The CTCN Foundation (pronounced "The Citizen Foundation"), Coming Together for Children in Need, really begins and ends with Gabby Child. When Gabby was in the 7th grade she joined the Best Buddies club at her middle school. The club tries to pair a general education student with a student with special needs. For both of her middle school years, and all four years of high school, Gabby chose to spend time with the kids on her campus who were living with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Downs Syndrome, and dozens of other disabilities.
For 4 years, Gabby was a fixture in the rooms on campus where our Special Needs students spent most of their day. By the time she was a senior and Vice President of the club, Gabby had built Best Buddies into one of the largest and most meaningful clubs at Dana Hills High School. Dozens of students were volunteering their time with one of their challenged classmates. Gabby also found time to volunteer at Surfers Healing, another fantastic organization serving the Special Needs children in the South Orange County area.
After graduating from high school, Gabby and her senior year mathematics teacher, Jake Schwartzberg, met to discuss Gabby's collegiate options and pathways as she considered pursuing a career as a Special Education teacher. It was in that conversation that Gabby shared with Jake that for many if not all of the Special Needs students on campus, the most socialization they will ever receive is the four years they spend in high school. She shared that the teachers and aides who taught and helped these kids, true heroes, could do so much more with more funding.
It was in that meeting that The CTCN Foundation was born. Gabby and Jake pledged to each other that they would make a commitment to raise some money to provide as good an experience as they could for the Special Needs students at Dana Hills High and in their greater community. They pledged to raise money for field trips to amusement parks, museums and other educational outings and to raise money for the latest educational technology to provide a high tech option for delivering life skills to these great kids.
Knowing they couldn't do it alone, Gabby and Jake reached out to Alexander Eisner and Charlotte Drury to help them form this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Alex would provide the legal expertise as well as company direction while Charlotte would plan and execute our fundraising events. As two became four, so too did the organization's mission expand. Why stop at fundraising to enrich the lives of those who need help in our community when there are hundreds of other communities just like ours with children struggling to get the education options and technology they need? Why not provide an outlet in every community in Orange County, or California, or our great country for neighborhoods, or school districts, or towns to Come Together for Children in Need? So together, these four individuals, with Dana Hills High School as their common thread, have made a commitment to the kids in their own neighborhoods and in neighborhoods everywhere that need our help the most.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Alexander C. Eisner
Chief Executive Officer
Alex Eisner is widely recognized as one of the best new up-and-coming attorneys in the greater Los Angeles area. Alex graduated Magna Cum Laude from The George Washington University in 2011 where he also interned at the State Department under then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Alex went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School and was admitted to the Bar in December 2014. Alex is currently the head of the Litigation Department at Shawn Steel Law Firm in Seal Beach, CA.
Gabby Child is a 2015 graduate from Dana Hills High School currently attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise and working for LF while also pursuing one of her dreams; a career in the fashion industry. While at Dana Hills, Gabby spent 4 years volunteering her time to our Special Needs community and looks to continue that service as she progresses in her career.
Chief Financial Officer
Jake Schwartzberg is a 25th year high school mathematics teacher and Mathematics Department Chair. He is a 5 time Teacher of the Year currently teaching at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California. Jake graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with degrees in Mathematics and History. before earning his Masters degree from CSU Fullerton in Educational Leadership and Administration.
Chief Operations Officer
Charlotte Drury is a 2014 graduate of Dana Hills High School currently working on her Associates Degree for Transfer from Saddleback Community College. She plans on double majoring in International Relations and Neuroscience at a 4 year institution. Charlotte is a world class gymnast who has competed across the globe for Team USA over the past six years. Charlotte is the only American woman to ever win a World Cup Title in Trampoline, when she brought home the gold medal from Minsk, Belarus in 2014. Charlotte finds her calling to The CTCN Foundation through her strong desire to help wherever she can and give back to the community she loves.