The Los Angeles College Football Playoff National Championship Host Committee, the College Football Playoff Foundation, ChampionLA supporters, and the LA84 Foundation launched Champions Educate Here to identify and celebrate 46 educators—including physical education teachers, elementary and special education teachers, coaches, and after-school staff—who harness the unique power of sport, play, and movement to support the mental health and social-emotional needs of students. These educators use return to play as a context for recovery from the pandemic and find joyful ways in which to reconnect youth with themselves, their peers, their school, and their academics.


Each selected educator received up to $20,000 to expand their efforts at their respective schools. Awards delivered play equipment, social-emotional learning resources, uniforms, field trips, coaching education, wellness spaces, and/or infrastructure projects.

Additionally, the initial 23 recipients received a professionally produced video to create more exposure for their programs and share techniques to inspire fellow educators. All videos can be viewed below.


Martha Alba-Gonzalez—Chavez Elementary, Long Beach USD

WATCH: Martha’s Story

Noe Almendariz—South El Monte High School, El Monte USD

Reginald Bellamy—Inglewood High School, Inglewood USD 

WATCH: Reginald’s Story

Vincent Brascia—Orthopedic Medical Magnet High School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Vincent’s Story

California Ultimate Association (Leo Decter, Toph Eggers, Naomi Guzman, Katie Killebrew)—IUSD 

WATCH: California Ultimate’s Story

Pablo Carlos—Sun Valley Magnet School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Pablo’s Story

Jonathan Castaneda—St. Joseph School, La Puente 

WATCH: Jonathan’s Story

Kathleen Clark—Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA), LAUSD

Jacob Correa—Whittier High School, Whittier Union High School District

Nelly Cristales—32nd Street Elementary School, LAUSD

Alfredo Crossman-Chavez—KIPP Corazón Academy Upper School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Alfredo’s Story

Percival Dela Cruz—Alliance Renee and Meyer Luskin Academy High School, LAUSD

Lisa Finegan—Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Public Schools, LAUSD

Lauren Fletcher—City Honors International Preparatory School, IUSD 

WATCH: Lauren’s Story

Yolanda Galeazzi—Rise Kohyang High School, LAUSD

WATCH: Yolanda’s Story

Daysi Garcia—PUC Excel Charter Academy, LAUSD 

WATCH: Daysi’s Story

Kevin Glaspy—Covina Valley USD

Janelle Guzman—Puente Charter Elementary School, LAUSD

Henree Haitkin—Luther Burbank Middle School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Henree’s Story

Jose Hidalgo—South Gate High School, LAUSD

Vincent Kezman—Birmingham Community Charter High School, LAUSD

Walter Lopez—John C. Fremont High School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Walter’s Story

Mike Martinez—Katherine Edwards Middle School, Whittier City School District

Darryl McClain—Susan Miller Dorsey High School, LAUSD

Patrick Merrill—4th Street Primary Center, LAUSD 

WATCH: Patrick’s Story

Celeste Modster—University Pathways Public Service Academy, LAUSD

Jason Morgan—Dominguez High School, Compton USD 

WATCH: Jason’s Story

Jason Orona—KIPP Promesa Prep, LAUSD 

WATCH: Jason’s Story

Kevin Pearson—Warren High School, Downey USD 

Joshua Perea—El Rancho High School & The STEAM Academy at Burke, El Rancho USD 

WATCH: Joshua’s Story

Jose Rivas—Lennox Math, Science and Technology Academy, Lennox School District

Monica Rubalcava—St. Anthony of Padua School, Gardena 

WATCH: Monica’s Story

Alexandria Sanchez—William Workman High School, Hacienda La Puente USD

Miles Tabarez—Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School, LAUSD

Can Tran—Arroyo High School, El Monte USD

Felipe Valencia—Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Felipe’s Story

Malissa Vanegas—Will Rogers High School, LAUSD

Nicholas Westfall—Alexander Hamilton High School, LAUSD

WATCH: Nick’s Story

Tamryn Wilkins—54th Street Elementary School, LAUSD

Jaron Williams—Citizens of the World Charter Schools Los Angeles, LAUSD

Alyssa Worbetz—Girls Athletic Leadership School Los Angeles, LAUSD

WATCH: Alyssa’s Story 

Colin Yamashita—Rise Kohyang Middle School, LAUSD 

WATCH: Colin’s Story

Maggie Yu-DiPasquale—LAUSD

WATCH: Maggie’s Story


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