On Tuesday, March 27, Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina) hosted the 2018 Women of Achievement and Emerging Leaders Award Ceremony at Covina Center for the Performing Arts.
Lei Wang, Principal of West California Academy of Art and Design, received the Award in Arts & Entertainment category, and she is the only Chinese awardee among 22 honorees for the 2018 awards.
Lei Wang is the founder of West California Academy of Art and Design, one of the most widely recognized youth art institutes in Southern California. As a member of UNESCO's World Art Education Association, Lei has over 40 years’ experience in children and youth art education. She was recognized as Outstanding Art Educator by President George Bush’s Education Awards in 2001.
Every March, during Women’s History Month, remarkable and talented woman and their contributions to society are spotlighted. The California Legislature began the tradition of commemorating Women’s History Month in 1987 and that tradition continues today. The theme for the 2018 Women’s History Month is: Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. This year Senator Ed Hernandez has chosen to highlight the impact women have made in the San Gabriel Valley in 12 different categories. Each of the 22 honorees has been chosen for this converted award based on her continued service and dedication to inspiring women to achieve their full potential.
According to Senator Ed Hernandez, the 22 honorees represent the very best of the 22nd Senate District and contribute in a wide field of issue areas including Public Safety, Social Services, Healthcare, Environment Protection, Arts and Entertainment, Exceptional Volunteerism, etc. “Each honoree has profoundly and positively impacted her respective communities,” says Senator Ed Hernandez, “and this celebration acknowledges their individual contribution and recognizes their extraordinary determination and tenacity of women. It is with respect, pride and admiration that we are honoring these women and their achievements today.”
Led by Lei for over 20 years, West California Academy of Art and Design has been transforming students into confident, creative artists and designers who have gone on to have successful careers in their chosen field. The academy's students produce exceptional art for their age and it has achieved a reputation as “the children’s art school with most art contest winners.” To date, more than 4,000 students have won top honors in competitions occurring across the globe. Most Notably, the Academy has a long history of preparing students for college. The students have been admitted into the finest universities in the world. They successfully achieve their dreams of attending the universities and Art Colleges of their choice. It is because students attend the Academy that they have been accepted to Yale, Harvard, UCLA, USC, Cal Poly, Art Center College of Design, OTIS, RISD and so many other colleges and universities. The Academy helps young people to stand out from the crowd of applicants by showing them how to express themselves in a unique way.
With Lei’s continuous efforts, West California Academy of Art and Design has officially become a WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited school since July 6, 2017. This Accreditation channels a ne period of growth for our school and anchors our international reputation throughout the world.
In addition to offering art education programs for children, Lei has also been continuously taking time and efforts to provide voluntary public service for the community. During the past ten years, Lei, her students and her staff members have collectively contributed more than 5,000 hours to domestic and international public service.
In her acceptance speech, Lei thanked everyone who were there showing support. In addition, she thanked Mary Su for the nomination. In review of her nomination, Lei had a 39-page community service bio including Health Fair for 2015, 16 and 17. She impressed the audience by her continuing efforts and dreams of offering a legacy of positive environment and better services in the community for families and friends.
For 10 years, Senator Hernandez has recognized women and emerging leaders in the San Gabriel Valley during Women's History Month in March. More than 100 women and young leaders have been honored during the course of this past decade. These women have come from various disciplines, backgrounds and ages, each with unique stories. What they all have had in common is the profound difference they have made in our community.