September 15, 2012

Celebrating Lila’s Impact

Last month, Umoja students (past and present), fellow Umoja staff, CPS principals and students, and many supporters joined to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Umoja’s founding director, Lila Leff. 

  • Current and former staff, students and board members celebrate Lila

  • Celebrating at Lila's 15th Anniversary

  • Former student celebrates Lila

  • Alumni return to celebrate Lila

  • Lila with Umoja alumnus Jerry (left) and Umoja student Isaiah (right)

This event celebrated the woman who started it all, and celebrated the theme which is integral to Umoja’s mission: Relationships. That, Lila believes is central to all of what Umoja brings to students across Chicago’s public schools.

Lila and all of Umoja’s staff have connected to students in ways that create a much more meaningful experience for them in school and beyond. The primary agenda is to stick with students, and let them know, as Leff says, "I'm with you."

The celebration was a chance for students, teachers, and supporters to thank Lila for initiating a program so powerful — one that shows that relationships provide youth with a deep connectedness and sense of purpose that allows academic achievements to flourish.