Our Purpose

Our mission is to motivate high school and college students as well as recent college graduates from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds — often the first in their families to go to college — to consider and prepare for careers in management through education, mentorship, professional development and leadership training.

Our History

 

For nearly 30 years, the Riordan Programs have transformed the educational and professional aspirations of high school students, college students and recent college graduates from diverse backgrounds in underserved communities. The pioneering model motivates students to prepare for careers in management through three core programs that incorporate education, mentorship, job development and leadership training.

The Riordan Programs were founded in 1987 by Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles, and William Ouchi, UCLA Anderson Distinguished Professor Emeritus and New York Times best-selling author, as career-based outreach programs for high school and college students in the Los Angeles area without proper access to the education and training needed for professional success. Through vital partnerships and sponsorships, more than 3,500 Riordan Scholars have graduated from the program, many moving on to study at the nation’s top universities, secure positions at elite companies and become local community and business leaders. Notable Riordan alumni include California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Professor Angélica S. Gutiérrez (Ph.D. ’12) of Loyola Marymount University, and Marla Bleavins, deputy executive director and CFO of the Port of Los Angeles.

Our Impact and Mentorship

 

The Riordan Programs are designed to lift up the communities that surround us. In recognition of the collaborations they have fostered between UCLA and the greater Los Angeles community, the Riordan Programs received the 2013 UCLA Community Program of the Year Landmark Award.

To date, the Riordan Scholars Program boasts a 100 percent university attendance rate. Riordan graduates gain admission to top-tier universities such as Harvard, USC and leading medical and law schools.

All Riordan Programs’ success is owed in no small part to the mentoring integral to each program. The mentors are our own MBA students, who have a strong desire to give back — and are the lifeblood of a top-15 business school. The cross-cultural element creates meaningful learning experiences, not only for the Riordan Programs participants, but also for their mentors. To date, nearly 3,000 UCLA Anderson students have served as mentors or volunteers.