Congratulations class of 2016!

June 14, 2016 in Uncategorized by Dikla Tuchman

Ukiah graduation

Congratulations to all of our PSP graduates! You did it!

Our 42 seniors are on their way to college and we couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments over their six years as scholars. Though they are embarking on a new and exciting chapter in their lives with many challenges ahead, we know that all of our PSP graduates will encounter great success in college and beyond.

See what this year’s graduates wrote about their experiences and plans for the future!

As we celebrated together both in Ukiah and in Los Angeles, we were reminded that Partnership Scholars is a very special experience and has been there every step of the way towards college. Six years ago, our graduates began a journey with their mentors that has shaped the way they see their future. Now, as our scholars, mentors and their families celebrate together, we are reminded of what we have all accomplished and what we look forward to achieving. This is not the end of the journey, but merely a stepping stone to the next big chapter. We know that all of our graduates are prepared for the road ahead and will continue to reach for the stars.

At our Southern California graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 11, two outstanding PSP supporters were recognized for their unwavering support. Long time El Monte mentor, Jeff Morris, was awarded this year’s Cultural and Academic Partner (CAP) Award for his incredible dedication to the many scholars he has worked with and continues to provide support to. Dana Oder was honored with this year’s Langer Award for her tireless financial efforts, a long-time donor, volunteer and cheerleader for Partnership Scholars. We are all truly grateful for the ongoing dedication both Jeff and Dana have shown to PSP.

A big thank goes out to all of our supportive volunteers and donors who make it possible for us to make dreams come true. Together, we are creating worldly, caring and compassionate leaders for our communities.

PSP Goes out to the Dodgers Ballgame!

June 5, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

FullSizeRenderThanks to a partnership with the L.A. Dodgers Foundation, 100 Partnership Scholars, mentors and family spent Friday, June 3 watching the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves!

We were there for Dre Dayz, an event that L.A. Dodger Andre Ethier supports. Another benefit of this partnership, PSP scholars got to be featured on the big screen over the ballpark!

The Foundation provided a special treat to some of PSP’s highest achieving students. Students who earned a 4.0 or better on their report cards were invited for a special evening in a VIP suite at the stadium. The L.A. Dodgers Foundation gave these students new sneakers and Dodger gear and they got to tour the stadium and go down on the field!

As the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Executive Director Nichol Whiteman said, “Supporting motivated students like these is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure the health of our city. We see the potential in these students and a model that focuses on both school and culture provides. These young students will grow up to be the well-rounded men and women who will move this county forward.”  

The Dodgers provided another group of scholars and mentors with busses to take them to and from the game, along with Dodgers t-shirts and food vouchers so they could enjoy their Dodger dogs.


Toast to PSP fundraiser

May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized by Dikla Tuchman

Partnership Scholars Program hosted our first fundraising event on Friday, May 6, at King Harbor Brewing Company in Redondo Beach. We are grateful to King Harbor for hosting us and to California United Bank for underwriting this event. Nearly 30 supporters including mentors, alumni and donors came together to toast PSP, enjoying locally made pizza and beer. Attendees heard from PSP Past Board Chair Bruce McDaniel and class of 2006 graduate Sara Potter. Sara spoke movingly about her journey to achieving a college education with the guiding hand of PSP and her mentor, whom she has continued to stay close with 10 years later. Thanks to all who joined and supported us, the event raised critical funds to support scholars in Lennox and throughout the PSP community!  IMG_2973



PSP welcomes new staff member: Dikla Tuchman

May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized by Dikla Tuchman

Dikla Bio PhotoDikla joined the PSP staff  as third team member and our first Development Associate & Partnership Coordinator!  She is excited to be working with us to advance our fundraising efforts!

