Community Service Grant Enabled At-Risk Students to Attend Summer Camp

The Council was proud to underwrite its second annual Alumni Community Service Grant in spring 2019. Each year, high school alumni are invited to submit an application that describes a community service project or non-profit organization they wish to benefit. The winner receives a $500 grant to support their service effort.

The winner of the 2019 grant was Ben Jacoby (Curtis '16, Harvard-Westlake '22). Ben volunteers for Harlem Lacrosse Los Angeles, a sports-based development program that helps at-risk students reach their full personal potential by being "immersed in an activity they take pride in, led by a caring mentor, tutor and coach who can help them build confidence and skill sets on the field and in the classroom" ( The grant enabled 25 kids to attend the organization's summer camp.

2020 Curtis School Alumni Community Service Award

Applications are now open for the 2020 Curtis School Alumni Community Service $500 Grant!

Are you a high school student who is passionate about and engaged in some form of community service? The Curtis Alumni Council and Curtis School are proud to support our alumni's spirit of philanthopy and volunteer efforts in the Los Angeles community by offering a grant of $500 to be used to further the philanthropic work they are doing.

Curtis alumni in Grades 9–12 may apply, and applications must be received via email to, or postal mail to Curtis School, 15871 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, 90049, in care of Alexis Shuster, Manager of Alumni Relations, between November 18, 2019, and January 22, 2020.

Deadline to apply:  Applications are due Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Award winner will be announced in April, and the grant will be awarded by late May.

Update From First Alumni Community Service Grant Award Winner

Whitney Elson (’13), Grant Recipient 
"Upward Bound House is a non-profit in Los Angeles that aims to eliminate family homelessness by providing temporary housing, counseling and mentorship to people who are struggling to get back on their feet. I discovered Upward Bound House in 2012 through my volunteer work with National Charity League. Amongst other annual projects, we regularly host festive holiday parties and events at the UBH apartment complex. After working directly with the children living in Upward Bound House, I knew I wanted to do something more to bring joy into their lives.  
In 2015, along with the help of my family and friends, I founded an annual summer camp for the kids of Upward Bound House. Every summer, this opportunity brings together kids of all ages from UBH for a week of beach days, field day activities and arts and crafts. The generous grant I received from the Curtis Alumni Council enabled me to provide our campers with new toys, games and gadgets for use at the camp. Their eyes lit up as they opened up cans of new, vibrant-colored play doh and flipped through fresh coloring books, able to choose any image they desired to color. 
The summer camp has become an annual, much anticipated tradition. The luckiest kids are only in Upward Bound House for a few months, while their parents receive the counseling they need to find a new job and permanent housing. However, some kids return to the camp year after year as they continue to grow up in this apartment complex. This camp is what unites them and creates a community in what the children previously saw as just a building. On the first day, name tags are pinned to all campers, as they don’t even recognize their own neighbors. By the last day, the kids walk out holding hands, asking their moms if they can go over to their new friend’s apartment to play. Nothing makes me happier than witnessing the sheer joy these few days bring to campers, but knowing that the bonds formed here last beyond camp makes it all the more worthwhile."

Alumni Council Helped Envision Curtis's Future

In 2018-2019, Alumni Council members met as a group with Romayne Levee and Carley Croom of Doing Good Marketing to contribute to the school's strategic planning initiative, "Envision Our Future." Participants in a variety of constituencies were asked to imagine Curtis School in the year 2030 and to brainstorm and share their thoughts about what teaching and education should be at Curtis in order to carry forward our mission.

Specifically, the Alumni Council was asked to imagine: "In our school's future ...
  • What are we doing to ensure the intellectual fitness of young MINDS?
  • What are we doing to ensure the physical wellness of young BODIES?
  • What are we doing to inspire compassion and empathy in young HEARTS?
Input from the Alumni Council was incorporated with surveys, interviews and information gleaned from sessions with other Curtis constituencies. To learn about Curtis School's Strategic Plan 2019-2024, approved by the Board of Trustees in spring 2019, please visit the 'Envision Our Future' Strategic Plan microsite.

Submit Your News for Class Notes Online!

Give us an update about yourself, your work, achievements, milestones, interests and hobbies, family—and whatever you have been up to and wish to share with us and your Curtis friends—by filling out our convenient Class Notes Form.

We are currently collecting updates, announcements and news from alumni for publication in the spring issue of our community magazine, Curtis Magazine, Spring 2020. Don't be left out! We want to celebrate and share your news with our extended community. Submissions are due by April 12, 2020.

Submit Your Class Note Today! HERE