It Takes a City: Helping Los Angeles Students Go to and Through College with #byLAforLA

It takes a village, the African proverb teaches, to raise a child. At a time when college is more important—but more expensive, too—than ever, educating a child takes a community of supporters, like UNCF Los Angeles. It takes a new initiative called UNCF #byLAforLA. And it takes a lead investor like Louvenia Jenkins.

UNCF has hundreds of scholarships, of course, and awards more than 10,000 every year. But #byLAforLA is different. In the spirit of, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in,”® #byLAforLA is Los Angeles donors investing in Los Angeles scholars.

UNCF #byLAforLA’s donor and lead investor is different, too, one who knows the real value of education. Louvenia Jenkins is a retired Los Angeles teacher, who started #byLAforLA off with an investment of $150,000. Her investment will fund the Richard L. Sykes Memorial Scholarship, named after her cousin. Starting in the 2019-2020 academic year, the Sykes Memorial Scholarship will support 25 rising first-year African American students who are residents of the greater Los Angeles area, through up to five years of college.

The Richard L. Sykes Memorial Scholarship is just the first program for UNCF #byLAforLA, and Louvenia Jenkins is just the first investor in it. Others will follow. For, as another proverb teaches us, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”