Having recently returned to Los Angeles after 11 years in Seattle, Washington, Dikla has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 5 years. She graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University in 2004 and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Dikla’s passion is fundraising and volunteering for organizations she cares deeply about and making lasting change in communities that are in need. She is excited about working with the Partnership Scholarship Program and being instrumental in the growth of the organization. When not hard at work, Dikla enjoys the great outdoors, hiking and going to the beach, traveling and spending time with her family.

Please join us in welcoming her as you have the opportunity to meet Dikla in the near future at our PSP office and events. We are excited to have her on board!


PSP Scholar and Mentor Serving Skid Row

April 26, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

Giovanni Alleviate Skid RowFive years ago, Giovanni Pantoja (scholar) and Noel Velasco (mentor) met for the first time. The two connected right away and began exploring the world together, first taking stock of the culture in the Los Angeles area. During one of their monthly cultural enrichment trips, Giovanni and Noel were humbled by the dire conditions on the streets of LA’s Skid Row neighborhood. The trip struck such a chord in both Giovanni and Noel that rather than allowing their concern to fade, the two set out to create “a sustainable plan to help one of the largest homeless populations in the nation and motivate others to seek answers to community problems,” says Noel. “After months of hard work, a wishful thought transformed into Alleviate Skid Row.”

After a few months of hard work and determination, shaping a vision, forming relationships and creating a social media presence, the two were prepared to serve those that needed it the most. Their project, Alleviate Skid Row, kicked off their first cold lunch serving in 2014. “Our efforts allowed us to feed, but more importantly, to connect with over 300 new friends in Skid Row,” says Noel. “Alleviate has allowed me to be a part of something much bigger than myself and make a real impact among those that call the streets of Skid Row their home.”

To date, Alleviate has distributed over 15,000 items (clothing, lunches, shoes, and toiletries) directly to those in need and the project has been able to raise an impressive $4,500. But Giovanni and Noel have not acted alone: Alleviate has partnered with over 50 businesses, individuals, and other non-profits.

Beyond this inspiring work, Giovanni – now a junior at Lennox Academy – was recently awarded the competitive QuestBridge scholarship, which provides him with many incentives including a college access day trip to Stanford and pairs him with a college application advisor in the fall.

You can read more about Giovanni and Noel’s efforts by visiting

Need help understanding your award letter?

March 25, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

uAspire Analyzer

These are exciting times for seniors! We have been hearing about the great schools that you’ve been accepted to and want to congratulate you on your accomplishments thus far. Please continue to keep us up to date as you hear from the schools you applied to.

Shortly after acceptance decisions, you will be receiving your Financial Aid Award letter from schools. It is important that you understand what each school is offering you in order to make the best decision for enrollment. These letters can be difficult to understand, so we are providing you with a tool that can help you. uAspire, an organization that prepares students  with financial information and resources for college, has developed the “Award Letter Analyzer”.  This tool will help you to compare multiple award letters and understand the total cost associated with each school.

Click here to download the uAspire Award Letter Analyzer . You can also download the uAspire Analyzer Guide which provides notes that are helpful when filling out the Analyzer.


PSP Scholars Show Their Photography Skills!

March 24, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

Photo exhibitOn February 5, 2016 two Fort Bragg scholars got to show off their photography in a a show organized by their mentor Denise DeLuise. Last summer, Partnerships Scholars Program was able to send Fort Bragg scholars Celeste (15) and Esme (17) to attend the 2015 Photography Summer Camp course for a week in Brooklyn, New York at the SOCAPA (School Of Creative And Performing Arts). During their time at the camp, Esme and Celeste stayed in the dorms at Poly-Tech University for one week. They spent their second week spent exploring NYC with their mentor, Denise. Both scholars described their experience in New York as completely life changing. This February, they got to share their new-found passion for photography at a gallery show!

You can read short essays by Esme and Celeste about this experience. Below are a few excerpts from essays the scholars wrote about their experiences.

Celeste wrote: This photography show that I was part of is just the beginning of hopefully many more opportunities in photography….. My trip to New York and photography camp truly was a journey of a lifetime and something I will carry on in my life forever. 

