Alumni Donate Backpacks and School Supplies to Audubon’s Entire Student Body

Good News Notes:

Giving back is more than a phrase for alumni of Audubon Middle School and Gifted Magnet in L.A.’s Leimert Park neighborhood.

In response to a request to help current students, several graduates united to donate nearly 600 backpacks filled with supplies, which was enough to provide a goody-packed satchel to each of school’s 500 pupils.

The collection took place on July 31, with Deanna Hardemion, Audubon principal, and Dorlisa Shumate, pupil services and attendance counselor, accepting the contributions.  About 62 alumni provided gifts and each package included an encouraging note from the donor wishing the student a successful 2021-2022 school year.

“That’s the great thing about Audubon alumni – when you call, they come,” said Shumate, who attended Audubon from 1995-98.  “Thanks to our phenomenal alumni, our students will have everything they’ll need to get started on the first day of school. They don’t have to go to the store to buy anything. We’ll already have it here for them!”

In addition, Hardemion said students will participate in a raffle to win signature athletic shoes donated by NBA Brooklyn Nets star James Harden, also an Audubon alumni, who funded renovations to the school’s gymnasium a few years ago.

Another alumni contributor was Nicole Vick, who arranged for L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell to share a video message to the young people where Mitchell recalled the benefits of her education at Audubon. Also, Nietra Humphrey and Alissa Hurns persuaded fellow 1989 and 1990 graduates to give 144 backpacks and supplies.

Hurns said she was motivated to assist because of the values she was taught at Audubon by the teachers and principals.  “Audubon is where we began to formulate our paths. It’s important to all of us to help our kids make it and if starting their year off with a backpack and school supplies [will] get them started off right, then we’re all for it,” she declared.

Alumni Paul Porter and D’Andre Lampkin delivered 100 backpacks each, courtesy of their nonprofits, Avenues of Life and Lampkin Foundation, respectively. Daymond Johnson and Beno Bryant furnished 50 backpacks each and Brent Burton provided 36 backpacks on behalf of the African American Firefighter Museum.  Several staff and local residents donated hundreds of items for the students as well.

Clarifying why he contributed, Burton said, “I participated because I have always believed in giving back to my old elementary and junior high school.  I attended Audubon from 1977-1980 and I had a great experience there.  Participating and supporting Dorslisa Shumate’s efforts there is a great way for me to support!”

Lampkin considered his donation as a fulfillment of his foundation’s “vision for communities that are strong, fully engaged, and resilient; where all stakeholders are self-reliant and fully supported by sustainable ingenuity and grassroots efforts.”…

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