LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with UNITE-LA, awarded over $450,000 in scholarship funding to nearly 300 high school seniors from low income communities during a reception at Cathedral Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. The program also included a check presentation for $25,000 from Wells Fargo to support the work that L.A. Cash for College undertakes.
“We are so proud of all the students and families gathered here today because we all have at least one thing in common: we all recognize the value of a college education,” said David Rattray, senior vice president of education and workforce development for the L.A. Area Chamber and president of UNITE-LA, “higher education will open doors for you, create opportunities, and broaden your world-view. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.”
Before providing a surprise donation John Sotoodeh, the regional president of Los Angeles and Orange County community banking at Wells Fargo reminded the scholarship recipients of the economic benefits of attending college, “the importance of supporting programs that help youth go to college is immeasurable because it will make a difference in someones financial future. Studies have shown that college graduates earn considerably more over the span of their career than someone who did not attend college.”
During her remarks student ambassador Selene Torres, a former scholarship recipient from the class of 2012 encapsulated the sentiments that so many students shared, “Cash for College was a dream come true for me. It helped lessen the burden of tuition for me and my family.”
Since its inception, L.A. Cash for College has awarded more than $2.9 million in college scholarships to over 1,800 underserved Los Angeles area high school students thanks to the generosity of the College Access Foundation, ECMC, California Community Foundation and the Russell J. Hammer Scholarship Fund. This year’s program also included support from the City of Los Angeles, The Kresge Foundation, Bank of America, the California Student Aid Commission, the Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, Wells Fargo, Ralphs, The Southern California Gas Company, The Sterling Foundation, DeVry University, Southern California Edison, California Community Foundation, California Pizza Kitchen, Caruso Affiliates, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, State Farm Insurance Companies, and Walmart Stores, Inc., Univision and HOT 92.3 FM.
The L.A. Cash for College Steering Committee members include the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Community Development Department, the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles Community College District, UNITE-LA, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, WorkSource California, YouthSource.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit lachamber.com.