Kina Desai is a 6th grade student at Hermosa Valley School. Despite her youth, she is already involved in leadership in a variety of ways, including serving her school as student council president. Kina is a natural leader and problem solver. Last year, Kina noticed that entertainment trends had turned to streaming, and old DVD movies and games were gathering dust or being thrown away. She started a campaign to collect from friends and neighbors, and with the help of her classmates, donated more than 700 DVDs and games to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA
As you can tell, Kina is willing to work hard to accomplish her goals. She works incredibly well with groups, taking the time to listen to others’ opinions and develop solutions that reflect the marriage of many ideas. Kina’s can-do attitude makes her a truly valuable member of the school community.
Betsy does everything from her heart, not for glory or recognition, but simply because it is the right thing to do. If she sees a disenfranchised people, a cause lacking awareness, a slip of kindness, she truly believes she can enact change and make a difference. The Hermosa Beach Mural House is Betsy’s personal residence and apartment building. She uses a side of the building to promote causes for which she wants to raise awareness and incite action, from the plight of Syrian refugees to the fight against oil drilling. Betsy recently decided to shed light on the challenges veterans face when they return home, and she spearheaded a campaign to offer veterans free residential parking permits in Hermosa. And last October, Betsy was touched by the plight of the hurricane victims in Texas and Florida and organized the ‘The Not Alone Star’ paddle-out. Almost 500 local residents swam, paddle boarded, surfed, kayaked, and raised $12,000 for those impacted. And these are just a few recent examples of her community leadership. What makes her a leader is that her passion makes US believe WE can also make a difference…and we do…because she shows us the way.
Michael Collins & Laura Schuler
As early as 2013, a small group of visionary community leaders, were brainstorming about the possibilities of how to revitalize the Cypress Commercial District. 4 years later, ShockBoxx, located at 636 Cypress Street, is a destination for art, art enthusiasts, art collectors and special events. It opens its doors for special events like hosting the Friends of the Park Annual Meeting, and brings visibility to the Cypress District by sponsoring events like Market 90254.
What’s more, Laura Schuler and Michael Collins, the co-founders of Shockboxx, are emerging – or arguably fully emerged – leaders themselves. Michael has provided leadership on a number of community measures in recent years include O, and S, and was consultant to last year’s organizational Emerging Leader recipient last year, HERO. He was a member of the Cypress Revitalization committee, and it’s just like Michael to be hands-on in addressing the challenge. Laura was a featured artist at the Hermosa Beach Arts Festival and is continually helping to promote others’ art through the gallery. She also co-led the very successful Market 90254 event for the LHB Class for 2017, creating awareness for Hermosa Beach’s small business community and encouraging residents to spend local.