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UC Oakland Partnership Initiative awards scholarships

Six Oakland high school students each received a $5,000 scholarship to a University of California campus as part of an initiative that aims to build a stronger partnership between UC’s Office of the President and the Oakland community.

Each of the recipients of the UC Oakland Partnership Initiative scholarships graduated from a high school in Oakland and qualified for the university’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which helps cover most educational expenses for students whose total annual family income is $80,000 or less.

A UC Office of the President scholarship review committee focused on Oakland-centric community service work when it selected the scholarship recipients from a pool of 70 applicants. Recipients reported hundreds of hours of service in a broad range of activities.

“We are proud of these six young scholars who have already done so much for their local communities in Oakland,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “Supporting them helps us to do our part as members of the Oakland community and as a public research institution that serves California and its students.”

Now in the second year of the UC Oakland Partnership Initiative, the scholarship awarded to an incoming UC Santa Barbara student was named in honor of Kevin McCauley, the late deputy chief of staff to Napolitano, who spent much of his UC career at UC Santa Barbara.

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Katebah Al-Olefi: Al-Olefi is a graduate of Life Academy who co-founded Youth Revolution, which provided free art and skateboarding classes to Oakland youth, launched a community garden, and opened a community space for young people. An aspiring surgeon, Al-Olefi also shadowed health care professionals through an internship at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Al-Olefi will attend UC Berkeley in the fall.
  • Stella Lee: A graduate of American Indian Public High School, Lee has served Asian American youth in her local community through the Asian Youth Services Committee and Key Club. Lee also volunteered as a tutor to middle school students and was co-president of her school’s UNICEF club. Lee will attend UCLA in the fall.
  • Fatima Andrade: Andrade is an Oakland High School graduate who has spent her weekends for the past five years helping teach children at her local church. Andrade will attend UC Santa Barbara in the fall.
  • Lyna Phan: Phan graduated from Oakland High School, where she spent time restoring trails and planting trees, as well as tutoring her peers in math and science. Throughout high school, Phan volunteered in the Library Teen Zone at the Oakland Public Library. Phan will attend UC Berkeley in the fall.
  • Anibal Pablo: Pablo is an Oakland Charter High School graduate who has volunteered in his church community helping indigenous Guatemalan immigrants. With plans to help Oakland immigrants more fully as a doctor, Pablo will attend UC Irvine in the fall.
  • Briana Sidney: An Oakland High School graduate, Sidney volunteered with the Girls Rock summer program and worked with children in science and technology education through an internship with TechHive at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. An aspiring programmer, Sidney will attend UC Santa Cruz in the fall.

The UC Oakland Partnership Initiative was designed to increase UCOP staff engagement with the Oakland community. Initiative projects include the annual scholarship fund and participation in local community service projects. More than 100 UCOP staff have volunteered in events ranging from Earth Day cleanups to sorting food at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, to building a school garden at Brookfield Elementary School in East Oakland.

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