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Emily Shane Foundation Fundrasier to Help Struggling Students

The foundation's SEA program is providing free one-on-one mentoring to 17 middle school students at schools across Malibu and Santa Monica.

A fundraiser is set for Saturday at the Malibu Inn that will benefit the work of the Emily Shane Foundation's Successful Educational Achievement program.

The fundraiser, which will feature live entertainment and a red carpet entrance, is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Malibu Inn.

The foundation's SEA program is providing free one-on-one mentoring to 17 middle school students at schools across Malibu and Santa Monica.

Ellen Shane started the program following the death of her daughter, Emily, on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu in April 2010. Emily was struck and killed by a suicidal driver, who was convicted of second-degree murder earlier this year.

Working from her kitchen table at her Malibu home, Ellen Shane said the program, which works through the Boys and Girls Club, got underway officially at the beginning of October and is already making a difference.

"The goal is to see improvement on all levels, not just academically. I’m not expecting miracles, but any progress is what we are after," Shane said.

Students are already being served at Malibu High and Middle School and at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica.

The inspiration for the program came for Emily's issues with processing. Shane said she was able to get her daughter the help she needed to succeed, but other students are not so lucky.

"Emily was bright. Some of these kids are very bright. I had her diagnosed with processing issues. That is what affected her performance at school," Shane said.

In exchange for the mentoring, students are asked to take part in the Emily Shane Foundation’s “Pass it Forward” campaign by performing any good deed or act of kindness and then enter it on the foundation's website.

"They are getting a service. It’s like passing it forward. The other part is to instill that mindset of I need to do something for somebody," Shane said.

The SEA program hires mentors in Malibu mainly come through Pepperdine University's work study program, according to Shane. The mentors in Malibu and Santa Monica are given access to the "illuminate" program in schools, which provides access to the homework and grades online, she said.

Included on the Emily Shane Foundation's board is Gene Bream, a retired middle school teacher.

The first big fundraiser for the SEA program will also benefit the nonprofit "Official No One Left Behind," which provides support to struggling students in L.A. County. A suggested donation of $100 is being asked for adults and $25 for students.

Shane said more funding is needed before she can take on more kids, which each cost about $1,000 for the entire year.

"I had this vision and idea of doing something in Emily’s honor. It has come to fruition in such an amazing way that it is very fulfilling," she said.

Laureensills@gmail.com November 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM
What a wonderful way to honor Emily's memory, Ellen. I hope tonight's fundraiser is a major success and allows you to reach many needy students!

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