PACOIMA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Students on the girls' soccer team at Vaughn International Studies Academy in Pacoima were completely surprised when they walked into their weight room!
What was once a clustered room with weights has now been transformed into an organized fitness center, complete with new equipment and open walking space.
"I absolutely love the new facility. I think some of the old stuff we had was worn out and I'm so excited to try out the new stuff," said student-athlete Ruby Juarez.
The school's weight room and multi-purpose room were given a makeover thanks to UnitedHealthcare and the Cal Ripken sr. foundation. Both organizations partnered together to create a national campaign, giving at-risk communities access to nutritious meals and updated fitness facilities.
This year, Vaughn International Studies Academy was one of the high schools selected and given a grant of $75,000.
"It was awesome being able to choose a school for this project. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation contacted me to look for a school. I can't believe they donated so much stuff," said Los Angeles Police Officer Michael Scott.
A team of volunteers and faculty worked around the clock to complete the project in two days. Besides the new gear in the weight room, the multi-purpose room also got a big renovation.
"We put down some new laminated flooring. It's perfect for dancing, so their dance team and cheerleading team can practice in here, as well as, you can see behind me some ping pong tables for their ping-pong or P.E. use," said Chris Rubright, Assistant Vice President of programs and grants for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
"I feel amazing, I am so grateful for the opportunity and just the love we've experienced from everyone," said Alicia Burnett, Interim Director at Vaugh International Studies Academy.
Officials said the two facilities haven't been renovated in 29 years and they hope the new equipment and weights will help improve the students' athletic performance.
"I hope they feel they now have the right room to practice for their sporting events more effectively." Said Michael Hull, Account Management Vice President for UnitedHealthcare.
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