Many of the 2.5 million children in Los Angeles endure serious social, economic, and mental health challenges, inhibiting them from realizing their fullest potential. Each January, GSEP seeks to improve future generations by providing children with the support, aid, and resources that lead to a prosperous adulthood through our annual Children’s Outreach: Advancing Social Transformation and Learning (COASTAL) 5K/10K Walk/Run and Kiddie Fun Run.
This year’s run welcomed nearly 800 members of the Southern California and Pepperdine communities. Through the generosity of our participants and sponsors, COASTAL raised several thousand dollars, supporting our endeavors to improve K-12 preparation in underserved areas, counseling for underprivileged families, and caring for homeless children. To that end, Pepperdine partners with LAUSD’s Holmes Avenue Elementary School, a Title I urban school located within the Pueblo Del Rio Housing Project to develop special education programs that strengthen student learning.
Additionally, Pepperdine provides one-on-one counseling for children at the Union Rescue Mission’s (URM) residential facility for homeless mothers and children, Hope Gardens. Hope Gardens is the largest and oldest transitional living center for homeless families, located in Sylmar, California. GSEP clinical psychology students provide mental health services to URM, a longtime community partner. University funds also supported a summer expressive arts and drama program for at-risk middle school kids developed and led by graduate students studying the use of expressive arts in therapy.
“The community support that we receive for COASTAL is truly uplifting. Participation spans beyond Pepperdine constituents to include local businesses, families, and running groups. Members
of the surrounding area look forward to the event and want to be involved in the positive impact that this race brings to underserved populations,” said Margaret Weber, dean of GSEP. “Turnout increases with each subsequent run and we look forward to growing participation and increasing our reach to the children and community in Los Angeles.”
The annual benefit takes place in January at Dockweiler State Beach. For more information, please visit: gsep.pepperdine.edu/coastal