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The American Heritage Student Program is our investment in future leaders -- a successful effort to enrich Los Angeles area youth and young adults with experiences and opportunities beyond the realm of their academic curriculum.

Established in 1987 for high school students, and modified in 2001 to include college students, the American Heritage Student Program is an outgrowth of Town Hall's mission to promote civic participation, pride, and awareness through public discussion. The preservation of our democratic traditions -- as well as the kindling of hope for a better life -- depends on America's youth understanding the power they have as citizens and future voters. Participating in the American Heritage Student Program gives students a taste of this tradition and exposure to role models in leadership.

For many high school and college students, particularly those from various ethnic groups, the world of Town Hall's members is one in which they have no previous experience. To participate in Town Hall Los Angeles educates and, judging from students' comments, inspires them.

Funds granted to the American Heritage Student Program pay in full the attendance of selected area high school / college students and teacher escorts at each Town Hall Los Angeles meeting.

Prior to a Town Hall Los Angeles meeting, students receive a briefing packet on the speaker and topic. They eat, listen to the speech, and participate in the Town Hall question and answer session. When schedules permit, a separate private session with students and the speaker occurs.

Town Hall Los Angeles' American Heritage Student Program provides students with learning experiences they remember. More significantly, it ushers them into the world of business, culture, politics, social action and understanding of democracy.

Funding History

Funding for the American Heritage Student Program began in 1987 with a $10,000 endowment given on the occasion of President Reagan's address to Town Hall Los Angeles.

Over the years, sponsors have included: ARCO, Asahi Bank, Avery Dennison, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boeing Company, The Broad Foundation, Chevron USA, Carl Dickerson, Dodge Warren & Peters, Eastman Kodak, East West Bank, Flanigan Farms, Good Works Foundation, Julia Gouw, International Parking Design, Donald Kennedy, The Korea Times, Litton Industries, The Lluella Morey Murphy Foundation, Lockheed Corporation, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Times, Nestle USA, Occidental Petroleum, Pacific Telesis Foundation, Lynda Resnick, The Riordan Foundation, Rockwell, The Rose Hills Foundation, Mark Shinderman, State Farm Insurance Companies, Sterling Foundation, Connie Tushla, Union Bank of California, University of West Los Angeles, The Wachtell Group, Wasserman Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and Whitecap Foundation.

Current sponsors are: The Boeing Company, The Rose Hills Foundation, State Farm Insurance Companies, Sterling Foundation, Union Bank of California, and Whitecap Foundation.

Approximately 800 students attend Town Hall Los Angeles' 30-40 annual forums. Requests for tickets regularly exceed availability. Increased funding is sought to expand ticket availability to students. Sponsors include individuals, companies and foundations.

If you would like to contribute to the American Heritage Student Program, please contact Chamara Russo at 213.312.9460.

Adrienne Medawar Educational Fund

Established in 2005, The Adrienne Medawar Educational Fund provides support to the American Heritage Student Program by providing for high school student summer interns at Town Hall. The interns learn first-hand the history of Town Hall by assisting in archiving projects and meeting with Town Hall's Board of Directors and Staff, learning the trajectory of careers and the depth of their commitment to Los Angeles.

The fund was created to honor Medawar's 17-year history as President of Town Hall Los Angeles and her ongoing commitment to education.

To contribute to the Adrienne Medawar Educational Fund or American Heritage Student Program, please contact Chamara Russo at 213.312.9460.