January 25, 2006

Riordan Programs Have Inspired Inner-City Students for Twenty Years

Programs thrive thanks to faculty and student volunteers

LOS ANGELES – UCLA Anderson’s innovative Riordan Programs are celebrating 20 years of energizing and educating students from L.A.’s inner city high schools. The highly successful programs have served more than 1,600 participants - of whom many have gone on to pursue MBAs and successful careers in business.

The programs were created when UCLA Anderson professor William Ouchi approached businessman and future L.A. mayor Richard Riordan about making a gift to UCLA. Riordan agreed, but insisted that the funds be used to help underserved young people from inner city high schools. ”We went back and forth,” remembers Ouchi, “and developed this very creative set of programs.”

Riordan Scholars Program
Riordan ScholarsThe Riordan Scholars Program is designed for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who are interested in learning about business and developing leadership skills. Scholars are mentored by UCLA Anderson MBA students and attend monthly classes taught by UCLA Anderson faculty and staff. Richard Riordan was eager for MBA students to participate in order to prepare them for service as community leaders.

Class sessions feature panels of young professionals who provide insight on a variety of careers. In addition to inspiring students, the program helps firms develop relationships with promising talent. “There’s a great demand among these companies to identify these young people and keep in touch with them through their college years,” says Ouchi.
 
Scholars receive individual college counseling, including an SAT prep workshop. The program has had a remarkable success record with 100 percent of graduating Scholars attending four-year colleges. Many Scholars enter the nation’s most selective schools, and they typically become the first college graduates in their families.

Riordan Fellows Program
Riordan FellowsThe Riordan Fellows Program is designed for young people who have graduated from college and are thinking about earning an MBA. “These people have already identified a preliminary field of interest,” says Ouchi, “and we show them concrete models that they can identify with. The motivational effect on them is immense.”

Students participate in graduate-level discussions and case studies led by UCLA Anderson faculty, hear guest speakers from the corporate community, participate in a community service project and receive individual MBA-prep counseling. They also have opportunities to meet and network with industry professionals and the UCLA Anderson community.

Since their original endowment by Richard Riordan, The Riordan Programs have been supported by a variety of corporations, foundations and individuals. “We have a history of successful relationships with many companies,” says Ouchi. Volunteer support by UCLA Anderson faculty and staff makes the programs highly cost-effective.

For many Scholars and Fellows, The Riordan Programs is a transformative experience. “A lot of these young adults grew up in foster homes and have never known a positive social network before,” says Ouchi. “They maintain contact with each other and with our staff for a lifetime. It becomes a really important part of their lives. It’s very important to them and it’s very important to us. It’s part of our mission at UCLA Anderson to help people succeed.”

Notable graduates of the Riordan Programs include L.A. City Council President Alex Padilla, former Mayor of San Fernando Silverio Robledo, Noberta Noguera, general manager at Pacific Bell, and Jarrod Fong, vice president for JP Morgan.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is perennially ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world. Award-winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment. UCLA Anderson constituents are part of a culture that values individual vision, intellectual discipline and a sense of teamwork and collegiality.

Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson School of Management provides management education to more than 1,400 students enrolled in MBA and doctoral programs, and some 2,000 executives and managers enrolled annually in executive education programs. Recognizing that the school offers unparalleled expertise in management education, the world's business community turns to UCLA Anderson School of Management as a center of influence for the ideas, innovations, strategies and talent that will shape the future.

Contact Information

Adrienne Martinez, 310/206-3596, adrienne.martinez@anderson.ucla.edu

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