Archive for Author clevenson

OMD’s Ben Abt featured guest in Da Vinci’s Career Speaker Series

b_apt2Da Vinci Schools kicked off a career speaker series today with a talk from a digital media expert from one of the nation’s top advertising agencies.

Ben Abt, an Associate Media Director for OMD USA, spoke to about 250 juniors and seniors at Da Vinci Design about his career trajectory. Abt, 34, manages a team of 10 people whose clients include The CW, Smashbox Cosmetics, Universal Studios Hollywood, and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Growing up in Boston, Abt said his own career trajectory “zigged and zagged” from music to teaching to video game testing and, finally, to advertising. He earned three degrees (including a Master’s degree in math) and went to five colleges in eight years.

“I believe you’ve got to change things up in order to stay motivated,” he said. Abt said that changing jobs frequently is the new normal. He told the students not to be afraid to change careers. “It’s a different world today than it was in the 1960s.”

Abt said the most important thing for new hires is to be competent and reliable. “I want to know that if I ab_aptsk you to do something that you’re going to do it.” He also said entry level employees should be proactive, eager, excited and enthusiastic. “Enthusiasm is much more important than what college you went to and what degree you earned.”

Abt, who helps clients decide how to spend their advertising dollars, drew many laughs and high-fives from the audience when he said the advertising industry offers a great lifestyle because employees get a lot of free stuff from clients, can have tattoos, piercings and blue hair, bring their dogs to work, and earn over $100K.

Abt also gave students the following advice:

  1. Have a Plan A but always be working on Plan B.
  2. Take advantage of internships both in and out of your comfort zone.
  3. Be prepared. Do research on a company before you go into an interview.

OMD ( is an integrated communications agency delivering media and marketing solutions globally. OMD USA was named the 2013 Global Media Agency of the Year by ADWEEK.

The Career Speaker Series is being organized by Da Vinci’s Real World Learning program. Upcoming presenters will include speakers from Vans, Toyota, Belkin, and more. The goal of the Real World Learning program is to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace.

Calling All Professionals!

Here’s a terrific way for you to get involved at Da Vinci!

We are always looking to expand our database of real-world connections for our teachers to draw from as they design their projects. If you would be willing to be available as a resource in any area in which you have experience/expertise, we would appreciate it if you would go to the link below and add your name to our experts database so that our teachers may contact you. (It may be as a guest speaker, a connection for a field trip opportunity, or to answer questions and point to resources about the field so that our projects and information are current, relevant and engaging.) We thank you!!

Guest Speaker: Dr. Tracey Childs – Monday, June 2

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn valuable career lessons!

This Monday, June 2nd, Dr. Tracey Childs, a general surgeon and Da Vinci Design parent, will speak at DVD as part of a healthcare speaker series designed to introduce students to diverse careers in the medical field. Dr. Childs will share her career trajectory, and personal experiences and insights as a surgeon and researcher.

Dr. Childs received her medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and has been in practice for 28 years. She is affiliated with multiple hospitals, including University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and Saint John’s Health Center.

Please join us!

Who:  Dr. Tracey Childs

When: Monday, June 2, 2014 @ 4 PM

Where: Ms. Adabale’s classroom, Da Vinci Design






Welcome BBQ Seeking Donations

Welcome BBQ

08132013DVDFirstDay-1062-XLOn behalf of the incoming freshmen committee at Da Vinci Design and Communications, we are seeking donations for our Freshmen Welcoming BBQ.

Some items we would appreciate include:

-Cups                       -Sodas

-Plates                         -Water

-Napkins                       -Chips

-Hamburger Buns          -Hot Dog Buns

-Condiments                   -Side Dishes


Any type of donation is greatly appreciated! Donations can be dropped off in the Da Vinci Design front office by May 20th. Food items can be delivered the morning of the BBQ May 23rd.

Any questions or concerns, please feel free to email

Last Call: Application Deadline for New Families

The Priority Application Deadline for new K-12 families who wish to apply to Da Vinci Schools for the 2014-2015 school year is today at 4 pm. Interested families may complete an online application at:

Students applying for grades 10-12 must submit a transcript as part of the application process. Transcripts are used for grade level determination, not for admissions purposes. 9th grade applicants do not need to submit a transcript.

