Latino contributions to the community was the spotlight for the Fourth Annual City of Pasadena Night as over one thousand Pasadena residents converged on STAPLES Center Saturday, August 25th in support of the Ideal Youth summer internship program fundraiser. Funds raised from the event will assist Ideal Youth in providing students hands-on career internship opportunities, competitive workforce skills training and stipends.
The Fourth Annual City of Pasadena Night, themed "Latino Fiesta", could not have been any more explosive for the organization and its guests. The laughing, dancing and energetic smiles on the faces of the over three hundred young people bused from Pasadena to STAPLES Center provided evidence of the impact this event has on youth every year.
Students from Pasadena Unified School District were seen working the check-in stations, ticket distribution, ushering, photographing, interviewing guests as they walked the red carpet and hosting the pre-game reception program. Among those receiving recognition for their contribution to the Pasadena community were: Israel Estrada, Yuny Parada, Randy Ertll, Ramon Miramontes, Abel Martinez, and Robin Salzer. Jeanette O'Mally, Executive Director of the Pasadena Museum of History, also recognized Sandi Mejia and family as the longest standing Latino family in Pasadena. Honored guests received certificates of appreciation from Assembly Member Anthony Portantino, Congresswomen Judy Chu and Senator Carol Liu. Mayor Bill Bogaard was in attendance.
"Latino heritage is a significant part of the fabric and culture of the city of Pasadena. It is an honor and a privilege to recognize their rich contributions through dance and music on a grand stage. This is our way of showing they are appreciated," said Ishmael Trone founder of Ideal Youth.
Assembly Member Portantino was moved upon receiving a special induction, becoming the first person to be given the title of "Honorary Intern for Life". Portantino accepted the honor graciously. He received this unique recognition from Ideal Youth for his unwavering support of Pasadena youth and the summer internship program upon inception.
The entertainment did not disappoint. Guests were on their feet as the Pasadena based dance school, The Dance Family Studio, executed an exciting routine center court with Angel Voices and David Longoria, performing to Longoria's newest instrumental dance single "Zoon Baloomba". The spotlight on Pasadena didn't stop there, the Jackie Robinson Center Senior Program lined up the fan tunnel for the Sparks starting five, while eleven youth from the Pasadena Parks and Recreation Department received game balls exchanges. The post game performances by comedian Felipe Esparza, host Kiki Melendez and singers D'Manti, Jon Secada and Baby Bash rocked the house. However, the most amazing feat was the large number of Ideal Youth interns that took center court to be congratulated for successfully completing their 2012 summer internships.
"Ideal Youth is excited to celebrate another successful year of providing students hands-on career internship opportunities and competitive workforce skills training. Since our inception, we've placed over two hundred fifty youth in internships of their dream career. It's exciting and refreshing to see students from all ethnicities and economic stature apply and excel for a chance of achieving their dreams. Many of our students have been offered permanent part time jobs, career opportunities, scholarships and acceptance to some of the most prestigious universities in the nation. Pasadena night is an exciting time for Ideal Youth. It's not only our annual fundraiser, but our chance to proudly highlight the amazing future leaders that we have in our youth." Said Kardia Pinckney, president of Ideal Youth.
The Sparks 2012 "City of Pasadena Night" is presented in partnership with the City of Pasadena, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, F&M Business Center, and Unyque Financial.
Sponsored by El Portal, First Student, Pasadena Journal, Robins Wood Fire BBQ & Grill, Wells Fargo Colorado Branch, Wells Fargo Central Branch and the Alta-Pasa Community Improvement Center.