Kranz Supported by Partnership Scholars Program

Kranz Supported by Partnership Scholars Program

     The Partnership Scholars Program (PSP) is continuing to change the lives of students at Kranz Intermediate School in the Mountain View School District (MVSD).  Recently, eight Kranz Intermediate 7th graders were inducted into the program as part of PSP’s Class of 2025 cohort, beginning their six year journey toward their goal of college admission.  The special induction ceremony included family, friends, PSP Board members, donors, alumni, current scholars, MVSD Board of Education members and administrators and Kranz staff members. 

    PSP is dedicated to expanding college and career opportunities for highly motivated students in under-served communities and has been a part of Kranz Intermediate for 20 years. PSP helps students prepare for and gain acceptance to four-year universities, and to obtain needed scholarships to support their education.  Through three critical components including positive adult mentorship, educational and cultural enrichment activities, and college-access guidance and support, PSP is dedicated to changing the world, one student at a time.

        The eight new inductees were selected from over 100 applicants based on criteria including their grade point average, motivation for higher education, supportive home environment and financial need.   Kranz staff had a very difficult time selecting the scholars from the many worthy candidates. 

      “My mind was blown when I found out I was selected for PSP,” said Alan Ortega who aspires to become an architect or engineer. “My mom cried when I told her and my whole family was excited. It’s going to be such a great experience and I can’t wait to get started.”

    Scholars in the program are paired with a caring adult mentor for their 7th through 12th grade years, and build positive and sustained relationships as they communicate about school, college and life.  PSP provides a monetary stipend to be used over the six years on educational and cultural enrichment enabling scholars to participate in a variety of meaningful activities which help them to broaden their world view and become well-rounded through exposure to concerts, the theater, museums, sporting events, restaurants, college visits, out of state trips and much more. 

     For new scholar, Juana Herrera, first time experiences and going places she’s never been like a professional basketball game is what she’s looking forward to most.  With aspirations of becoming a biomedical engineer she’s also grateful for the strong college focus and support PSP provides.  

     The induction ceremony also featured 8th graders in the program sharing some of the enriching and fun experiences they had with their mentors during their first year in PSP.

     Francess Sweeney and Jazmin Melgar enjoyed eating Argentinian food for the first time, visiting the Santa Monica Pier and going to the Pantages Theater to see Anastasia the Musical.

     “At first the thought of going to go watch a musical seemed really boring,” said Sweeny.   “We were excited to go experience something new but didn’t see what would be the fun in it.  Finally, we got to the theater and saw how beautiful it was and learned that the Pantages Theatre is a really old and famous theatre.  It was a great experience,” she added.

     “We want to give a big thanks to our PSP sponsors for providing the opportunity for us to go on all these amazing trips. We had a great time on all of them and we are looking forward to going on more trips, especially the Washington D.C. trip which we will be going on soon,” said Melgar.

      Second year scholars, Hannan Beiken and Johnny Dinh expressed their gratefulness to the PSP sponsors and their mentor, Ryan Smith for enabling them to explore new things like the Museum of Tolerance, hiking in Mt. Baldy, boogie boarding at Newport Beach, and eating at a variety of restaurants. 

      “We really enjoy being part of the Partnership Scholars Program and we are grateful to be able to go on all of these trips!” said Dinh.

    The new inductees were also inspired by current high school PSP scholars and PSP alum who were in attendance.

Denisse Tafolla and Rachel Perez, former Kranz Cougars, now seniors in high school, shared how the support of their mentor and all the new experiences they had in PSP helped them feel ready for the next phase of their lives.  PSP alum, Armando Torres, who is currently working on his Ph.D at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne and David Godinez, who will be transferring to USC this fall, shared how the program has positively impacted their college and professional careers.

        PSP at Kranz Intermediate is coordinated by teacher, Arlene Le Gaspe, whose dedication and effort has had a profound and positive impact on all the scholars over the past 20 years.  Le Gaspe was recently selected to serve on the PSP Board and is grateful for all that the program has provided to the students and families at Kranz and in the El Monte community.

     “PSP has offered such tremendous opportunities for our students over the years and I know this year’s group will benefit greatly as well,” said Le Gaspe.  “Our 2020 scholars are very deserving and it was really hard to narrow the selection down to eight students from the large group of qualified applicants we have at Kranz.”

        According to Lisa Ruben, PSP’s Executive Director, participation in the program will allow the new inductees to not only figure out where they want to go but who they want to be.

      “This class of motivated PSP scholars have a wide variety of goals and interests and we are very happy to be able to help them reach their goals,” said Ruben.  “Each one has a passion for learning and a strong focus on their college aspirations.  We appreciate the support of the Mountain View School District, the El Monte community and the Kranz Intermediate staff, especially Mrs. Le Gaspe, Mr. Herrera and Mr. Smith for their dedication to the program.”

        With their goals set on college, the newest PSP scholars aspire to attend universities such as MIT, Cal Tech, Harvard, Yale, and UC Irvine and pursue careers in the fields of engineering, counseling, law, political science, biomedical engineering, criminal justice and architecture.  As they embark on their incredible PSP journey, they all know being a PSP scholar will help them realize their dreams.     

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