Our Vision…

  • We are encouraging all young people to take action in their community and our world.
  • We are moving forward with our mission.
  • We are powerful advocates for change.
  • We are making a difference.
  • We are proactive not reactive.
  • We are the future so hear our voices!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


(Photo is a Coke commercial still frame)


“I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company”

-song from Coca-Cola commercial circa 1970s

“Golly…I’m going to Atlanta”! No, those aren’t Scarlet O’ Hara’s lines from the “Gone with the Wind” film script, it is just what I announced when I received a letter in the mail telling me I had been chosen as a 2010 Coca-Cola Scholar and would be going to the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia for the award ceremony.

“I'd like to buy the world a home, and furnish it with love, grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves. I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company!” Those are the words sung in a beautiful 1970’s Coca-Cola commercial that gathered youths and teens from all different cultures and backgrounds on a mountaintop to proclaim a super swell Coca-Cola song of peace, love and harmony.

(Photo is a Coke commercial still frame)

Many years later Coca-Cola still strives to proclaim this message by annually hosting the Coca-Cola Scholarship Awards given to youths from all around the world who are excelling in academics and altruistic endeavors.

(I-SPY: Can you spot me in this Coca-Cola Scholar group shot? HINT: I am standing next to the Coca-Cola Scholar foundation President Mark Davis (aka the only one in a suit and tie))

2010 marks the 22nd consecutive year the foundation has awarded scholarships and are pressing forward as a company to encourage and support youths that are “being the change we all want to see,” says one Coca-Cola executive. Out of more than 80,000, a group of 253 youths were called up to the metaphorical mountain aka summit for the 2010 Scholars Awards. The summit was a wonderful experience and it was great meeting so many youths who are passionate about their crafts while remaining dedicated in academics. The events ranged from historical visits to charity work. We visited the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, The Coca-Cola history headquarters museum along with many others.

After I returned from Atlanta, I had the opportunity to visit another center dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Stanford University campus. I was greatly inspired as I met some great academicians and civil rights activists who fought for equal rights in Dr. King's day including his Lawyer, Dr. Clarence Jones and Dr. Clayborne Carson, a current Stanford Professor. According to a Stanford Alum and current employee, the Stanford vaults contain even more photos and documents than the Museum in Atlanta! Below are some photos we took, I felt it appropriate to share as I am already on the topic of Dr. King!

(This is a photo of Stanford University where the MLK center is)

(Left to Right: Me, Dr. Carson and IAPW's Jodie Blum outside the MLK Center.)

(Left to Right: IAPW's Jodie Blum, Dr. Jones and Me inside the MLK Center.)

Seeing the MLK museum was surely moving, my favorite events however also included the social service/charity events. In the photos below, we are painting and retrofitting recycled Coca-Cola syrup barrels into colorful rain barrels which will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to benefit youth in need!  Ours is dubbed "Scholars In Harmony." You can bid on it and see a close up link here.

I am so grateful for the Coca-Cola Recognition and I am excited to continue inspiring a positive and solution-oriented attitude towards the future. Would I like to help teach the world to “sing” in perfect harmony? Yes, person by person and note for note we can all make a positive difference!

(Here I am with the finished rain barrel my group worked on! Guess who painted the rose???)

(P.S. Something that you may not know about the Coca-Cola Company, they also make cool drinks like the Odwalla, Minutemaid and Vitamin Water.)

Sources: www.coca-colascholars.org

ALLY-KATZZ: Town Hall Meeting

ALLY-KATZZ: Town Hall Meeting

Girl Power!

The first ever AllyKatzz Town Hall Meeting was absolutely splendid. The air was filled with cheerful chatter and the meeting halls with colorful balloons. The meeting was geared to encourage girls from many backgrounds and walks of life to change the world for the better. Over 140 girls and 115 adults crowded into UCLA’s Hall Of Fame to lend their voices to positive change.

