Kranz Students Inducted Into the Partnership Scholars Program (PSP)

Kranz Students Inducted Into the Partnership Scholars Program (PSP)

     “This program is life-changing!” “I’m so grateful to my mentor and the Partnership Scholars Program for the many opportunities it gives me to experience new things and achieve my dreams.”  These are a few of the sentiments from Kranz Intermediate School students who participate in the Partnership Scholars Program (PSP), a program with the mission of helping motivated students from low-income communities achieve their college dreams. 

     For the past 18 years a group of Kranz Intermediate School 7th graders have been inducted into the six year program, beginning their PSP journey of educational and cultural experiences with dedicated mentors, as well as guidance for getting into college.  Students are partnered with mentors and given a monetary stipend to be used during their six years as PSP scholars on educational enrichment such as computers, museum trips, books, concerts, plays, college campus visitations, sporting events, out of state trips and other activities to help them become well rounded individuals with rich cultural experiences.  A ceremony was recently held at Kranz to welcome the newest seven scholars into the program.

        “PSP has had such a tremendous impact on our students and school and we are extremely fortunate to be a part of the program,” said Sean Grycel, Kranz principal.  “We are very proud of the new scholars and their level of achievement which will be greatly enhanced by their involvement in PSP.  Special thanks go out to Arlene LeGaspe, an exceptional teacher and our PSP coordinator here at Kranz and in El Monte.”

       A number of guests were on hand to congratulate the newest scholars including PSP staff members, foundation members, donors, mentors, and Mountain View School District administrators and Board Members.

       The seven new inductees were selected from a large pool of applicants based on criteria including their grade point average, motivation for higher education, supportive home environment and financial need.  

     “We are so excited to welcome our newest scholars into our program,” said Lisa Ruben, Director of PSP.  “The mentors are awesome and their dedication to the students is great.  We are extremely grateful to our donors for making this program possible.   El Monte is a special place and we are honored to serve this community and provide academic and cultural experiences to these wonderful students who are motivated for college.”

     Kranz 8th graders, in their second year as PSP scholars shared about the many educationally enriching and fun excursions they went on during their first year in the program.  They happily shared how they made trips for the first time to places like Disneyland, various museums, colleges and universities, and took their first plane trip to San Francisco for a three day trip where they toured Stanford University, visited Chinatown and the Aquarium of the Bay.  They also enjoyed eating in culturally diverse restaurants and tasting a variety of new foods.

     “PSP is the best program,” said Isael Sanchez, 8th grader.  “I’ve been able to do so many things, one of my favorites was going to the UCLA vs. Stanford basketball game. Our mentor, Luis Bohorquez is great and has taken us to many fun and educational places so we can have fun while learning.”

      Upcoming for the 8th grade scholars is a PSP trip to Washington, DC, New York and Pennsylvania in the spring.

     This year’s inductees are looking forward to the many opportunities that await them and are eager to begin their PSP adventure.

     “I am honored to be part of PSP and look forward to learning more about the world I live in,” said Miki Lam who hopes to study business administration at Harvard. 

      “My goal is to attend Princeton University and study sociology,” said Ruby Saldivar.  “I know that PSP will help me build good habits and allow me to grow academically and culturally.  I’m so grateful to be part of the program.”

     Morgan Burton loves learning and feels blessed to be part of the PSP family.  “Thank you to all the sponsors who make this program possible.  Being a PSP scholar will help me achieve my dream of going to either UCLA or Tuskegee University to study aerospace engineering.”

        Also on hand to congratulate the new scholars were Jenny Nguyen and Stephanie Felix, former PSP members who recently graduated from college.  Both attribute their college success to being part of PSP.  Their strong appreciation and belief in the program has led them to want to become PSP mentors and give back to the program that provided so much for them.

      “PSP gave me so many opportunities and opened so many doors for me,” said Felix who graduated from Cal State L.A with a BA in sociology.  “I was able to do so many things that I couldn’t have afforded to do and the college guidance was amazing and put me on the right track.”

     Nguyen graduated from Carlton College in Minnesota where she studied Art History.  She credits PSP for giving her the courage to branch out beyond El Monte and California and go to college in Minnesota. 

     “PSP gave me the opportunity to be brave about trying new things.  The experiences and my mentors were amazing and the friendships I’ve built will last forever.  I wish all of the new scholars the best – you have an extraordinary opportunity – so seize it!”

       Mountain View School District Board of Education members, Veronica Sifuentes and Christian Diaz were happy to celebrate the new scholars and are thankful to everyone involved in PSP and the life-changing opportunities the program provides MVSD students.

      “I love the passion of the mentors and the students who are willing to receive their guidance.  It is very inspiring to see our future leaders embark on this incredible journey,” said Sifuentes, Board president.

       “This is an awesome program for our students and for them to have the chance explore beyond El Monte and be exposed to a variety of educational and cultural experiences is tremendous.  Also visiting colleges and being guided by mentors is invaluable,” said Diaz, Board vice president.    

      During its 20+ years, PSP has inducted over 660 students in the program and 94% of the high school graduates are in four-year colleges or graduated from college with an average of over $90,000 in scholarship aid. A few of the universities PSP scholars are attending include UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, BYU, Stanford, Wellesley, Occidental, Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, Columbia, Pitzer College, UC San Diego and Loyola Marymount.

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