NEWS: Community Members Celebrate SMCA
County Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas and over 400 Community Members Celebrate Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Brand-New Bright Star Schools Campus in Baldwin Village
Nearly 17 years after its founding, Bright Star Schools opens a permanent facility for its flagship school, Stella Middle Charter Academy, through community partnership
Los Angeles, CA -- Today, Bright Star Schools, a network of nine high-performing, tuition-free charter public schools across three communities in Los Angeles -- West Adams/Baldwin Village, Koreatown, and the San Fernando Valley -- announced a successful community celebration of the brand-new school building for Stella Middle Charter Academy in Baldwin Village. Held on Saturday, February 22, the ribbon cutting and celebration was 17 years in the making, and made possible through partnership with the Baldwin Bethany Community Development Corporation and Bethany Baptist Church, and with support from elected officials including Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas, Councilmember Herb Wesson, Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager, and State Senator Holly Mitchell.
Along with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, over 400 children, families, and community members attended the event on Saturday to celebrate the school’s successful 17-year history and to witness the ribbon cutting for the brand-new permanent school campus.
“Today’s celebration represents a remarkable collaboration among various parties, including the partnership between Baldwin Bethany Community Development Corporation (BBCDC), Bright Star Schools and the County of Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “It is partnerships such as this that produce transformational results and continue the work to develop today’s youth for tomorrow’s future.”
At the event, Mr. Rodman Miles, Executive Director for the Baldwin Bethany Community Development Corporation, presented a commemorative plaque to honor the late Organizing Pastor of the Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles, Dr. Rocellia “Rocky” Johnson. Dr. Johnson had a dream to build a school for the community’s children and Saturday was a culmination of his dream.
“True to Dr. Johnson’s vision for his community, we had been looking to open a school to serve our community. We found the ideal partner in Bright Star Schools, and are thrilled with the beautiful school we’ve built for our community,” said Rodman Miles, Executive Director of the Baldwin Bethany Community Development Corporation. “We look forward to years of continued partnership to grow the impact and reach of Stella Middle Charter Academy in our Baldwin Village community.”
Founded in 2003, Stella Middle Charter Academy is a tuition-free charter public school that serves approximately 500 students in grades 5 through 8. Like all of Bright Star’s schools, Stella Middle Charter Academy provides students with rigorous academics, inclusive education, social-emotional support and rich life opportunities beyond the classroom.
“The celebration for the new school building for Stella Middle Charter Academy was 17 years in the making, and only possible through the strength of our partnerships within the community and with community leaders,” said Hrag Hamalian, Executive Director of Bright Star Schools. “At Bright Star, one of our core values is ubuntu, an African philosophy that means, ‘I am because you are.’ We honor and celebrate ubuntu and realize that nothing is possible unless and until we see each other in one another’s reflections and work together to create change. The new school for Stella Middle Charter Academy embodies the spirit of ubuntu.”
Through Bright Star Schools’ seamless community school model, the organization provides high quality, kindergarten-through-12th-grade public education and up to six years of higher education support for its alumni. The organization is proud to support students for nearly 20 years to ensure they find joy and fulfillment in higher education, career and life.
Bright Star Schools operates three schools in the West Adams/Baldwin Village community: Stella Elementary Charter Academy, Stella Middle Charter Academy, and Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy. In Los Angeles’ Koreatown, Bright Star operates Rise Kohyang Elementary School, Rise Kohyang Middle School, and Rise Kohyang High School. In the San Fernando Valley, Bright Star operates Valor Academy Elementary School, Valor Academy Middle School, and Valor Academy High School.
About Bright Star Schools
In nine, tuition-free public charter schools across three communities in Los Angeles (West Adams/Baldwin Village, Koreatown, and the San Fernando Valley), Bright Star Schools’ 3,000+ students experience rigorous academics, inclusive education, social-emotional support and rich life opportunities beyond the classroom from transitional kindergarten through 12th grade and up to six years of higher education support.