April Newsletter
MVLA Scholars grad Carlos with mentor Susie, grad Catherine, grad Dafne,
and grad Kristine with mentor Jeannie
Greetings from MVLA Scholars!
It is an exciting time of year for MVLA Scholars. We have a lot to report:
  • 92: Scholarship applications received and evaluated in March.
  • 31: Four-year renewable scholarships awarded to the high school class of 2017. Each of the 31 Scholars will receive an individual mentor for their entire college career.  Scholarships will range from $2K - $6K per year.
  • 13: One-year scholarships just awarded to the high school class of 2017.  Scholarships are $1K - $1.5K.
  • 3.5: Average GPA of our newest class of Scholars. Intended college majors include: engineering, business, pre-med, nursing, computer science and childhood development.
  • 16: Number of Scholars graduating from four-year colleges including SJSU, Cal Poly SLO, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Brown, Santa Clara, Chapman, and USF.
  • 5: Number of Scholars transferring from Foothill to SJSU and UCSC.
  • 123: Total number of college Scholars in the program (rising freshmen to seniors)!
Below you’ll have the chance to read about one of our incredibly successful scholars, Katherine Pantangco, who graduated from USF June 2016 and is truly giving back to the community by working at the ACLU.
Thank you to everyone for all our your support. We couldn’t do it without you!!
Dee Gibson and Janet Tornow
Katherine Pantangco—MVLA Scholar, USF Graduate 2016
As I write this reflection I cannot help but think about how far I have come since my days as an MVHS senior five years ago when I was worried about how I was going to afford college.  Now, less than a year after I graduated from the University of San Francisco magna cum laude (while working two work-study jobs), I am professionally employed in a field that promotes my deepest passions: public service and social justice.

My journey exploring public service and social justice began when I decided to study abroad in the Philippines. Casa Bayanihan, my study abroad program, applied a framework of “praxis” in which we are in service with and for the people. This notion of praxis served as a critical foundation for how I hope to achieve service in the future.

When I returned from the Philippines, I continued practicing this spirit of service by volunteering with PICO California (One People/One Fight Nonprofit) to organize phone banks to support the successful passage of Prop 47 (Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative). My community-organizing experience led me to an internship with the ACLU of Northern California, where I now currently work as a Volunteer Coordinator. As an intern, I supported the ACLU’s efforts in implementing AB 60 that allows all California residents, regardless of their immigration status, the right to a driver's license. Following my internship with the ACLU and being awarded a summer fellowship to study public policy at Princeton University, I was afforded the opportunity to intern at the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Now that I have launched my career, I cannot help but feel grateful to all the individuals who are part of the village that took care of me. I want to express my deepest gratitude to MVLA Scholars for believing in me and providing me with the means and mentorship that helped me join the privileged 6.7% of the world’s population who have college degrees. I encourage all who do have the means to continue investing in our community’s youth, because imagine how many more public servants and advocates can grow out of our MVLA Scholars' family.