People with learning kits

blog post

Goodwill of O.C. Partners with High School Inc. Academies Foundation to Help Provide 550+ Student Learning Kits

August 23, 2021

School is officially back in session, and Goodwill of Orange County helped students in Santa Ana start their school year feeling valued and supported, and with a bunch of great new back-to-school supplies. 

Goodwill of Orange County partnered with High School Inc. Academies Foundation (HSI), a partnership between the Santa Ana Unified District and the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce committed to empowering youth and communities through education, offering six academies at Valley High School in Santa Ana. 

HSI Academy teachers help students uncover their college and career interests, developing plans to help them reach their goals. Because of this program, students are graduating, receiving internships, and feeling more confident as they move on to college and into the workforce.  

It’s clear that both Goodwill and HSI agree on an important principle: Every individual should have the opportunity to succeed and find purpose.

With 17 months of virtual learning in Orange County’s rearview mirror, more than 550 students were looking forward to their first day back at in-person class at Valley High School in Santa Ana. However, many of these students come from low-income households, struggling to afford basic school necessities like pencils, backpacks, and even masks. 

“The pandemic has taken a toll on many of the underserved students that we serve at Valley High School and help was needed to provide assistance for many families and students,” High School Inc. Academies Foundation Executive Director, Mary Tran said. “Our organization is committed to giving back to the community. We feel this year, backpacks full of school supplies will provide a foundation for our students to begin the school year with pride and self-confidence.” 

In an effort to ease these students’ financial burdens, Goodwill of Orange County donated school supplies and thousands of PPE materials such as hand sanitizers and masks to help these students successfully start the school year with everything they need. Retail employees like Goodwill’s Garden Grove Store team were happy to help in the donation process! 

People with learning kits

Several other Orange County businesses and organizations came together to help create more than 550 personalized learning kits for Valley High students. 

The learning kits also included calculators, staplers, three-ring binders, personal care products, and clothes. Additional sponsors included, 99 Cent Stores, California Love Drop, Johnson & Johnson, The Printer’s Circle and Vital Link.

Now, each student will begin their school year knowing that their community believes in their abilities and value. 

Goodwill and HSI members

Both Goodwill and HSI align in a common mission: empowering and equipping people with barriers to achieve success, independence, and purpose. By providing necessities to these hardworking, resilient students– especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—Goodwill of Orange County is honored to continue strengthening its local community through purpose-driven partnerships like these.   

A lady distributing learning kits to students

To learn more about High School Inc.’s amazing impact, please contact Mary Tran, Executive Director, at To read about Goodwill of Orange County’s various programs, visit 

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