Meet our 2020-2021 Class of Ebell Scholars

from Annmarie Hehir

October 31, 2020

One year ago at this time, we were celebrating the centennial of the Ebell Scholarship program.  Now a new school year is underway and with nearly all college and university programs still operating remotely, we are unable to welcome our new class of scholars to our historic campus as we traditionally do.  The pandemic shutdown required the members of the Scholarship Committee to conduct our application review and evaluation and our interview processes virtually.  It was a challenge but in true Ebell fashion, we “found a way” and this year we’re pleased to report that approximately $344,000 will be awarded.

The Scholarship Committee is pleased to welcome our 47 new scholars.  Those attending four-year programs represent a broad range of both public and private institutions, while the only two-year institution currently represented is Los Angeles City College.  The diversity of these scholars’ academic fields of study is broad and includes medicine, law and public policy, social science disciplines, film and digital media, business administration and finance, architecture and urban design, ethnic studies, as well as the STEM fields.

The Selection Requirements
The requirements for scholar selection are rigorous.  Students must be attending a university or college located within Los Angeles County.  They may be in either a two-year or four-year program, in which they must maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher.   In addition to their academic record, applicants must demonstrate they are active in extracurricular activities, especially community service, and be able to speak to any leadership experience they may have.  Additionally, their letters of recommendation provide valuable background on how they are succeeding in their individual academic and/or employment communities.

Each applicant’s personal essay includes a detailed account of their education and career goals, their extracurricular activities, and a reflection upon any personal challenges or obstacles she or he had to overcome to succeed in their pursuit of higher education.  For many of our applicants this year, those challenges included: being a first-generation college student, growing up in a single parent household, attending high schools in low-income neighborhoods with limited resources, shouldering a high level of family responsibility at a young age, having parents whose primary language is not English, as well as personal disability or illness.

Two of Our Scholars

Shanequewa Love is both a non-traditional student — she’s in her late 30s — and a first-generation college student majoring in African-American studies at Loyola Marymount University.  She wishes to earn an MS degree with an emphasis in public policy issues related to foster care youth.  In her two years working as a residential therapeutic counselor in a group home, she learned firsthand how these policies impact children’s lives.  As an LMU McNair Scholar, Shanequewa recently participated in a six-week research project examining different wholistic models of foster care which integrate education, mental health, and mentoring.

Lorena Perez is also a first-generation college student in her fourth year at Woodbury University working towards a BFA with a major in Interior Design and a minor in Structures.   Her short-term educational goals are to earn her Evidence-Based Design Certification and enter Woodbury’s two-year integrated path to the licensure graduate program.  Her long-term professional goal is to become a licensed architect.  She’s already a student member of two interior design professional organizations and has attended seminars hosted by them.  She’s an active volunteer at her church, holds down a part-time job as an accounts receivable clerk, and plans to establish a chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers at Woodbury this fall.  The daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, Lorena grew up in a working class neighborhood and credits her parents’ work ethic with keeping her focused and self-directed.

The members of the Scholarship Committee are proud to present our 2020-2021 class of Ebell Scholars to the membership!

For more information, contact Judith Day, Director of Scholarship.