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May 30, 2018

PBS SoCal to Receive Los Angeles Area Governors Award

PBS SoCal's "American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen" initiative was selected by the Television Academy's LA Area Governors Award Committee as the recipient of the 70th Los Angeles Area Emmys Governors Award. The five-year program will be recognized for its work focusing and maximizing community resources to tackle Southern California's high school dropout crisis.

The Los Angeles Area Governors Award is given to an individual, company or organization that has made an outstanding, innovative and visionary achievement in the arts, sciences or management of television as well as a substantial contribution to the greater Los Angeles area.

"It is an honor to present PBS SoCal with the Governors Award and acknowledge its tremendous efforts in strengthening our Southern California communities through education outreach," said Hayma Washington, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy. "'American Graduate has had significant impact on a generation of high school students."

The honor will be presented during the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, July 28, at the Television Academy's Wolf Theatre at the Saban Media Center. Local news, entertainment and public-service programming categories will also be awarded at the LA Area Emmys.

"American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen" was created by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 2011 to help communities across America find solutions to the dropout crisis. PBS SoCal was the local leader for this national initiative, encouraging numerous Southern California-based governing bodies and organizations to understand the causes and consequences of the high school dropout crisis and inspire them to get involved. Through the initiative, PBS SoCal connected community leaders through 20 different neighborhood conversations and two broadcast town halls to discuss community-based solutions for the dropout challenge. The initiative resulted in more than 75 million impressions across the region.
Community engagement outreach events, Mobile Labs, internships, teacher training and the high school journalism program Newshour Student Reporting Labs have introduced students to careers in media and production. These opportunities to learn trade skills and further their own professional development have succeeded in keeping students engaged and providing them with hands-on career exploration to help them realize their full potential.

PBS SoCal is pushing the "American Graduate" initiative forward, continuing to leverage partnerships with more than 50 local nonprofits, schools and organizations, such as the Freedom Writers Foundation, Roadtrip Nation, and the Boys and Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor. Through these partnerships, PBS SoCal provides free high-quality learning materials and digital resources in English and Spanish to parents, students and teachers across our region, benefitting students and families in often underserved areas, including Los Angeles and Compton.

Past Los Angeles Area Governors Award recipients include: Bob Miller, Stephanie Edwards, Pat Harvey, Univision Los Angeles, Christine Devine, Steve Edwards, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Telemundo's KVEA, Stan Freberg, Bob Eubanks, KMEX Univision, Dr. George Fischbeck, Pete Noyes, Chick Hearn, KTLA, Kelly Lange, Jess Marlow, KMEX, Gene Autry, George Putnam, Larry McCormick, Jerry Dunphy, Vin Scully and Bill Welch.
For more information about the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, please visit
The Television Academy seeks to expand the horizons of television excellence. Through the programs, publications and events of the Academy and its Foundation, it strives to empower storytellers who shape the evolving television space. And it celebrates those who have excelled by recognizing their achievements through accolades and awards, including television's most coveted prize, the Primetime Emmy Award. For more information, please visit

PBS SoCal (KOCE) is the flagship PBS station for 18 million diverse people across Southern California. As a member-supported, nonprofit organization, our mission is to deliver content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. Connect with us at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Stephanie Goodell

Daina Rama

breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

For the complete press release, click here.

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