Supervisor Ridley-Thomas honored Kimberly Anyadike — the youngest African American female to fly a plane solo across the country — at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Robin Petgrave, the founder of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum, was also recognized by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for his work in helping young pilots like Kimberly.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was the guest of honor at a July 13 pool party in Malibu organized by the HerShe Group Foundation, a group that mentors teenage girls in foster care and sponsors an annual summer camp at Pepperdine University.
The Supervisor, a longtime advocate of supportive services for foster children, implored the teenagers to work hard to achieve their dreams and told them they are fortunate to have received guidance from an organization like HerShe.
“All of us have to have support systems,” the Supervisor told the girls. “The things that seem to be challenges and impediments today won’t be tomorrow because you are those who can achieve and overcome by virtue of the fact that you have support.”
The pool party was a prelude to the HerShe Group’s 4th Annual Cinderella Ball, to be held July 19 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 Washington Boulevard.
The gala celebrates girls in foster care who have completed the group’s camp program. It also marks the debut of the girls as they approach emancipation from foster care.
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas wished the girls “an extraordinary Cinderella Ball.”
“You are going to show up and show out,” he said. “That is what we want, that is what we expect and that is why we are your supporters.”
Fifteen-year-old Kimberly Anyadike of Inglewood became the youngest African American female to fly a plane solo across the country. She took off from Compton Airport two weeks ago and flew to Newport News, Virginia, along with a safety pilot and 87-year-old Tuskegee Airmen, Levi Thornhill (seen with Kimberly in the L.A. Times photo at right).
For more information about this courageous teen see this L.A. Times article.
NOTE: Supervisor Ridley-Thomas will be honoring Kimberly at tomorrow’s Board meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Board Hearing Room at 500 W. Temple Street.
From the L.A. Times:
Khadijah Williams, 18, overcomes a lifetime in shelters and on skid row.
Khadijah Williams stepped into chemistry class and instantly tuned out the commotion.
She walked past students laughing, gossiping, napping and combing one another’s hair. Past a cellphone blaring rap songs. And past a substitute teacher sitting in a near-daze.
Quietly, the 18-year-old settled into an empty table, flipped open her physics book and focused. Nothing mattered now except homework.
“No wonder you’re going to Harvard,” a girl teased her.
Around here, Khadijah is known as “Harvard girl,” the “smart girl” and the girl with the contagious smile who landed at Jefferson High School only 18 months ago.
What students don’t know is that she is also a homeless girl.
From the L.A. Times:
“American Idol” finalist and Glendale native Allison Iraheta was honored at this morning’s Los Angeles County supervisors’ meeting, where she drew crowds and applause for her performances on the top-rated singing competition.
Iraheta, a 17-year-old student at Animo Ralph Bunche Charter High School, was accompanied by her mother, a Salvadoran immigrant, and several relatives. The fourth-place finisher on “Idol” stood out from the suited crowd in her black leather jacket, jeans and Converse sneakers, her black hair dyed pink and blue.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced Iraheta as a “punk, rock, pop” singer, noting that her accomplishments include winning the Telemundo reality show “Quinceanera” in 2006 and twice completing the Los Angeles Marathon. She is preparing to join fellow Idols on a 50-city concert tour that is scheduled to start July 5.
“She is our very own American Idol,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We wish you the very best.”
Iraheta thanked the supervisors for their support and gave a shout-out to the 25 fellow Green Dot charter high school students from Animo Pat Brown High School she spotted in the audience. The students cheered.