Esme shared: A year ago I never thought that I would have the opportunity to go to New York until my mentor Denise suggested it…. I had such an amazing experience being in the city and getting to try new foods, meet new people, and explore the city of New York. It is a memory that I will always cherish…..

PSP Alumni Speak at UCLA Event Honoring Dr. Langer

March 8, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

Sandra, Ivan, Glenn at UCLAPSP founder Dr. Glenn Langer was honored by the UCLA Faculty Women’s Club on February 2, 2016 for creating Partnership Scholars Program. You can see more about Glenn, and about PSP, in the UCLA FWC announcement! PSP Board Chair Meg Sanchez spoke about all the organization has accomplished over the past 20 years. Two of PSP’s most recent alumni, who are now Bruins themselves, spoke at the ceremony as well. Ivan Garcia and Sandra Estrada spokeSandra and Bruin movingly of the role that PSP, their mentors, and Dr. Langer had in shaping their lives.

As Sandra said in her speech, “As a 7th grader, I did not know much about what Dr. Langer and the Partnership Scholars Program had in store for us, but as a first year UCLA student, I can testify that it was one heck of a ride. A ride that I will forever be grateful for.” You can read Sandra’s full speech here. And here she is enjoying a game with Josephine Bruin!

Dr. Langer and his late wife, Marianne, made experiences like Sandra’s possible for hundreds of California students when he founded PSP. With the help of our many mentors, donors and supporters, he has helped transform the lives of so many children and families though his vision of educational and cultural opportunity for all.

Presenting the PSP Class of 2021!

February 16, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

New Lennox ScholarsThis year, PSP welcomed 32 new scholars into Partnership Scholars Program. These students completed a rigorous application process that included responding to essay questions, providing letters of recommendation and, for the finalists, sitting through a panel interview. Each young student who joins our program demonstrates that they are ready to embark on the six-year journey that will culminate in their attendance at an institution of higher education. Each of our new students has a mentor who will expose them to new cultural experiences and educational opportunities.

Our new scholars are an inspiring class; each has a personal story that speaks of hope, motivation, courage and most of all, a dream for the future. The words of one student are representative of almost all our newest scholars: “I am looking forward and excited to attend college and being the first [in my family] is a huge accomplishment for me.”   Another new scholar, who aspires to become a doctor, envisions her life as an adult: “I would be financially stable, in my own doctor’s office with a lot of patients, and with a loving family.”

We are excited and honored to help the class of 2021 as they explore the world and pursue their dreams!

El Monte Induction_7th Graders
Lennox induction_7th Graders
New Fort Bragg Scholars
Ukiah induction_new scholars
New Lennox Scholars

PSP sponsors make it possible for each scholar to have a six-year scholarship that supports a wide range of cultural and academic activities with their mentors.

Thank you to the sponsors of the class of 2021!

Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Boyce
Mr. and Mrs. Brownrigg
Dr. Glenn Langer
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Masson
Oder Family Foundation
Mr. Tom Turner
Mr. Tomek Ulatowski

Thank Your to Our Mentors

January 21, 2016 in Uncategorized by Maria Hernandez

Today, on national Thank Your Mentor Day, we want to thank the hundreds of dedicated volunteers, past and present, who have mentored PSP scholars.

PSP mentors help their scholars in immeasurable ways. They encourage them to dream big, help them see the world in new ways, and help them through challenges. PSP mentors instill the belief in each of our scholars that they belong in college, and they help their scholars achieve that goal.

Having a mentor empowers young people to make smart choices that put them on a path to making better life decisions. Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects. We see that in the outcomes of our alumni: 90% of PSP graduates have gone directly to a four-year college!

As Dr. Langer has stated many times, “Our program is only as good as our mentors.” Thank you from scholars, past, present and future, and from the PSP Board of Directors, for taking time to provide students with opportunities they would otherwise miss out on. We are very appreciative of the work you do.  

– Meg Sanchez, Board Chair