October Newsletter
At our summer picnic: Mentor Jim with Scholars Onur and Simge, Scholars Andrea and Paula, Scholar Kenny with Mentor Rachel
Greetings from MVLA Scholars!

Our Scholars are now back at school after a very busy summer. We’re so proud that 64% of our Scholars did career related work this summer, setting them up for professional jobs after college graduation. Here’s what they did this summer:

  • 49% – paid career-related internship/job
  • 15% – MVLA Scholars-sponsored career-related internship
  • 36% – other paid job and/or summer school
We’re very grateful for the incredible community that is behind MVLA Scholars. We have really grown!
  • 199 – number of donors
  • 193 – number of volunteers
To see the list of everyone who was a part of our success in 2016/2017 go to our Supporter page.

Check out the photos from our very fun annual summer picnic on our Facebook page.

Thank you so much to our incredible community for your ongoing support.

Dee Gibson and Janet Tornow
At our summer picnic: Scholars Joceline and Karla, Mentor Bill with Scholar Aldo, Scholar Elaine with Mentor Liz
Rashmeen Kaur, MVLA Scholar, SJSU Graduate 2017

Growing up in a two-bedroom apartment, living with 6-15 people at a time, I spent hours studying in the corner of the living room, kitchen, and bathroom floor. Nevertheless, I was recognized as the top 10% of my class at San Jose State University (SJSU). The struggles of being a first-generation student from a low-income household gave me the strength and determination to escape the cycle of poverty by working incredibly hard in school. My background as a first-generation student fueled my passion to serve and advocate for students in racially disparate communities. I am thrilled that I am now at Carnegie Mellon University (on a full scholarship) earning my Masters in Public Policy specializing in domestic policy with an emphasis on education policy.

During my undergraduate years at SJSU, I worked with non-profit organizations Elevate Tutoring and ALearn where I received a hands-on understanding of the inequalities in education that children from underprivileged communities experience. As a legislative intern in Washington DC, I worked closely with staff members specializing in policy issues, giving me a bird’s-eye view of how policy works at a higher level. On behalf of the Department of Political Science at SJSU, I was awarded the Montan International Leadership Experience, a foreign exchange trip to Sweden learning international policies. Last summer, I participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA), an intensive academic program where I studied domestic policy writing and analysis, statistics, and microeconomics.

Education is a fantasy for women in my family. The support that I received from MVLA Scholars is one of the most important reasons that I earned a bachelor's degree and because of that support, what once was just a fantasy has now become a reality.