What is the best way to face economic uncertainty? Head on. Phillips 66, our long-standing community partner, is helping us prepare our students for the workforce, giving them options to support themselves, their families and their dreams. Last Wednesday, Phillips 66 gave us cause to celebrate with a $60,000 donation to support our Youth Leadership Academy. Grant funds will bolster Sharefest’s Workforce Development program, giving our students tangible paths into the workforce. 

What’s the best way to remember we are all in this together? Ice cream! Phillips 66 hosted an extra special recess on the Angels Gate campus with students for the check presentation. On hand to kick off the festivities were Phillips 66 dynamic duo,Tim Seidel, refinery General Manager and Juliana Moreno, Public Affairs and Community Relations Advisor. These two are committed to making our community better, not only with funds but fun.

After the check presentation, the Recess Ice Cream Truck swung by to offer ice cream, coffee, and yummy treats for all. Tim and Juliana spent time connecting with students, learning about their progress, as well as their future interests. Tim, also a dedicated Sharefest board member, is familiar with the impact of every donated dollar at Sharefest, commenting, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Sharefest as they connect, develop, and educate young leaders in our community.”


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Our history with Phillips 66 includes a vision to transform a former jail into a safe space for youth. The Youth Leadership Academy in downtown San Pedro was created, in large part from an initial donation of $250,000 from Phillips 66 in 2014. The 7th floor used to operate as a local jail from 1928 until its closure in June 1962. It sat dormant for nearly 54 years until Sharefest transformed the ocean view space into a modern oasis for local students to participate in growth orientated youth development programs led by instructors and mentors who are experts in their field. Most recently, the center held a four week Workforce Development Pilot program that taught students a variety of soft and technical skills geared towards preparing them for their first interview and beyond.

The program included a curriculum that centered around team building, interview training, resume development, goal setting, job hunting, application writing, professional guest speakers, and financial literacy while also learning to manage the emotional impact surrounding the process. We took students out to connect with the Association of Builders and Contractors of Southern California, where students were introduced to a variety of trades. Then to complement their new skills we took a field trip to Working Wardrobes, a place where our students were provided and personally fitted for multiple business suits. Nothing pairs with smarts better than confidence. To top it off, headshots were taken for their LinkedIn profiles. Let’s go!

Phillips 66 legacy of giving will continue to make exploring career possibilities and personal development possible for our students like Ana. Ana has her sights set on graduating from Angel’s Gate and attending LA Harbor College. How does Ana see her future? Ana said it best, “I will be successful, smart with my money, and have an education.” We have no doubt Ana will achieve this and much more.

About Sharefest: 

Sharefest delivers hope to disconnected youth by giving them the skills, resources, support and connections they need to mobilize from poverty.