Scripps College Academy (SCA), a college access program for high school students who are the first in their families to attend college, celebrated its 15th year at Scripps College on June 17. This year’s 50 SCA scholars enjoyed the milestone anniversary event and learned about the experiences and perspectives of former program participants, staff, and faculty who came to campus to celebrate. During the dinner program on Elm Tree Lawn, many former students and mentors presented personal stories about how participating in SCA changed the paths and possibilities for their lives.
“One of the first things that SCA taught me was to never let your doubts control you,” Alesa Menor, an SCA scholar in 2016, said in her speech to the crowd of nearly 200. “It’s a place where we get to meet people like us,” added Menor, who is completing her senior year at RFK Community Schools in Los Angeles.
“SCA uncovered what countless opportunities there are for me and other girls my age, despite what we’ve always been forced to accept,” said Mary Ambriz, a senior at Summit High School in Fontana, California, who attended SCA in 2015. “I can say without a doubt that SCA has changed me for the better, from improvements in my self-confidence to my skills as a student.”
Kenia Duran, who is now a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in social welfare, said she hopes to not just continue in the path that has opened to her but to become a role model and to impact her four younger siblings, her community, and the world. “I participated in the 2014–15 summer program here at Scripps. Little did I know that those two weeks would become a life-changing experience—SCA helped develop my social interactions, widened my horizons and college aspirations, and prepared me for the next step in my life, my higher education.”
SCA’s summer residential program provides an opportunity for young scholars to live on the Scripps campus for two weeks and take classes taught by Scripps faculty. Through this experience, and workshops that take place throughout the following academic year, scholars develop the confidence and skills to be well-prepared college applicants, successful college students, and professionals who design their lives to create positive, lasting change.
Scripps started the program in 2001 with partial support from the James Irvine Foundation. Over SCA’s 15 years, many donors have made significant gifts to Scripps to support the program, paving the way for first-generation students to attend. Some of SCA’s most steadfast and noteworthy supporters include Focusing Philanthropies, Larry and Cathy Gilson, The Mara W. Breech Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, Edison International, and The L.A. Dodgers Foundation. In addition, Scripps is one of a very few liberal arts colleges in the U.S. that maintains an institutionally funded access program. The program received recognition from the White House as the recipient of a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its work in college access.
Donors who supported SCA in 2016–17 included individuals, foundations, and corporations. Gifts of any amount may be made to support SCA scholars by clicking here. For information about how to have your gift matched, contact Megan Callaway at (909) 621-8160 or Megan.Callaway@scrippscollege.edu.