Rose colored glasses came off as we buckled down to face real issues going on in the world today. However, as solutions and brilliant ideas came to bear, rays of hope shone through. The event included an award ceremony in which I was honored for altruism and work within the organization, for which I am a youth ambassador ‘In A Perfect World’.

I was so grateful to receive an honor but my award was a testament to the fact that the IAPW team and I were able to inspire many girls. It is our hope that they themselves can in turn become catalysts of change in order to help their families, homes, communities and the world to develop into a more unified and harmonious place.

The IAPW Ambassador team lined up at a rosy pink booth to speak to large groups of girls. So many were encouraged and even pledged to find at least one way each and every single day to help make the world a little more perfect.

These are the themes I carried with me throughout the day, even when it came time to participate in DM’ing ™ (DenimMessaging™) a fun project were the girls and even a number of young stars pitched in to draw words and symbols of inspiration on the inside of jeans.

After the jeans were decorated, “AllyKatzz teamed up with Jermaine Crawford’s CODE BLUE - together they delivered the girls’ jeans to homeless tweens and teens. Celebrity jeans were on display at Bloomingdale’s in Sherman Oaks for 2 weeks and were being auctioned - 100% of proceeds will go to CODE BLUE”. In the picture below, you can see the jeans I designed that are currently being auctioned! Although hard to see, these too have lovely words and phrases of hope written in calligraphic print! They are rose themed and have many glittery blossoms and a few thorns drawn on them. After all, despite the thorns in life we can bloom for all to see.  You can bid on these jeans here!

Sources: http://www.tweensummit.com/townhall/

The United Nations Conference: Commission on the Status of Women

The United Nations Conference: Commission on the Status of Women
“Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today…I want to be a part of it - New York, New York”
-“New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra

(In the airport on my way to New York)

Recently, I was in spectacular and ever beloved New York to be a part of something simply swell, a part of something greater than myself and to spread the news of some vital issues affecting women. I was in NYC for the 2010 Commission on the Status of Women Conference. The conference established in 1946, is a long time supporter of women’s rights under the United Nations Economic and Social Council, a leading effort of the United Nations. The conference is in essence a grand gathering of state and country ambassadors/representatives meeting together on behalf of women. The conference goes through varied stages of identifying key social challenges and coming up with location based solutions to bring about equality, and justice. The UN meeting draws many leaders to evaluate the status of efforts from former years and new global standards.

I attended as an IAPW youth ambassador, honorary UN Ambassador and as a girl/young woman and activist myself. Whether it is portrayal of women in media, injustice in the workplace, domestic violence, culturally accepted disrespect in countries or simply a fella saying “go make me a sandwich” it is important to stand up for women’s rights. (Excuse the informality of the previous “sandwich” example, but I have heard many of my peers express outrage over this specific phrase. )

I spoke at one of the official conferences presenting a youth perspective as well as an arts/entertainment and media image view. I believe that a more positive and balanced role for women in the arts can help to encourage more respect and equality throughout the world. As a scholar and artist I seek to be a good and honest ambassador for women/girls in order to inspire themes of social justice and equal rights. The ambassadors and leaders strongly concurred and clapped most passionately when I concluded my speech with a performance. I’m wearing one of those classic “I Love New York” shirts as I type this now, but what can I say? Good ole New York, an entertainment capitol and UN headquarters.

Children’s Cancer Research Fund

Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF)
Blue skies smiling at me, and all of the CCRF supporters that I see”
–“Blue Skies”(rendition) original by Irving Berlin–

The blue sky seemed bluer than ever as the morning sun illuminated faces of jubilant and eager ‘Children’s Cancer Research Fund’ (CCRF) supporters lining up for the 5th annual RUN/WALK to defeat cancer.  I have been working with CCRF for the last four years and have been most honored to watch it grow and help so many. The CCRF is making new strides to help youths and families dealing with cancer and has already raised over 1,000,000 dollars in the first four years.

