El Modena HS’s Greenlee Awarded $2,500 Grant for Mentor Meals Program
Orange, Calif. - It was announced in early February that El Modena High School’s Alexis Greenlee was awarded $2,500 by State Farm Insurance for their annual Teacher Assist Grant,awarded to teachers providing innovative ideas in the classroom that impact student’s lives.
Greenlee is in her 23rd year as an English teacher and is the coordinator of the school’s Digital Marketing Collaborative (DMC). She was one of 40 teachers in California to be awarded this year’s grant money.
DMC is a three-year program for at-risk youth at El Modena. Greenlee applied for the grant in hopes of securing funds to bring her after-school program, Mentor Meals, online during the pandemic. With the grant funds, she plans to purchase online access to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder program, designed to identify and cultivate students’ strengths on their quest to find a meaningful career.
Mentor Meals was created in 2015 as a collaboration between Mrs. Greenlee, Orange Plaza Rotary and State Farm Agent, Ron Esparza. The program creates space for students to explore their strengths and create career goals over a meal with community members serving as mentors. The program has been serving Greenlee’s students for over 7 years, with mentorship coming from EMHS alumni, the Orange Plaza Rotary, and other prominent community members. State Farm agent and El Modena alumni, Ron Esparza, serves as a mentor and on the advisory board for Mentor Meals. It was at his urging that Mrs. Greenlee applied for the grant.
According to State Farm Vice President Annette Martinez, the company has a long history of working with educators across the country. It is State Farm’s hope that the money will help teacherslike Greenlee meet the challenges of teaching during the pandemic.
“We are heartened by the immense response received from teachers sharing their solutions to overcoming challenges,” said Martinez.
State Farm believes that, “Supporting teachers and schools helps the entire community. It recognizes education as a public good and helps address the societal impacts of COVID at the local level.”