El Modena High School Teacher Awarded $2,500 Grant for Mentor Meals Program

Orange, CA – February 18, 2021 –El Modena High School teacher Alexis Greenlee was one of 40 teachers in California to be awarded $2,500 by State Farm Insurance as part of their annual Teacher Assist Grant program, which recognized teachers who provide innovative ideas in the classroom that impact students’ lives.

Greenlee is in her twenty-third year as an English teacher and is the coordinator of the Digital Marketing Collaborative (DMC) at El Modena High School. DMC is a three-year program for the school’s at-risk youth. Greenlee applied for the grant in hopes of securing funds to bring her after-school program, Mentor Meals, online during the pandemic. With the grant funds, she plans to purchase online access to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder program, designed to identify and cultivate students’ strengths on their quest to find a meaningful career.

Mentor Meals was created in 2015 as a collaboration between Greenlee, Orange Plaza Rotary, and State Farm Agent Ron Esparza. The program creates space for students to explore their strengths and create career goals while sharing a meal with mentors from the community. The program has been serving Greenlee’s students for over seven years, with mentorship coming from EMHS alumni, the Orange Plaza Rotary, and other prominent community members. Esparza, an El Modena alumnus, serves as a mentor and on the advisory board for Mentor Meals and encouraged Greenlee to apply for the grant.

According to State Farm Vice President Annette Martinez, the company has a long history of working with educators across the country. It is State Farm’s hope that the money will help teachers like Greenlee meet the challenges of teaching during the pandemic.

“We are heartened by the immense response received from teachers sharing their solutions to overcoming challenges,” said Martinez.

State Farm believes that, “Supporting teachers and schools helps the entire community. It recognizes education as a public good and helps address the societal impacts of COVID at the local level.”

The State Farm press release listing Greenlee as winner is online at https://newsroom.statefarm.com/CA-teacher-assist/


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 26,000 PreK-12th grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.