The 2010 walk/run was another success bringing in an even larger crowd of supporters of all backgrounds, ages and cultures. It was truly a harmonious event and it was wonderful to see people coming together to accomplish a common goal. Many young artists from Matthew Underwood to Jillian Claire and Sami Hanratty who were a part of the All Star Team for the Ronald McDonald House’s ‘A Star In You’ event, also came out to support! We all worked to encourage youths to become activists themselves, encouraging them to support and educating youths in ways they too can help.

I helped to lead a booth event for children to write/draw get well cards to their peers in the hospital. Children eagerly gathered around to create meaningful cards, drawings and letters for other youths in need. Throughout, children learned about the ways one can make a big difference even in small measures and how to encourage others to do so as well. Soon after a child had finished creating a card, they would return with siblings, friends, parents, guardians and grandparents. The youngest supporter that made a card was not even two and the oldest was a Grandmother over 60! I was greatly moved to see even the youngest children wanting so very much to make someone else’s life a little happier.

One little girl was only 4 1/2 and asked me to write down what she said. There were just “too many words” she wanted to say. I sat down beside her and wrote just what she dictated, “Dear friend, I really hope you will feel better. I think you are amazing and I know that you must be very brave. I want to be brave too and help kids so that we can be strong together.” What honest words those are!

I was truly moved and inspired to continue supporting this vital cause to “defeat” cancer. I too want to encourage you to find ways to support our brave friends who are battling for their lives so we can all be brave together.  You can visit the website here!

(Here is one of the pictures/cards I drew. If I were to be eloquent I'd say it is a "mixed medium drawing", but honestly it’s me having fun with crayons, pencils and some markers. I am honored to know that it will be given to a brave child in the hospital.)


“It’s what’s inside that counts.”

Using academics and the arts as a medium, I created a charity event called: ‘A Star in You’. These events provide a fun and safe platform for children in need to receive encouragement that inspires hope, healing and harmony through a variety of themed activities. Through ‘A Star in You’, youths are inspired to share their inner stars with others to help make the world a bit brighter.

Ever since the very first ‘A Star in You’ event at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, ‘A Star in You’ has essentially become its very own recurring charity event! You can read more about the first event here.

(A fun IAPW group photo at Maryvale with Manuela, Janelle and Me!)
This event was hosted at ‘Maryvale Girls Home’ in California. Maryvale began in 1856 as a safe haven to orphaned children. Today, according to the mission statement, Maryvale helps neglected and abused girls “achieve fulfillment, dignity and self-esteem in an environment of stability, love and respect”. The theme of this ‘A Star in You’ event was “it’s what’s inside that counts’; focusing on building important qualities of hope, healing and harmony through a super fun art project.

Shy at first but quickly growing more excited, the girls gathered to create lovely jewelry boxes and their very own jewelry. Combining art with inspiration, multi-colored beads poured out and glittery paint was brushed on making the tables resemble a row of enchanted treasure chests. The beads were truly delightful and shone in an array of varied shapes and sizes. Each bead was symbolic of a theme (e.g. character, harmony, wisdom, etc.) and a way to express kindness to others. Once the project was fully in motion, the girls were busily painting boxes stringing beads and discussing the “charm bead” meanings with some even inventing their own!

One little girl asked me to tie her bracelet elastic together and when I finished she said, “I think my bracelet will help me to think of happy things. You see, I have pink charms: those stand for wisdom, and purple beads: which mean joy, aaaaaand silver charms: which mean Hope. Oh, I also put a heart on the bracelet to show that the bead meanings are the good things in my heart.”

It was truly an inspirational project created through art and self expression and I feel a sense of hope as I look down at my own bracelet. The gorgeous jewelry within the boxes represents the beautiful stars inside each of us, and shows that “it’s what’s inside that counts.” A take-away for all was: as we do kind deeds, we share our inner stars with others.

(The artwork at the very top is an animation style picture I drew for the ‘A STAR IN YOU’: MARYVALE event booklets and posters!)