2016 We Act Grant Recipients

Congratulations to all the Action Grant recipients. Read about the announcement at the LASPA Launch here.

The LASPA action grants provide opportunities for students to:

  • Transform knowledge, passion, and ideas into action;
  • Demonstrate creative and effective problem-solving;
  • Create partnership(s) in the public or private sector; and
  • Produce outcomes that make a positive impact.

For more details about the LASPA action grant application process, visit here.



Grace Reckers ’18

Major: Public policy analysis and biology
Partner organization: Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA)
“I will be working with KIWA to help develop their lead hazard outreach program for immigrants and low-wage workers and their families living near downtown Los Angeles. Through KIWA, I will work with other organizers to raise community awareness of health threats caused by prolonged exposure to lead. Initially, I will spend a month working with and learning from Centro Martin Luther King in Havana, Cuba, where I will do community organizing and health work. From there, I will complete my project with KIWA, with the goal of reducing incidences of lead poisoning and ultimately providing better healthcare awareness for low-income communities in Los Angeles.”


Yijia Yang ’18

Major: Mathematical economics and politics
Partner organization: LA84 Foundation and Chengdu No. 7 High School
“My project aims to share and promote Olympic spirit and altruism among young people in the Los Angeles area and my former high school in Chengdu, China, through social media. This summer I will volunteer with the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where I will report out volunteers’ experiences through Chengdu’s version of Facebook and LA84 Foundation’s social media platforms. In addition, I will establish a mentorship program at Chengdu No. 7 High School and an alumni service award to help support youth in the Los Angeles area. The LA84 Foundation is the legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and funds youth sports in Southern California, trains coaches, and examines the role of sport in society.”


Mikaela Gallardo ’19

Major: Undeclared
Partner organization: Path of Knowledge
“Path of Knowledge is an organization established to provide achieving students the educational opportunities they need to succeed in Bluefields, Nicaragua. The organization creates extensive and varied educational experiences for its students to eventually pursue their future interests. I will work in areas near Bluefields to supplement the physical education the students receive with a more holistic approach that includes exercising both the mind and body to create a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to equip the scholars with the knowledge and tools necessary to share the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with their communities.”


Elizabeth Galvan ’19

Major: Psychology
Partner organization: Path of Knowledge
“I plan to help create and implement an after-school writing center for the organization’s students. Three days a week, students will be able to drop in for anything writing related, including receiving help with their school assignments, learning different literary devices, grammar rules, and vocabulary. The writing center will be a creative space in which scholars will be encouraged to express themselves freely and creatively. I plan to provide daily prompts and zine workshops. Through the writing center, the students will gain proficiency and confidence in their writing abilities, enabling them to flourish beyond the limits of their current institutionally provided education.”


Kristen Liu ’19

Major: Undeclared
Partner organization: Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (BGCP)
“There is a large achievement gap in the Silicon Valley area of California, and BGCP’s dedicated members and volunteers are working to close it. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to provide opportunities to youth from low-income communities in the Silicon Valley to access the tools needed to succeed in high school, college, and the working world. Students receive college application guidance, a better understanding of potential career opportunities, and academic and professional advice. I will be using marketing and social media techniques to promote leadership awareness at the Menlo Park clubhouse. While BGCP has established an incredibly motivated volunteer force, the organization is always looking to expand its membership and reach out to potential volunteers. My job is to attend BGCP-organized workshops and events and create social media and website content to expand community outreach efforts, with an emphasis on their Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders campaign. I will also work to create an original video project about BGCP’s goals that emphasizes the voices of BGCP students.”