Procopio Receives Hellbron Award
Procopio was recognized for their work with Monarch School, a public K-12 school exclusively for students who are experiencing homeless. The relationship began when long-time Monarch board member, David Boatwright, joined the firm in 2008. Since that time, several other Procopio attorneys have dedicated extensive pro bono hours assisting Monarch with various legal needs. “Procopio’s founders endowed the firm with an enduring commitment to the community. Our work for Monarch is exemplary of this commitment,” said Boatwright.
Recently, Procopio was instrumental in the resolution of two enormous challenges Monarch faced -- the substantial need for a new campus and defending Monarch’s very right to exist against political foes in Washington, D.C.
The school’s current campus at 808 West Cedar in downtown San Diego is bursting at the seams. Built on 15,000 square feet of land, the 10,000 square feet building serves 150-180 students at any given time as well as roughly 50 teachers and staff. There is no green space, no room for playgrounds, and no meaningful option for expansion.
As the strain on current facilities steadily grew, the need for a new campus became increasingly obvious. In early 2011, Procopio hosted the launch of the Monarch Capital Campaign to begin raising the money needed to fund the new campus project. Partnering with Monarch staff, almost $900,000 in contributions and pledges were raised at the launch. Since that time and with the support of the firm’s management, Procopio attorneys have performed over 300 hours pro bono to handle all the legal work needed to make the new campus a reality.
On the legislative front, Monarch teamed with Procopio to pitch a fierce battle to preserve its right to pursue its core mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness through education and community support . The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which is part of No Child Left Behind, prohibits segregated public schools for homeless children. However, Monarch operates pursuant to a special exemption from this prohibition that was secured by community and state political leaders over a decade ago. In 2011, bills were introduced in the Education Subcommittees of the U.S. Senate and of the U.S. House of Representatives by legislators from other states. If enacted, the bills would have eliminated Monarch’s exemption. Fortunately for Monarch and many of the families of San Diego experiencing homelessness, Monarch and Procopio were successful in preserving the exemption. The school continues its invaluable work for the community and is optimistic that soon other areas of San Diego and other communities in the country will be able to choose to pursue a similar program.
About Monarch School
On average, Monarch School students arrive three years behind age-appropriate grade level, yet for every six months a student spends at Monarch, he or she will progress more than a year academically. Because homeless children are often in extremis year round, Monarch stays open year round. So, for every year a student attends Monarch, the student will advance at least two grade levels. As importantly, Monarch has worked closely with UCSD to develop psycho-social outcomes data that show that almost all of Monarch’s students have dramatically increased self esteem and belief in a productive life path after just six months in the program. Monarch provides a safe and nurturing environment that opens when the homeless shelters close early in the morning and stays open with after-school enrichment programs until the shelters re-open at night. Monarch has a 93 percent attendance rate, and, on average, 71 percent of Monarch graduates go on to enroll in post-secondary education. All nine members of the senior class that graduates on June 15th will be attending college. Students going on to college continue to receive academic and financial support form the Monarch School Project. For additional information, please visit www.monarchschools.org <http://www.monarchschools.org/> .
About Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP
With more than 120 attorneys in San Diego, Carlsbad, and Del Mar Heights, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP is one of the largest business law firms in Southern California. We are a local law firm with a global network that gives us the ability to serve clients’ interests throughout the world. Procopio is dedicated to understanding the businesses and industries of clients and collaborating with them to develop tailored strategies. We advise companies at every stage in the corporate life cycle, helping them to plan, finance and operate their businesses. Since 1946, our success has been derived from our commitment to clients and our ability to maximize the value we provide to them. Our goal is to continue building long-term relationships with clients through a steady, team-oriented approach. For additional information, please visit www.procopio.com <http://www.procopio.com/> .