Questions?  Please contact the Enrollment Office at 310-331-8097 or


Baby Fever

Da Vinci Design Juniors are currently being put to the ultimate test: being teen moms and dads… (at least for three weeks).

Biology students are learning how to bond with their 5 pound sugar baby and learning how to share the responsibility with their “partner” as part of the 11th grade Sugar Baby project. Digging deeper into the project, students are realizing that genetics play a huge role in their baby’s phenotypes (physical features) and that there are dominant and recessive genotypes (genes) that determine those features as well as possible hereditary diseases.

Students are caring for their “baby” 24/7. Safety is a number one concern. To ensure the safety of the sugar babies, fellow Design students and teachers are serving as eyes and ears and reporting any “neglect” to the children. In some accidental instances, sugar babies have been left at skate parks or on bike baskets, but other responsible “parents” nearby  took the leadership of reporting it and making sure the babies were kept safe and sound.

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The project is supposed to teach students to be accountable and to be responsible for their baby and pay attention to them. At first the students were all excited, but as time has passed, the students are starting to realize that it is hard work to take care of a child.

– Ms. Adabale

   11th Grade Bio Teacher

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Baby Giovannii

“The project has shown me that you can’t just leave the baby anywhere. It’s showing me that you have to be responsible to be a parent.”

– Joanna A.

Partner: Jazmine S.

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Baby Antonio

“It’s a life learning experience. It shows me that I’m too young to have kids. I need to get my career and education first.”

– Genesis G.

 “It’s been time consuming. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy. You can’t just leave it out of sight. It gives me another reason to wait.”

– Henry G.


Baby Melvin

“It’s showing me that I need to be aware because someone might harm him. I need to keep an eye on it at all times to keep him safe. Even so, I know it’s nearly not as hard as the actual thing.”

– Ivan N.

Partner: Allan G.

Reported By: Kassandra Castellanos, Class of 2013

Alert: Lockdown Lifted

Dear Da Vinci Design Families,

Today at 11:55am at the request of the LA County Sheriff Southern California station, Da Vinci Design and Da Vinci Communications were put on lockdown due to a home burglary west of our location. At 12:15pm, the LA County Sheriff informed us that the suspect was in custody, and that the lockdown was no longer in effect.  The lockdown was precautionary, as there was never a threat or person on campus who posed a danger to our students. The day will continue as normally scheduled for today.

You’re Invited…

Don’t miss TEDx@Da Vinci Schools featuring 26 Ted Talks by our very own Da Vinci Communications and Da Vinci Design 9th grade students!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013 (tomorrow) @ Del Aire Park Gym – next door to DVC/DVD

Session 1:  9:30-10:40 am
Session 2: 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Session 3: 1:20-2:20 pm

(Please note:  Audience members may only enter at the start of each session and cannot leave until the end of the session.)

TEDxjpgA sampling of student topics:

  • What is Love?
  • The Power of Hello
  • The Gift of a Healthy Body
  • The Beginning of Greatness
  • Stop Negative Judgment
  • Listening to People’s Melodies
  • Cartoons Create Imagination
  • Thinking With Your Fat
  • Music and Conceptualization
  • … and many more!

Our students are hard at work preparing for tomorrow.  Please join us!

Important Request – Meal Applications

Dear Design Families,

This afternoon, every Da Vinci high school student received a meal application with instructions to turn it in on Monday in their first period class.

It is crucial that we receive a meal application from each and every family regardless of your family’s income or whether your student eats lunch at school.

The funding formula for schools has changed dramatically this year and is now closely tied to our number of free and reduced lunch applications. Literally, hundreds of thousands of state and federal dollars are at stake. We cannot impress upon you the importance that every family complete a meal application by Monday, September 30. You may complete the application online or turn in the print application. Only one application per family is needed.

Apply Online
Download a print application

Da Vinci team members will be calling, sending notes and e-mail blasts until we get every family to complete this application. If you have any questions about the application, please contact Sara Deulofeu at

Have a great weekend!