Mike Rose Scholarship Endowment
In memory of Mike Rose
About This Campaign
“I have worked with the students at L.A. Trade-Tech for many years in my research and I am proud to partner with the school to create an endowment that will focus on student achievement and a more holistic approach to the community college experience,” said Professor Rose. “Community colleges like Trade-Tech are a vital engine of the California economy, providing important opportunities for working-class students to succeed.”
I met students, both native-born and immigrant, whose families were having a hard time keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. These students were the first in their families to go to college and who had to work full-time or close to it to help keep their families afloat. These young men and women had their sights set on transferring to a four-year school to become teachers or social workers or software engineers or scientists. They were determined and passionate; as one student put it, he was studying physics “for the wonder of it.” He went on to major in astrophysics at Berkeley.
I met women and men who had hit a wall in low-paying jobs, and they were seeking some labor market advantage, pursuing training in one of the many highly ranked occupational programs offered by Trade Tech. It is a powerful thing to watch these people build competence in culinary arts or the construction trades or fashion, to witness their knowledge and skill develop—“my mind’s coming alive,” a welder told me—in ways that both change their opinions of themselves and open up new employment opportunities for them.
I spent hours and hours with veterans looking to find a viable reentry to civilian life; with women coming back to school after raising a family, hungry for new opportunities; with men and women coming out of the criminal justice system, desperate to find meaning that had eluded them before. “You might discover somebody you never knew you were,” one ex-gang member told me.
Trade Tech serves one of the poorest populations in Los Angeles County. The school provides opportunity to young people at the beginning of their adult lives and to people in the middle of their working lives. I know from where and how I grew up and from the teaching and research I’ve done how opportunity like this makes the difference between a life of dead ends and a life of possibility.
That is why I believe so firmly in the mission of Los Angeles Trade Technical Community College.
Mike Rose, 2017