Giving Back

Giving Back

Riordan MBA Fellows participate in various giving-back activities. They fundraise, mentor, and perform community service. Their efforts are instrumental in the function of the Riordan Programs.

Riordan Fundraising Efforts for college scholarships, SAT prep, and Northern CA College Tour

Riordan Fundraising Efforts

Paying it Forward: The Saturday Business Academy (SBA)

by Cuoie Liv, Riordan Fellow, 2008

In theory, a line segment is a line connected by two end points. When I began high school, all I knew was that my two end points began with high school and ended in college. During my high school years, I quickly realized that the path, "my line", to college would be a series of misguided zigzags, circles, and dead ends. Looking back to those years now, my path to college looked like the scribbled attempts at a crayon line drawn by a two year old. The lack of mentorship and guidance contributed to this misguided path to college.

The Saturday Business Academy (SBA) at Gertz-Ressler High School in Downtown Los Angeles aims to direct high school students along a clearer path to college. An initiative of Riordan Fellow alumni, SBA pairs select high school students with current and former Riordan Fellows in addition to local young professionals. During Saturday sessions, the mentors help their respective high school mentees define a clear path towards matriculation into a college that will help them hone their professional interests. More specifically, mentors and students in their sophomore and junior years work side by side to navigate through the college application process.

SBA students also have the unique opportunity to interact with successful professionals such as DRI Energy's COO and UCLA Anderson alumnus Stephen Torres. Guest speakers such as Mr. Torres visit SBA to share their own academic and professional experiences in addition to offering students concrete advice and motivation.

But take a closer look. What byproduct comes of the SBA? SBA not only prepares excellent and competitive college bound students, but also connects young pro- fessionals with similar passions and commitments. It also offers mentors the opportunity to reflect upon their own academic and professional trajectories and provide the kind of support and guidance they wish they had in their earlier years. As the SBA team leader and Raytheon Senior Systems Engineer Lionel Jenkins put it, "I wish I had someone to guide me through. This is an opportunity to pay it backward by going forward."