Robert Rodriguez, Universal's Jeff Shell to Be Honored at L.A.'s Promise Gala

Brent Humphreys
Robert Rodriguez

The nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving L.A.'s public schooling

The nonprofit organization L.A.'s Promise will honor Robert Rodriguez and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell at its annual gala, which will be held Sept. 30 at Universal Studios Hollywood's Globe Theatre. 

The organization is focused on improving public schooling in south Los Angeles, with a coverage area that includes two high schools (Manual Arts and West Adams Prep) and one middle school (John Muir). Its initiatives to increase the schools' performance and involvement in the community are funded in part by the annual gala. 

Shell will be present at the event, but Rodriguez is unable to attend. This year's event chairs include Steven SpielbergGeorge LucasJ.J. Abrams and NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer; previous honorees include Ryan SeacrestTom Cruise and Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos

"Our 2014 honorees have a long history of advancing the educational opportunities for underserved communities like the students that L.A.’s Promise serves,” the organization’s president and CEO Veronica Melvin said in a statement. “Jeff and Robert have lent their names and their time to our initiatives in order to help lead the charge in preparing every child in our LA’s Promise Neighborhood to be college and career-ready, healthy and successful in life."

In conjunction with the gala, the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park will be opened for 1,200 L.A.'s Promise students for the evening. The gala attendees will have the opportunity to join them after a cocktail reception and awards ceremony.

"I can’t think of a better way to celebrate students’ success than to reward them with a night of fun and adventure through the theme park," L.A.'s Promise board co-chair Frank Marshall said in the statement.

Rodriguez launched his own cable network, the El Rey Network, in 2013. Its programming includes Matador and From Dusk Till Dawn, an adaptation of his Quentin Tarantino-scripted vampire film. Rodriguez's film directorial credits include Sin City, Spy Kids and the Machete franchise.

Shell was named chairman of Universal's Filmed Entertainment Group in 2013 after serving as chairman of NBCUniversal international. A native Angeleno, he serves on the boards of several organizations devoted to public schooling reform.

Twitter: @Asiegemundbroka

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