The Lundquist Fellows Program supports middle- and high-school students in the Partnership network who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to their communities. As Lundquist Fellows, students gain exposure to college and career experiences, act as ambassadors for their schools, and receive a scholarship every year of the five-year program. This summer, the Lundquist Fellows participated in the Oregon Young Scholars Program, where they took rigorous classes and experienced a taste of college life.
Cynthia Ramirez, a recent George Washington Carver Middle School graduate, is one of 15 Lundquist Fellows in the 2019-20 cohort. Here, she talks about the Lundquist Fellows program, her experience in Oregon, and her aspirations for the future.
“I’m so happy to have been selected as a Partnership Lundquist Fellow because the program also comes with the opportunity to participate in this year’s week-long Oregon Young Scholars Program (OYSP), a collaboration between the Partnership and the University of Oregon. This is a very exciting and nerve-racking opportunity for me because I’ve never traveled without my parents for an academic experience like this. I’m looking forward to learning more about the university, STEM subjects, the arts, and social justice, while building camaraderie with the other Lundquist Fellows who are joining. I really enjoyed the community and networking dinner where professors, administrators, community business owners, and others will socialize and dine with this year’s OYSP cohort.
My parents are very happy and proud of me. They say they feel blessed that out of so many applicants to this year’s Lundquist Fellows program, I was accepted. ‘She has worked so hard to get here, and has overcome challenging times that didn’t always make it easy for her to receive an education,’ my dad says. There were times at school when I felt misunderstood and it wasn’t until my teachers at George Washington Carver Middle School saw potential in me and strongly motivated me that I did my best. At the end of 7th grade, I had a 2.1 GPA (grade-point average), and this year I culminated 8th grade with honors and a 3.5 GPA. My mom, in particular, has been influential to my success. She is a graduate of Parent College, a parent empowerment program offered by the Partnership and designed to help parents become engaged and informed advocates about their child’s education. She constantly advocates for me and I’m learning to advocate for myself through her. She is also an active parent volunteer at Carver. My parents’ work ethic keeps me motivated and inspired to do my best. My dad advises me to climb every step of the way. He says, ‘Getting to the top isn’t always hard, it’s staying there that can prove challenging.’
As a rising freshman heading to Santee Education Complex, I’m excited to join new clubs, meet new classmates, and take STEM courses. I’m nervous about starting at a new school, but I’m enthusiastically looking forward to preparing myself to attend Stanford University and becoming a General Surgeon.”
More On the Lundquist Scholars Program:
As philanthropists, Melanie and Richard Lundquist knew that a long-term pledge of unrestricted funding was the most impactful support they could provide to the Partnership. However, they also had a vision for a new program, one that would support the future leaders of Los Angeles. Having already pledged a long-term gift, they worked with Partnership staff to create the Richard and Melanie Lundquist Fellows Program, based on their vision.
The Lundquist Fellows Program supports middle- and high-school students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to their communities. As Lundquist Fellows, students gain exposure to college and career experiences, act as ambassadors for their schools and the Partnership, and receive a scholarship every year of the five-year program.
Every summer, Lundquist Fellows also participate in the Oregon Young Scholars Program (OYSP). The program offers a chance to experience college life and live in a dorm with a roommate, where they share meals, classes, and projects with their peers. Scholars attend intensive classes in math and writing, prepare for the college application process, and practice important skills in civic engagement, active reflection, and leadership.