On November 10, 2021, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools announced the launch of a new $4-million college scholarship program that will help achieve the higher education aspirations of 80 Partnership students over the next eight years.  

Thanks to the generosity of philanthropist Jane Watkins, who established the Watkins Fellows program, 10 Partnership college-bound seniors each year will be selected to receive financial support of at least $10,000 per year for four years. The financial support can be used for tuition and housing expenses, and it also includes extra flexible funding for ongoing student needs above and beyond tuition as well as program management and student support staffing for the Partnership.

The Watkins Fellows program commenced in the 2021-22 academic year for nine Jordan High School graduates who are attending University of California campuses and it will run through the 2028-29 school year. Moving forward, students from all five Partnership high schools — Jordan High, Mendez High, Roosevelt High, MSTMA at Roosevelt, and Santee Education Complex — will be eligible for the Fellowship.

“This program is a lifelong dream of mine, and I’m honored to support this new initiative,” says philanthropist Jane Watkins, “This fellowship will provide students with a four-year scholarship, but also the ongoing supports they need to thrive while removing some of the financial barriers that make it difficult for students to pursue their education.”

“By establishing the Watkins Fellows program, Jane Watkins will impact an entire generation of Partnership graduates, not only those in the program, but students across our network and beyond,” says Partnership CEO Joan Sullivan. “This investment will provide academic and personal support to Fellows, and we also will apply the learnings from the program toward improving outcomes for all Partnership graduates. We are incredibly grateful to Jane for her vision, generosity, long-term commitment, and sincere desire to impact the lives of so many students.”