A Joint Effort to Share Latinx Success

A Joint Effort to Share Latinx Success


Our community raised over $80K for the Anderson Latino Management Association Fellowship

APRIL 30, 2024

Following 2023’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Office of Development partnered with a group of dedicated alumni volunteers to raise critical funds for the Anderson Latino Management Association Fellowship. The crowdfunding initiative successfully raised over $80,000 in commitments to provide fellowships for deserving Latinx MBA students for the next five years.

Established in 1986, the Anderson Latino Management Association Fellowship Fund offers significant support to entering Latinx MBA students who have a demonstrated track record of volunteer and leadership experience with educational, professional and/or community-based organizations targeting underserved populations. Since its founding, the fund has provided more than $170,000 in fellowships to nearly 30 Latinx students.

“Currently, we are only able to award one fellowship per year. We would like to fulfill two or three. There is a lot of room for growth, a lot of room for additional gifts.”

“While the fund has been around for over three decades, there unfortunately has not been a lot of awareness surrounding it,” says Lauren Seebold, Anderson’s senior director of leadership and annual giving. “That is something we are actively working to improve.” Seebold, who oversaw the fellowship crowdfunding initiative, was approached last summer by Stephen Torres (’94) about leveraging alumni relationships to fuel the success of future Latinx students.

Torres feels a sense of accountability to take care of future generations and to ensure that current students at Anderson recognize the responsibility to pay it forward when they are able to, down the road. “You give what you can at the time. As your career evolves, hopefully, you continue to give in greater capacity,” says Torres. “Anderson provides many opportunities aligned with our diverse interests for us to give back, from initiatives like the Riordan Programs — which are aimed at disadvantaged youth — to fellowships like this one that support the Latino community.” Back in 2012, Torres set the example by being the first donor to make a multi-year pledge to the fellowship, while also securing funds from other Anderson alumni.

The 2023 crowdfunding campaign was a joint effort among students, alumni, staff and faculty, to elevate Latinx voices — a persistent trend across campus since the fellowship and what is now called the Alliance for Latinx Management at Anderson (ALMA) student group were both created. Seebold and Torres collaborated with Christien Hernandez (’23) of the Anderson Alumni Network ALMA chapter. Hernandez, like Torres, contributed significantly to the campaign’s success by encouraging former classmates to participate.

“We were always supportive of the various affinity groups on campus and engaged with each other’s interests regardless of background,” says Hernandez. He recalls how he and his classmates, as students, joined together to fundraise for the ALMA student group by creating and selling sweatshirts.

“A lot of my class is still in contact with each other and, as alumni now, we are happy to find ways to give back to current students to help make life a little easier for them. The impact this fund has is very meaningful and supports deserving Latinx students with school fees and potential barriers to entry.”

One such student is Elijah Pantoja (’25), who received the fellowship in 2023. Pantoja discovered a passion for finance and investment management early in his Anderson journey. “This fellowship made a significant difference in both my decision-making process and my ability to focus on the MBA experience without overwhelming financial stressors. I was able to make my decision based on the merits of the educational opportunity, which is a rare and privileged experience,” says Pantoja.

As UCLA seeks to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution by 2025, resources like the Anderson Latino Management Association Fellowship Fund — and the generous donors who support them — will be especially critical. Donors make a difference at any level of giving because they contribute to this campus’ greater goal and uphold the Anderson tradition of sharing success.

When it comes to the future of the fellowship, Torres is emphatic about getting more people involved. “We are not done yet!” he says. “Currently, we are only able to award one fellowship per year. We would like to fulfill two or three. There is a lot of room for growth, a lot of room for additional gifts.”

The crowdfunding campaign may be over, but you can still make an online gift to the Anderson Latino Management Association Fellowship Fund.

For more information, please contact:
Lauren Seebold
Senior Director, Leadership and Annual Giving
(310) 206-2449