UCLA Spark Campaign Supports the Class of 2021 at UCLA Community Schools

UCLA Ed&IS project aims to support scholarships for high-achieving graduating seniors in low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods.

The UCLA School of Education and Information Studies is launching a new project, “Support College Scholarships for UCLA Community School Students,” through the UCLA Spark Campaign, ending on June 4, 2021. The project will raise scholarships for graduating high school seniors at Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles and at UCLA Community School in Pico-Union/Koreatown. 

In 2009, the UCLA Department of Education launched UCLA Community School in the Pico-Union/Koreatown neighborhood of central Los Angeles. This UCLA/LAUSD partnership school serves K-12 students in this low-income neighborhood, which is made up predominantly of new immigrants from Central America. When the school was established, only 30 percent of high school seniors in this neighborhood went to college. Today, UCLA Community School is proud to have an 82 percent college-enrollment rate. 

At the invitation of LAUSD, the UCLA Department of Education started its partnership with Horace Mann Middle School in 2015. Located in South Los Angeles in one of the most challenged urban neighborhoods in the nation and near the center of the 1992 riots, Mann UCLA Community School serves students from very low-income families, with an estimated 60 percent of students living in either the foster care system or with a relative other than a parent. Since 2015, a grade has been added each year, and the Class of 2021 marks the first graduating senior class from Mann UCLA Community School.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, these already marginalized high school students have been experiencing daily uncertainty and challenges. On top of the pandemic’s threat to the health of themselves and their families, these students were more often than not without dependable or any access to computers or internet to keep up with their studies. In addition, many families were left without sources of income because of the loss of jobs in the pandemic.

With and without these additional challenges due to COVID-19, students in these school populations face financial barriers to college enrollment, with 82 percent either somewhat or very concerned with paying for college. Any contribution to the “Support College Scholarships for UCLA Community School Students” project through the UCLA Spark Campaign will provide much-needed assistance to these students who have the academic achievement and personal potential to fulfill their college aspirations.

Visit this UCLA Spark link to view giving opportunities and for more information on supporting college-bound seniors at UCLA Community School and Mann UCLA Community School.