GSF Foundation Grant Kicks Up the Fun for Think Together Middle Schools’ Cheer Clubs!

Think Together middle schools across Azusa, Baldwin Park, and Duarte Unified School Districts were granted a $5,000 grant from Quality Custom Distribution in Los Angeles through the GSF Foundation, which allowed the schools to purchase 80 pairs of Varsity Spirit shoes for their cheerleading programs. In total, eight San Gabriel Valley middle school cheerleading squads benefited from the program.

For many students, the donation opened the door to try a new sport. Olive Middle School has been running its cheerleading program for four years and for the first time, 25 students were thrilled to receive Varsity Spirit shoes to fuel their passion for the sport.

“The quality is amazing and I’m glad that we got the shoes donated,” shared Jacqueline, a seventh-grade student at Olive Middle School.

Jacqueline has been cheerleading on the Olive Middle School squad at Think Together for two years since sixth grade and plans to continue into eighth grade.

At Valley View Academy, the cheer program started in the middle of the fall semester in 2022 and was the first to be rolled out.  The program is led by program leader and cheer coach Jocelyn, who spent three years on her own high school cheerleading squad.

“It’s an honor and great help that our cheer team got a grant,” shared Jocelyn. “With the grant, the team has opportunities to attend more events, and our cheer team would be looking more uniformed. This would be a motivation to work harder and expand the team.”

It’s Jocelyn’s first-time coaching cheer and she hopes that by next year, Think Together can secure enough grants to add matching uniforms and bows to bring the look fully together. Her experience has inspired her to pass on her enthusiasm to the next generation of cheerleaders.

Valley View Academy’s Site Coordinator Gabrielle Manuit expressed her appreciation for the grant and already sees the impact it has on the students.

“Since the team is so new and small compared to other cheer teams they’ve seen, I know the students want to be taken seriously as a squad and having a grant like this is a good reminder to them and the staff that there are always people out there who appreciate their efforts and want to see them succeed. We’re super grateful and will strive to make the most of it!”

Many students like Silvia are new to the cheer team at Slauson. Silvia shared she’s excited to try new things like cheer. “It’s a new experience and with the new shoes I can continue to cheer,” shared Silvia.

Another member of the cheerleading team, Vanessa embraces the new experience of cheerleading, thanks to donations from our generous partner the GSF Foundation.

“Here at Think Together I tried something new and having the whole team have a positive mindset through cheer helped me want to try it in high school,” remarked Vanessa.

The GSF Foundation has been a supporter of Think Together since 2020 with their generous donations of 125 backpacks to the Shalimar Learning Center in the fall of 2020, followed by a $5,000 grant to our programs in Orange County. This past fall, the GSF Foundation donated $7,500 towards STEM kits at our Orange County schools.

Think Together and our partners strive to make new opportunities available to students to expand their horizons and create more exceptional occasions for students in and out of the classroom by changing the odds for kids.

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