AltaMed Hosted Star-Studded Gala to Empower Girls

First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a special message on the need to empower girls to build a stronger future

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: May 17, 2016

AltaMed Hosted Star-Studded Gala to Empower Girls

Last Thursday, Latino leaders, celebrities and social justice advocates came out to support AltaMed Health Services' annual gala to empower all girls, themed "Power Up," at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The gala's esteemed honorees included, First Lady Michelle Obama, who delivered a special video message to guests; Sir Richard Branson, who presented his mother Eve Branson, the Maverick Woman Award; Pepita Serrano, Dr. Robert Adler, Julie Ann Crommett, Maite Perroni, La Santa Cecilia and Janelle Monáe. The evening's entertainment included performances by Janelle Monáe and Debbie Allen Dance Academy Red Birds.

During the gala, AltaMed released a study in partnership with UCLA and Charles Drew University, as a call to action to create a more equal California for all girls. The study highlighted California's diversity and the disparities facing all girls, especially girls of color, who comprise 72.4% of all girls 10-14 in the state. Identifying Diversity Deserts, like Silicon Valley and Hollywood's Entertainment Industry, the study challenged all Californians to step up and open doors to all women and girls so that they can reach their full potential. AltaMed is one of the nation's leading social justice advocates for the underserved and under-represented. "Power Up" addresses the need for a more level playing field for all families, beginning with women and girls, who currently are at the bottom of the ladder.

Mayra Torres, an East Los Angeles senior at Roosevelt High School shared about how she will be the first person in her family to graduate high school this spring and be the first to attend college this fall. Through AltaMed's Escalera program, which has received national acclaim for its award-winning curriculum and has a 98% success rate in helping youth enter college, Mayra has received encouragement and support to apply to 12 colleges within the United States. Her dream is to advocate for mental health awareness and reduce stigma within the Latino community. She aspires to work for an organization that empowers and encourages girls to pursue higher education. The "Power Up" Gala raised funds to continue the success of this program.

Through its annual gala, AltaMed raises critical funds necessary to continue to provide primary health and dental services, senior care, HIV care, pharmacies, teen rescue programs, childhood obesity prevention and more for under-served populations throughout Southern California.

AltaMed's continued efforts to increase access to comprehensive health and human services for medically underserved communities has resulted in over one million annual patient visits across 47 sites throughout Southern California, earning AltaMed recognition as one of the nation's leaders in health care. For three years in a row, AltaMed has become the number one Obamacare enrollment entity in the State of California.

To learn more about AltaMed, visit:

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