City Year's 'Spring Break' Festival Celebrates 5th Anniversary
Under the leadership of Stacey Snider, the annual fundraiser at Sony Studios is set to raise more than $1.5 million to put young mentors into Los Angeles's toughest schools.
City Year, the AmeriCorps program that provides mentors to at risk students, hopes to raise more than $1.5 million during its 5th annual “Spring Break” festival at Sony Studios on Saturday.
Carly Rae Jepsen will perform at the annual fundraiser that recognizes the efforts of 275 young adults working with at-risk students in some of Los Angeles' toughest schools.
“When budgets are stretched in all districts, particularly LAUSD, requests for City Year exceed our capacity,” said 20th Century Fox Co-Chair Stacey Snider, who has been involved with the program’s L.A. chapter since its launch in 2006. “That’s what motivates all of us. If the administrators and the teachers want us, it’s our obligation to raise funds so we can meet them halfway.”
Snider told THR that, “There are few organizations like City Year where the goodness is 360 degrees. The benefits are all the way around. For every student who says ‘I was able to graduate and get through tough times because of my corps member,’ the corps member will turn around and say, ‘my student made my life better.’ That has really touched me. If you donate, there’s a ripple effect to the donation.
“My two girls are 18 and 16, and they’ve been blessed by the zip code they've grown up in,” Snider said. “There is assistance every step of the way in the schools. It just doesn’t seem fair that other kids don’t have that. City Year Corps members provide that intense focus to at least keep kids on track to graduate.”
The former DreamWorks executive credits Steven Spielberg with setting a philanthropic example she could use to express a social conscience, inspired by her own mother’s early feminism. “Steven gave me the luxury of finding my own interests,” she explained to THR. “I was raised by a feminist mom because my parents were divorced when I was really young. It was the 1970s and I watched my mother fight for women rights. It had an impact on me, just as being as mother has an impact on me now.”
Snider said she took the job at Fox, in part, because the studio has “these wonderful labels that are here run by terrific women. What was so alluring to me was the opportunity to participate in a company that can make movies like Wild, or Fault in Our Stars or Maze Runner — every kind of price point, at every kind of genre there are opportunities to us to reach out.
Snider added: "Movies have the power to make a connection, to open people’s hearts so they can relate to an idea or a situation. That applies to every age group of men and women. If we can make quality movies that reach young people, films that have too messages, there’s the opportunity to impact the conversation.”