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Southland foster kids celebrate at festival

first_img The mentors were mostly college students, many of them from Pierce College. Coolio spoke to the crowd after rapping onstage, comparing the poverty he saw in Egypt with the opportunities available in the United States. “Don’t wait on people to do stuff for you,” he said. But 16-year-old participant Keanakay also had a message, one she delivered to Villaraigosa when he shook hands with foster children by the VIP tent. “I told him that that’s not fair, how they put a publicity stunt just for votes to help the schools but then how they actually neglect the schools,” she said. She complained that her inner-city school was crowded and did not have sufficient books and supplies for every student. Villaraigosa made reforming the massive Los Angeles Unified School District a key part of his campaign and earlier this month pledged to gain greater control of the district by the end of his first term. The foster children at Sunday’s event were each given backpacks with school supplies and gifts. Some 200 foster children did not make it to the event because their group homes did not release them due to the rain, but those children will get their backpacks also, said Daphna Ziman, chairwoman and founder of CUN. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Speaking from the main concert stage, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the foster children in the crowd that his mother was also a foster child. “These kids right here, they’re going to be mayors and governors and lawyers and artists and social workers and actors. And you’re going to reach for the stars, right? You’re going to follow your dreams, right?” Villaraigosa asked, getting a cheer in response from the crowd. To protect the identities of the children, most of their name tags had only their first names. William, 10, tried his hand at a bowling game in a carnival booth. He did not have any luck with the game, but he still had a good time Sunday. “What I like about it is I have great mentors and nothing’s going wrong today,” he said. WOODLAND HILLS – Hollywood celebrities joined public officials at an outdoor party Sunday for 1,500 foster children, urging them to work hard and follow their dreams. The event, Day of the Child, was organized by Children Uniting Nations and brought the foster children together with some 1,700 adult mentors at a Pierce College football field that had been transformed into a giant playground. Celebrity guests included Adrien Brody, the Academy Award-winning star of the 2002 film “The Pianist,” and Rosario Dawson, who appeared in the films “Sin City” and “25th Hour.” Carnival rides, free cotton candy and a performance by the rapper Coolio were some of the day’s highlights. Children carried balloons or stuffed animals given to them at the event. last_img read more