Sara Roschdi, a Pitzer College sophomore and alumna of the MOSTE college mentoring program for deserving-but-underserved girls in greater Los Angeles, has been awarded a prestigious Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. The fellowship program, which aims to create a more diverse faculty for America’s colleges and universities, will support Roschdi in her ongoing efforts to earn a doctorate in sociology and become a university professor.

The fellowship is the latest in a string of academic and community awards for 19-year-old Roschdi, who credits the Los Angeles-based MOSTE (Mentoring Our Students Through Experience) program for igniting and nurturing her scholastic and community service dreams. Roschdi, a Los Angeles native whose family now resides in the San Gabriel Valley, joined MOSTE as a 7th grader at Wilson Middle School in Pasadena.  At that time, she recalls, she already knew she wanted to attend college, but “had no idea how to get there.”

It was MOSTE, she says, that helped her find her way, first to a highly competitive charter high school, Alliance Environmental Science and Technology in Los Angeles, and later to Pitzer College ­– with virtually a full scholarship. Along the way MOSTE guided her to a high school study abroad program in South Africa and introduced her to community service projects throughout Southern California, opportunities that expanded her worldview and helped her compete for a coveted position in an elite college.

While Roschdi’s achievements at Pitzer, which also include acceptance to a study-abroad programs in both Costa Rica and Ecuador as well as a seat on the committee that will select the next president of Pitzer College, are remarkable, Roschdi is just one of dozens of local young women that MOSTE has helped guide to academic scholarships at prestigious four-year colleges throughout the United States in the last eight years. In addition to Pitzer College, other colleges attended by MOSTE scholars include Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Mt. Holyoke College, Mills College, Franklin & Marshall College, Bryn Mawr College, and several campuses of the University of California, including Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. Last June, all but one of MOSTE’s graduating high school seniors won acceptance to college. This June, all the program’s graduating seniors will become college freshmen in the fall, most with significant scholarships underwriting their studies.

At the core of MOSTE’s program, which now serves more than 100 middle- and high school girls, is one-on-one mentoring which pairs an adult woman with a high school student in the belief that this relationship can best nurture the girl’s college ambitions. Students and their mentors work together throughout the student’s high school years to insure academic success, best-possible college board testing and the all-important college application process. MOSTE mentors and staff also accompany girls on college visits and interviews and help secure them scholarships.

Media contacts for more information:
Laura Minzenberg, Managing Director of MOSTE, 213-537-9157
Cindy Lopez, Chair of Post MOSTE Program, 818-389-4279

Pitzer College student involved in the MOSTE program, which mentors students from 7th grade through college, awarded first Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.

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