back to the restaurant, but it goes to the workers who can put it towards the essentials they may need during this slower time.

5) Have discretionary dollars to spare? Make a tax deductible online donation to SEF today… help us continue to support the over 5,000 students we serve

It is our honor to highlight a true business leader in the community, the San Gabriel Hilton Hotel! Through thoughtful management and creative thinking, the hotel remains open, with limited staff, and continue to serve the community through their To Go Menu and Essentials Menu options. Take a look at their menu below!

We will persevere TOGETHER

For more than 34 years, the San Gabriel Educational Foundation has been driven by a mission to serve the students of the San Gabriel Unified School District. Throughout these years our community driven organization has provided supplemental funding for programs that inspire learning, and promote innovation and academic excellence, in San Gabriel public schools.

During these times of uncertainty, our hearts and thoughts go out to the people all over the world who have been affected by this unprecedented health crisis. As we all come together to better understand how we can help slow the spread of COVID-19, we want to let our community know that SEF is ready and standing by to support the San Gabriel public schools with passion and integrity deserving of our students, their families, our district team and our community. 

For now we would like to thank you for sharing your smiles, your stories and your selfless acts of caring. Together we will strengthen our conditions, our resources, and our community. Together we are stronger. Together we can and will get through this!

May you all be received with continued health, peace and happiness today and everyday!

The San Gabriel Educational Foundation Board of Directors