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!
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!
Five 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 alleviateskidrow.org.
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.
On 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!
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 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 spoke 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.
This 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!
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
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
Partnership Scholars Program is seeking to hire a contract bookkeeper who will work under the supervision of the Executive Director and a CPA. The position is ideal for someone excited to learn about non-profit financial administration or anyone looking to supplement their school or work schedule. This person will work 5-10 hours a week at the PSP office in Lennox/Inglewood.
Click here for the full job description. To apply, email a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
PSP held its 4th annual College Retreat on August 1 and 2, 2015. Fifty rising juniors and seniors and nine mentors attended this two-day event on the beautiful campus of Claremont McKenna College. They participated in an array of workshops, ranging from learning about college entrance exams to understanding how to write an effective personal statement. Scholars also had the opportunity to hear from PSP alumni from UC Berkeley, UCLA, CSU Bakersfield, UC Riverside and Northwestern about their experience as first generation college students. The Claremont Colleges contributed to our event by hosting an information session with Admissions Directors from Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College and Pomona College. The Financial Aid Director from Claremont McKenna was also present to offer resources and answer questions for students. Scholars left the retreat prepared to navigate the college application process over the next two years. PSP staff and mentors will continue to support the scholars on their path to college, armed with new information and resources.
Here are some resources from this year’s retreat: