Sepora Makabeh ’13, Hannah Navon ’13, Josh Woznica ’13
The story begins after Mr. Limkrailassiri’s 1:1 computing workshop, which Ms. Schecter had attended. The topic of discussion was the transformation of 21st century education, and a specific LA times article was on the minds of both Milken Community High School teachers. The article told of the charitable efforts of a woman named Rose Rios and her non-profit organization, Cover the Homeless Ministry.
The question then began to formulate: How can students who are equipped and educated in technology transform non-profit organizations for success? Thus began the momentum for an incredible project, The Rose Rios Project.
Now the committee, under the supervision of Limkrailassiri and Schecter, and guided by student leaders Josh Woznica ’13 and Sepora Makabeh ’13, is using its knowledge in technology, creativity and passion to help Rios’ endeavors and assist in the development of her non-profit organization, Cover the Homeless Ministry.
Ms. Rios began Cover the Homeless Ministry fifteen years ago in an effort to reach out to those in need of support in their darkest and most difficult times. Multiple times weekly, Ms. Rios’ car can be found replete with perishable and non-perishable food items which she personally distributes to anyone in need. Since Rios has experienced the same difficulties that many of these individuals encounter (abusive relationships, poor education, teen pregnancy, homelessness and unemployment), her heart reaches out to those who struggle to get back on their feet to begin again. Her autobiography, I Slept in the Lion’s Den, shares her personal journey of hardships and recovery; despite all adversity, she has managed to remain hopeful and continue loving her life.
The organization does not merely help those in need, but rather gives individuals the necessary skills for self renewal through recovery and restoration. The main beneficiaries of Ms. Rios are families and individuals in South Central and East Los Angeles, but her assistance is not limited to any specific geographic area, race, ethnicity or religion.
The Rose Rios Project works not only to spread awareness of the hardships that individuals currently face, but also to further expand and develop the efforts of the Cover the Homeless Ministry. Milken students Josephine Far ’13, Danielle Farahi ’13, Daniella Glouberman ’13, Daniel Kort ’12, Sepora Makabeh ’13, Hannah Navon ’13, Chloe Shohed ’13 and Josh Woznica ’13 are combining their skills in technology, art, writing, producing, organizing and business in order to maximize the impact of Cover the Homeless Ministry.
“She is someone who has done so much for everyone around her,” Makabeh said. “She makes every effort she can to benefit others, so we just want to return the favor.”
As of now, the committee has worked with Ms. Diane LaFleur to redesign the organization’s logo, business card and brochure, while joining forces with Dr. Megan McEwen to revamp the organization’s website. The Rose Rios Project has provided Ms. Rios with a new computer and portfolio and is working to provide a new means of transportation for the goods which she distributes in order to physically serve a greater clientele within Los Angeles’ underprivileged communities. Students in the group are also training Ms. Rios in multimedia elements, including Microsoft PowerPoint, as a means of assisting her in raising awareness.
Additionally, a documentary is currently being filmed on the endeavors and process of The Rose Rios Project in order to demonstrate how a group of high school students can use their skills and resources to make a difference on a large scale.
More about her story can be found here in the LA Times: http://framework.latimes.com/2011/08/20/a-charitable-soul/.
And here through the website: http://coverthehomeless.com/.
Please follow the Cover The Homeless Ministry on Twitter in order to assist our effort: @CvrTheHomeless.