“I am smart.” “I am hardworking.” These simple yet powerful affirmations can be found on hand-painted murals at Hooper Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, thanks to Lara Chahinian, who inspired her fellow instructors and students at American Career College to join her in a one-day volunteer event at the school last spring. Lara, a Health Claims Examiner-Medical Billing instructor at ACC’s Los Angeles campus, organized “Project Hope,” sprucing up the landscaping, adorning walls with beautiful murals, creating a playground and distributing food and clothing at Hooper Avenue Elementary School.
“Maybe the field of medical billing attracts people with kind hearts. All I know is, my students and others from ACC were more than eager to join me and other instructors in giving generously of their time to help the school’s children and families,” says Lara, who has taught at the college for four years. “It makes an already wonderful job even more enjoyable.”
Several years ago, Lara was inspired to do something to help young people, and the idea for “Project Hope” was born. “At ACC, I have the privilege every day of encouraging young adults to learn new skills that will impact their lives in huge ways,” she says. “Maybe through our community volunteer efforts, we’ll give children hope and inspire them to also follow their dreams. Who knows – maybe I’ll see them in my classroom one day at ACC.”