A significant portion of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles Foundation annually goes towards scholarships for high-need, high-performing LAUSD students.
These funds are distributed as scholarships during the annual Scholarship program, that culminates a process of evaluations and interviews of scholarship applicants.
The LA5 scholarships are unique in that students are sent a check of unrestricted funds each year (up to four years) of their undergraduate career to spend on needs as they see fit. Oftentimes, these funds are used to help students fly home to see their families over the holidays or purchase much needed tools or supplies that cannot be purchased with restricted funds.
There are many Legacy-Circle members who have left instructions in their endowment to benefit scholarships specifically. As such, the Club gifts scholarships in these names.
The Scholarship Committee oversees all gift acknowledgements, the scholarship distribution process, the applicant evaluation process, and the annual Scholarship program.
- Over $2M in Scholarships Awarded
- Over 300 Students
- Over 2,500 Committee Hours Volunteered
Supporting Academic Success
Since 1970, LA5 has awarded scholarship to college-bound high school students to assist them toward achieving a college undergraduate degree. In that first year, LA5 gave $3,000. Ten years later, LA5 gave scholarships in the amount of $10,000. In 2020, LA5 plans to give $250,000 in total. For the first time, the Club plans to give $10,000 to twenty-five students graduating from schools located within the County of Los Angeles.
Our scholarship recipients are often the first in their family to attend college, many live near the federal poverty line and in underserved neighborhoods. All of our scholars demonstrate an outstanding commitment to community service and share compelling stories with us about overcoming adversity.
Naturally gifted and motivated to succeed, our scholars typically maintained an unweighted high school GPA between 3.7 and 4.0. LA5 scholars attend many of the country's most prestigious universities, including, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Wellesley and Yale, among others.
In 2019, for the first time, a former LA5-scholar joined the Club as member. We expect more will follow in the coming years.
The Legacy of Richard and Helen Close
The large increase in funding available for scholarships is due in part to the generosity of former members of the Club who endowed the scholarship program with generous gifts. The first LA5 Rotarian to do so was Richard Close, who reportedly contributed $3,000,000 toward funding future scholars. Other Rotarians followed, including the Kirk family, Coppersmith family, Barr family, and the Walch family.
Each year, LA5 receives over 150 applications from some of the best and brightest high school seniors around Los Angeles. Supporting the success of our students is a key cornerstone of LA5 that will have a lasting impact on the future of our community.