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Operation Progress Assembly

On Wednesday, October 2, Julie Mulvey P'17,'21 addressed the St. Sebastian's community in Ward Hall with stories about people who have not been given equal opportunities in their lives. She and her family were inspired by the work of two members of the Los Angeles Police Department, Officer Jay Coughlin and Officer Eric Ortiz. The officers mentor kids from Watts, a poor area of Los Angeles plagued with heavy gang violence, through a program called Operation Progress. The program pairs kids from Watts with a police mentor and sends them to a private Catholic school.

In May of 2019, the Mulvey family created Watts 2 Boston ("W2B"), a non-profit organization. They saw a niche where some kids needed added support and a break from the violence and the struggle of growing up in the projects that are controlled by gangs. The Mulveys host kids from Watts to come and stay at their home and W2B provides payment for school tuition, books, school uniforms, laptops and even groceries. Mrs. Mulvey spoke about how W2B is hoping to impact the lives of many kids from Watts and give them support when they go off to college.

LAPD Officer Eric Ortiz then spoke and told the boys what life is like in Watts, how it is controlled by gangs and gave current statistics on crime in the area. A 15-year-old from Watts named Celeste shared her story about growing up with undocumented parents, living within the troubled area and the struggles she faces on a daily basis. Celeste, who attends a private Catholic school through financial aid from her mentors Officer Ortiz and Coughlin, said, "I strive to give back to those who have helped me."

Thank you to the Mulvey family for inspiring our students to make a difference. 

 

A guest speaker talks at the podium during an assembly.
An LAPD officer talks in a crowd of St. Sebastian's boys during an assembly.
A girl from Watts, LA talks during an assembly at St. Sebastian's.