By Marina Andalon


The Emily Shane Foundation will release a 1,000 native California butterfly at Bluff’s Park in Malibu on Nov. 13 in tribute to the mentors and role models who have made a difference in the lives of local youth.

13-year old Emily Shane was tragically murdered on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu in Apr. 2010 and her parents, Michel and Ellen, started The Emily Shane Foundation in 2012 as a way to honor their daughter.

The foundation provides individualized, intensive mentoring to struggling and or failing middle school students in the mainstream classroom.

Emily was smart and capable yet struggled in school due to processing challenges.

She attended middle school at Malibu High School and struggled everyday in class with dyslexia making classwork more difficult.

It was through the help of outside support that she was able to succeed. After Emily passed Ellen felt she needed to help the children who are struggling in school just like her daughter did.

She said, “There are so many students headed towards a negative path when they don’t feel confident or successful in school. They end up failing or dropping out and some kids who fail have low esteem or lash out, overall it doesn’t lead to anything positive.”

Ellen decided to create the SEA (Successful Education Achievement) program that provides students with intensive mentoring and support. SEA students are those who risk falling through the cracks or at risk of being left behind. These students struggle not only in the classroom but also financially, making it difficult to receive after school support.

The cost to each SEA student is to participate in a good deed for every single mentoring session, which is typically twice a week. The mentors each complete a training prior to working with the students and work on studies and organizational skills. Ellen said, “By having a mentor, someone tutoring them and explaining everything can really turn things around.”

They are starting their fifth year, and now serving schools in Malibu, Oxnard, Culver City, South Los Angeles, Westchester, Pico Rivera and Santa Monica.

The Foundation release the butterflies at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Bluff’s Park in Malibu (24250 Pacific Coast Hwy).

The event will include live music, interactive butterfly exhibits, silent auction and art projects. All proceeds will be going to The Emily Shane foundation and the SEA Program.

“Last year the event was magical, it represented transformation kinda like the students who are transforming their lives,” said Ellen. “This year we hope to get each butterfly sponsored.”


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