For Kimberly Anyadike, it was love at first flight. “I fell in love after my very first time,” Kimberly said. “The sights inside and outside the cockpit were overwhelming, and being in control of such hardcore machinery was thrilling.”

At age 15, the Inglewood native became the youngest African American woman to make a transcontinental flight across the United States. In doing so, she hoped to inspire others and honor the achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen. Today, she’s a UCLA graduate, saving lives as an EMT while she prepares to apply for medical school.

Kimberly learned to fly at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. The organization, which provides pilot training and academic enrichment to youth in South L.A., helped hundreds of young people make their futures soar through Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow (PAT). Launched in 2011, this five-year, multimillion-dollar initiative began as the dream of a single donor and helped thousands of South Los Angeles and South Bay youth realize dreams of their own.

The donor, who wished to remain anonymous, built her legacy at the intersection of love and passion. She was a harpist with a lifelong love of music and a passion for helping young people achieve their potential. She understood that high-quality afterschool programs help children succeed. And she knew that strong programs are provided by strong organizations that can sustain themselves over the long term.

It all began in 2011, when the donor’s family contacted the California Community Foundation. As part of her estate, she left a $12.5 million bequest dedicated to helping South L.A. and South Bay youth improve their academic achievement, life skills and self-esteem through music, sports and recreation. The gift was to be granted out entirely within five years.

The potential for impact was huge, but the family needed CCF’s grantmaking expertise, knowledge of the nonprofit community and understanding of the region to achieve it. “The challenge was this: how do you accomplish the vision of the donor and the family,” said CCF President & CEO Antonia Hernández, “but also leave a legacy of strong nonprofits that will serve that community for years to come?”

In more than a century of service to Los Angeles County, CCF has stewarded hundreds of legacies, large and small. We specialize in maximizing the impact of a donor’s gift while ensuring their intentions are upheld in perpetuity.

CCF’s staff had decades of experience and intimate knowledge of the issues and organizations at work in South L.A. and the South Bay. We worked closely with the family to transform the donor’s dream into an effective program that could make a lasting difference in communities she loved so much.

Over the course of five years, PAT funded more than 50 organizations that used an incredibly diverse array of approaches to engage, empower and inspire. From surfing to symphonies, on horseback, onstage, at sea and in the air, PAT programs helped more than 40,000 young people to develop skills like leadership, teamwork and self-discipline.

CCF’s commitment to strengthening nonprofits ensured that PAT is still changing lives, even after the final dollars have been distributed. PAT grants supported a wide variety of programs intended to make partners more sustainable over time.

“Thanks to PAT, we could expand how many people we were serving, attend trainings and hire expert staff. PAT allowed us to lay track for the long term,” said Jonathan Zeichner, executive director of A Place Called Home, which was able to increase its operating budget by $2 million since its initial PAT grant in 2011.

To Erwin Washington, executive director & co-founder of Lula Washington Dance Theatre, one of PAT’s major legacies was in how it connected nonprofits throughout the region. “By bringing us all together, PAT built friendships and allowed organizations to work in a collaborative way.”

The lasting impact of Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow proves that when donors, nonprofits and communities come together, magic can happen. When organizations grow stronger, the benefits can last for generations. When children are engaged, even the sky is no limit to what they can achieve.

Above all, it shows how one woman’s passion and love can change the world.

California Community Foundation – 2017 Annual Report