Cal State L.A. receives endowment of more than $1.6 million from Erika J. Glazer for dreamers center

April 27, 2015

Center is a one-stop shop for academic guidance, other assistance

Cal State L.A. has received an endowment of more than $1.6 million from philanthropist Erika J. Glazer to help fund the University’s dreamers resource center.

Since 2006, Glazer and her family have provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to help undocumented students succeed at Cal State L.A.

The latest gift will help the University underwrite staff costs and maintain a dedicated space to provide academic guidance, referral assistance and other support to undocumented students. The center will be named the “Erika J. Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center.”

“Fortunately, in recent years, there is less need for private scholarships but definitely a growing need for a center where students can get help working their way through a difficult legal process and assistance in powering through a four-year university on time,” Glazer said. “My hope is that this resource center will be obsolete in a few years and the funds can go towards other programs at Cal State L.A.”

The Glazer family has donated more than $700,000 to fund a scholarship program that was established in 2006. Thirty-six students have received awards based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, overcoming hardships, the likelihood of success in college and other factors.

“Cal State L.A. is grateful for the generous support we have received from Erika J. Glazer and her family. They realize that one of our greatest assets is our youth and that investing in them is investing in our future,” President William A. Covino said. “Her gift helps keep the promise of higher education alive for dreamer students.”

Glazer’s gift comes at a time when California lawmakers are pushing for additional measures to help undocumented college students. State Senator Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens and Assemblywoman Patty Lopez of San Fernando recently proposed bills that would establish dreamers resource centers at community colleges and the California State University System. Lara’s bill would also authorize such centers in K-12 school districts.

The Cal State L.A. center opened in October in the Student Affairs building and serves as a one-stop shop. Students receive guidance from staff members and peer advisers on everything from scholarship deadlines to understanding the complexities of applying for work authorization from the federal government, said Luz Borjon, the center’s coordinator.

On a recent afternoon, peer adviser Jose Guevara was at the center helping a student fill out paperwork for a grant under the California Dream Act.

Guevara is a 21-year-old sophomore majoring in political science. Born in El Salvador, he came to the U.S. without documents and understands the difficulties that so-called dreamers face in their quests for a college degree.

Guevara, whose ambition is to become an attorney, is also a recipient of a scholarship from the Glazer family.

“She’s a wonderful advocate for all us,” Guevara said of Erika J. Glazer. “She knows that there are bright, talented kids out there. There are a lot of students who will benefit from her gift.”

Photo: The Erika J. Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center is a one-stop shop to help students succeed. (Credit: Cal State L.A.)


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