Herb Alpert Foundation Donates 10.1 million to LACC

Herb AlpertNowadays community colleges get a bum rap, but they are often the door for people carving out better lives for themselves. Whether it is going on to a four-year to complete a Bachelor’s Degree or getting a certificate in a certain industry to start a new occupation. Community colleges are often the link between poverty and becoming middle class. Not only do they help out in terms of educating the workforce but they supply opportunities that people may not get otherwise. Back in 2011, the Anthropology club raised enough funds to send the club to Africa. While most study abroad experiences focus more on European countries, the professor in attendance, Brian Bartelt felt it was important to give these students an experience they wouldn’t have anywhere else-visiting the African continent.

So when people run down the community college experience it is because they haven’t had one. Herb Alpert, who is a renowned trumpeter, also believes it will be beneficial in helping others in their careers.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Herb is quoted as saying: “LACC is a gem of an institution,” Alpert said regarding the donation. “The biggest motivation was helping kids who don’t have the financial energy to go to a major college. At LACC, they’ve nurtured thousands of dedicated students every year. My brother went there. My ex-partner [record producer] Lou Adler went there. I’ve visited the school. It’s alive. It’s kickin’.

What Herb may not know and maybe surprised to find out is, by going to LACC, those kids better their chances of going to UCLA. This is taken from the LACC Ralph Bunche Scholars College program page: UCLA


Ralph Bunche photo

Yep, that is me with the “necklace” around my neck and in the purple shirt

All students who are part of the LACC Scholars Program are automatically part of the UCLA Transfer Alliance Program. Scholars who complete six honors classes in the Scholars Program are given priority admission to UCLA. 79% of  Scholars were admitted to UCLA in 2011 as opposed to 30 % non-honors students accepted at UCLA. So while many think like Herb Alpert “Maybe we can help open the door to students who are financially challenged,” he said, “and don’t have an opportunity to go to a UCLA.” The truth is by supporting LACC, you may have just sent someone to UCLA.  [Note: The author is a recipient of UCLA Transfer Alliance Program they have at LACC and as it is noted, was able to get into UCLA in 2012 and graduate in 2015. It does work!] 

This sizable donation not only will allow more students to attend LACC tuition-free, but it will be the largest donation given to a community college in the history of Southern California,” he [Robert Schwartz] said. “And it’s the second-largest gift in the history of the state.” (ibid). There is always a budget shortfall when it comes to community colleges but this will help an additional 75 people get a music degree.  The free tuition will start in 2017. Hopefully, this is will motivate other people to give to their community colleges as well.

Community colleges are where people go to change their lives. Give to community colleges.


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