PSP College Success Retreat at UCLA!

August 22, 2017 in Articles

On August 4-6 rising 70 high school juniors and seniors and 13 mentors and staff joined us for three action packed days at UCLA! The PSP staff created workshops and lectures to help the scholars learn about the college application and financial aid process. Scholars even got to experience one of the UCLA housing facilities and dining halls for the weekend!

Read our full post for more details, pictures and videos from the retreat!

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Going above and beyond

February 22, 2017 in Articles

Last semester’s grades are in and an impressive 48 scholars – nearly a quarter  of our current scholars – have attained a 4.0 or better GPA. These  students continue to show great determination and strive for the very best, working hard to keep their grades at the highest level. While PSP requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the six years in the program, we are proud that many of our scholars are striving to achieve more in order to reach their dreams of attending top universities in California and around the country.

Students like senior Daniela P. at Ukiah High School are highly self-motivated to achieve a 4.0. “I know that having a GPA above a 3.5 is good enough for me and everyone that’s watching, like my parents or PSP, but inside I get a great amount of satisfaction with myself,” says Daniela. “I try for a 4.0 as much as I can even though I know I won’t get it most of the time and it’s okay when I don’t because I know I tried my best. But when I do reach that goal it feels really good inside.” Like most PSP scholars, Ukiah High School junior Ivan R. will be the first in his family to go to college and is determined to do what his older brother could not. “When my brother was in high school, he wasn’t able to keep a 4.0 because of language difficulties,” says Ivan. “I’ve proven that I’m capable of that and raised the bar. I’m pretty proud that I’m the first one in my family to have done that.”

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Welcome Class of 2022!

January 25, 2017 in Articles

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This year, PSP welcomes 18 new scholars to the Partnership Scholars Program class of 2022.

Our new scholars are an inspiring class; each has a personal story that speaks of hope, motivation, courage and most of all, big dreams for the future. These new students are excited at the possibilities ahead with the support PSP will provide them throughout the next six years of their educational journey.

One student says, “An education that a majority of students take for granted is what I take very seriously.” Another says “I want to be successful and be able to help my family and be a good example to my younger siblings.” At El Monte’s induction ceremony held on January 18, incoming Charles T. Kraz Intermediate School 7th grader Derek M. acknowledged that it will be hard work, but he plans on attending Harvard University and becoming a child psychologist.

Over the last couple of months, students completed a rigorous application process that included responding to essay questions, providing letters of recommendation and, and, for the small pool of finalists, sitting through a panel interview. Every year, Partnership Scholars Program receives a tremendous number of qualified applications from bright, motivated young individuals in our program sites of Lennox, El Monte, Fort Bragg, and Ukiah. In Lennox alone, there were 70 applicants who were eager to be a part of this year’s PSP class. Each 7th grader who is admitted to our program demonstrates that they are committed to 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, helping them along the way to achieve their dreams.

We are excited and honored to help the class of 2022 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 2022!

Dr. Glenn Langer
Mr. Tom Turner
Oder Family Foundation
Dr. George Ferenczi & Dr. Miki Kalpins
Mr. and Mrs. Richard & Sue Masson
Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm & Sylvia Boyce

Scholars get the ‘Inside Scoop’ on college

January 24, 2017 in Articles

Throughout their six years in PSP, scholars are offered numerous opportunities to talk with their mentors about college: How to find the right fit, what it will be like, what they should be doing to prepare. Particularly in their junior and senior years of high school, scholars spend time visiting college campuses with their mentors, getting exposure to the college experience, and often meeting with current students. As students return from college visits, they often attribute the most valuable component to these experiences to hearing from current college students about what campus life is really like.

Even more imperative is being able to talk with former PSP scholars whose struggles as first generation, low-income students they can relate to. Recognizing that this experience can be essential for students to feel more comfortable and prepared for the transition to college, PSP’s Mendocino mentor Mina Cohen came up with the idea of holding a yearly event she called Inside Scoop.

PSP senior Carla A. has been attending the Inside Scoop event since she was in the 8th grade and believes hearing from PSP alumni is an invaluable experience while preparing for college. “Since I am a senior I take any form of advice on college very seriously, so going to the Inside Scoop, I really wanted to hear about the student’s campus life – from their hardships to the living situations – and get their honest opinion,” says Carla.

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New PSP mentor, Jesus Herrera

January 24, 2017 in Articles

One of Partnership Scholars Program’s newest mentors, Jesus Herrera, is not new to mentorship or to PSP. Jesus first became a part of PSP when he was inducted as a new 7th grade scholar at Lennox Middle School in 2004. Jesus remembers having a positive experience with the program as a student, saying he truly benefited from the many experiences PSP afforded him that he would not have had otherwise. Ten years later, while leading a tour for PSP scholars of his now alma mater USC, Jesus was urged by current Board Chair and mentor, Meg Sanchez, to come back to the program and mentor.

After a little over a year mentoring with PSP, Jesus finds he is reaping the benefits of being a mentor, bonding with his scholars. “I try to choose places that I haven’t been, that way both they and I get to learn and experience new things,” says Jesus. “For two of my scholars, they are older brothers. They haven’t said straight out, but it’s kind of like they see me more than just a mentor, but like an older brother or a father figure.”

All three are all in 10th grade, and he describes them as very energetic teenagers who pose the usual challenges. “For the most part they have the same school schedule, but they have different outside-of-school commitments,” says Jesus. “Communication issues are something a challenge; we’ve made some progress there. I’ve figured out times that work best and I’ve learned that it’s okay that at times only two of them can make it – or one.”

Jesus has set some goals for himself, as well as for his scholars.

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Mentors Barb and Mark Lurie give it their all

November 21, 2016 in Articles


Barbara (Barb) Lurie discovered Partnership Scholars Program about four years ago while helping a friend, Dr. George Ferenczi, find a local organization to invest in. “I did some research and found out about the PSP program,” says Barb, recalling that a relative of a friend was involved in the program and initially introduced her to PSP.  After connecting George with organization’s founder, Dr. Glenn Langer, Barb decided that she and her husband Mark Lurie would become volunteer mentors and started working with students in Lennox.

Now, Barb and Mark team up together as co-mentors and have taken on some of the program’s older scholars. “The first year we got ‘orphans’ who had lost their mentors,” says Barb. “Our first scholars are now juniors in college; they were juniors in high school when we got started.” Having kept up with the now college students, Barb and Mark get together with their former scholars from time to time for dinner. “The biggest pleasure now is to get together with some of the kids that we started with who are in college now,” agrees Mark.

Allowing many of their students to have opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have is central to their mentorship with PSP. “We have one kid whose father was completely disabled by a stroke, his mother didn’t speak English and cares for his father,” says Barb. “It was really gratifying to get to expose him to things he wouldn’t normally get to do.” She adds, “When we signed up to be mentors, we were hoping to enrich the students’ lives a bit but we didn’t realize how much we ourselves would be enriched.” As the two do not have children of their own, they have found mentoring to be an eye-opening experience, giving them insight into “what it’s like to have teenagers.”

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