U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) presented a ceremonial $1 million check to the Friendship Foundation after securing government funding that will help the foundation expand its programs within schools across California’s 36th Congressional District. The Friendship Foundation is an organization that pairs students with special needs and student volunteers to promote friendship, inclusivity and acceptance among young people.
“I’m inspired by the work the Friendship Foundation and its volunteers do to ensure students with special needs feel heard, accepted and welcomed,” Lieu said. “Through the Friendship Club program, students with special needs are buddied up with student volunteers to eat lunch, socialize, attend school events together, and more. As a result, students in special education forge real and lasting friendships and experience less bullying, fostering a healthier and happier school environment for them to learn and grow alongside their peers. I’m proud of what the Friendship Foundation has done for young people in the South Bay community and am honored to have secured this funding to help them further their mission.”
Friendship Foundation co-founder Yossi Mintz said that after starting 16 years ago, the foundation has expanded to 52 clubs throughout Los Angeles.
“We’re incredibly grateful for Congressman Lieu’s support and this funding will go a long way to fund more clubs in the 36th Congressional District. The Friendship Clubs were the seeds planted that have now grown into a state-of-the-art 3.25-acre education and vocational Friendship Campus being constructed to help each and every person find a passion, learn practical job skills and integrate in the greater community.”
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