Loyola Alumna Building Education Path for At-Risk Kids
Maggie Bove-LaMonica '13 has dedicated her professional career to education — as a classroom teacher, administrator, legal advocate, Hermosa Beach School Board president, and now as program director of Build Los Angeles, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged kids develop entrepreneurial skills and attend college.
The Loyola JD Evening program alumna says Loyola Law School trained her "to look at issues through the lens of law and policy, and how they can impact student achievement. My experiences enhanced my ability to advocate for issues and people, and to maneuver through challenges."
Attracted to Loyola's dedication to living out its mission and Jesuit values, and its strong emphasis on diversity and justice and putting theory into practice, Bove-LaMonica says that LLS students, staff and faculty continuously "weave together a rigorous application of the law into solving both mundane and complex challenges."
Bove-LaMonica was a founding member of the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy's Juvenile Innocence & Fair Sentencing clinic, and externed with Los Angeles Superior Court and the American Civil Liberties Union — transformative experiences, she says, that "showed a different approach for how the law and attorneys' actions can impact our lives."
Bove-LaMonica learned the strength of the Loyola fabric as president of the Graduate Students of Loyola Marymount University group, which brings together graduate students from across the university’s colleges. Now as an alumna, she appreciates Loyola's alumni network and investment into relationships with stakeholders.
"As a student, I had access to faculty outside the classroom for academic support, and as an alumna I continue to use faculty and alums for professional support. There is a genuine interest in having conversations to find ways to partner."
Indeed, one of Bove-LaMonica's primary goals at Build Los Angeles is to involve LMU and LLS students. In August, the organization, which is part of BUILD.org, will focus on about 300 high school students who, through the experience of launching a business, will learn "21st-century skills of collaboration, innovation, communication, grit, problem-solving and self-management."
"Our students are 33% more likely to graduate high school and 24% more likely to enroll in college than their peers," she says. In the process, the program hopes to become "an essential tool for the entrepreneur community to network, to solve social problems, and to cultivate the next generation of L.A. success stories."
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