Spotlight on Fort Bragg mentor Larry Sawyer

July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized by Dikla Tuchman

Congressman Jared Huffman with Partnership Scholars Students and mentor, Larry Sawyer

Congressman Jared Huffman with Partnership Scholars students and mentor, Larry Sawyer

Five years ago, Larry Sawyer heard about Partnership Scholars Program from a few friends who had been involved as mentors and he thought to himself, “Well, maybe I will do this later.” But there was an immediate need for new mentors to take on the growing number of students in the Fort Bragg area, and Larry decided not to put it off and stepped up to the plate. Larry was paired with one student that year, Damien, and two years later took on a second scholar, Ian.

Even though the boys were a year apart, Larry knew it was a good pairing. Larry has now seen Ian graduate, with Damien preparing for graduation in the coming year. What he’s gained from the two boys is immeasurable. “The one-on-one and one-on-two small group sharing, driving to and from places and the check-ins” are what have been most important to Larry. “It’s good to form relationships with people of other ages than ourselves,” says Larry. “I don’t have my own kids, so this gives me an experience I wouldn’t have otherwise.” Larry emphasizes the benefit of sharing experiences with those younger than himself, gaining their life perspective and giving back, imparting his own wisdom. “It’s healthy for them to have other older people in their lives,” says Larry, pointing out that mentors offer supplemental guidance to what they receive from their parents.

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Spotlight on new mentor Michelle Brantley

July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized by Dikla Tuchman

Michelle Brantley and two of her scholars, Verenice and Kinza.

Michelle Brantley and two of her scholars, Verenice and Kinza at an LA Dodgers game.

Being a new mentor can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Suddenly, you are responsible for having a profound impact on the trajectory of another person’s life. While people encounter mentorship opportunities in different ways throughout their lifetime, establishing a one-on-one mentor-scholar relationship creates a new kind of bond unlike any other.

In her first year working as a secretary at Lennox Middle School, Michelle Brantley felt compelled to finally find out what that special bond was all about. After a colleague of hers handed Michelle a pamphlet and gave her the run-down on why PSP was a mentorship program that really made a difference, Michelle was convinced. This was the year she was going to do it. This was her chance to be a mentor.

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PSP Scholars Taking Advantage of Summer Programs with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized by Dikla Tuchman

CTY - Erick Pech

Lennox scholar Erikk Pech at his CTY summer program at Seattle University.

In an effort to provide scholars with college preparatory opportunities, Partnership Scholars Program has enjoyed a collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) since 2012. The CTY Academic Exploration program is an academically challenging summer learning opportunity available to students 7th grade and above. In the spring, PSP arranges for 7th and 8th graders to take a challenging standardized test, the SCAT, to qualify for participation in the program. Once qualified, students are given the opportunity to engage in three weeks of academically rigorous courses offered on designated college campuses over the summer.

“One of the most memorable experiences I had through PSP was being able to participate in Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth,” says recent PSP graduate Raul Estrella. “In this program I was able to spend a summer at UC Santa Cruz and take actual college courses, while experiencing the college scene by dorming and participating in many different activities. I made many friends through this once in a lifetime experience, and I will actually be dorming with one of these friends that I made at CTY.”

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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!

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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!

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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.”

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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.

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