A group of Alhambra High School staff and community members became alarmed two years ago when they observed that budget cuts were affecting programs they felt provided academic and personal enrichment to students. In response, they recently founded the Alhambra High School Alumni Association, a non-profit organization aimed at providing support to current students and cultivating a community of involved graduates. In two weeks, it will have its first event, a luncheon at Almansor Court.
Wenli Jen, Alhambra High class of ’99 and one of the association’s organizers, says that the group aims to be much more than just a social network. “One of our main goals is to fundraise for programs we deem productive, such as The Moor,” she said, referring to the school’s biweekly newspaper. “We’d like to build a stronger network of AHS alumni because we have a lot of successful people; we want to harness that energy and the resources we have to help out current Alhambra High School programs.”
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, 41 active high school alumni associations are registered in Los Angeles County. Two are from the Alhambra Unified School District: AHS and Mark Keppel. (While the San Gabriel High School Alumni Association’s website says they received nonprofit status in 2004, they are curiously not on the list.)
Jen reconnected to her alma mater when she began to mentor AHS students on substance abuse prevention, working with the Asian Pacific Family Center where she is a preventative programs director. She grew close to the extracurricular groups on campus, recognizing their importance in helping students live healthy lives. So when the founding members of the alumni association asked her to get involved, she was excited to help start and build up the organization.
But Jen says that the association isn’t just for fundraising. Another important aspect of the group is that Moors can network and get back in touch with their Alhambra roots. “We’d like alumni to remain connected to where they come from and be proud, building on being a Moor, feeling an attachment to school spirit and promoting that, too,” she said.
The alumni association is slowly gaining new members – more than 500 AHS alumni and community members are part of the group’s Facebook page, where Jen is enthusiastically advertising their first event of the year: an alumni luncheon, taking place on April 17 at 11am at Almansor Court. Leading members will honor community leaders and staff who have been instrumental at AHS and AUSD as a whole. Tickets are $40 presale and $50 at the door. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $35.
More information about the Alhambra High School Alumni Association is available on their Facebook page.