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Developing Careers and Communities

Five workers in hard hats and reflective gear install solar panels on the roof of a home.
The Estolano LeSar Advisors Summer Internship Award will help UCLA Luskin graduate students gain experience and share expertise in affordable housing, sustainability, transportation, land use, or workforce development.

Students enroll in UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs because they are passionate about solving society’s most pressing problems. The commitment continues as graduates go out into the world — and use all their assets to make a difference.

Alumnae Create an Award

Cecilia Estolano, MA ’91 and Jennifer LeSar, MA ’92, MBA ’93 are co-founders and CEOs of Estolano LeSar Advisors, an urban planning and public policy firm. They are also co-donors to UCLA Luskin after establishing the Estolano LeSar Advisors Summer Internship Award. Each summer, a stipend will enable a graduate student to gain experience while sharing expertise at a nonprofit working in affordable housing, sustainability, transportation, land use, or workforce development. Because internships are often unpaid, the award gives students opportunity to learn without financial hardship.

A Summer Full of Experience

Estolano and LeSar’s generosity already has helped Michael Loper, MPH/MURP ’20. Alongside his dual degrees, he is completing a certificate in food studies, and the Estolano LeSar Advisors Summer Internship Award allowed him to intern at the Los Angeles Food Policy Council last summer. Loper devoured the hands-on experience, which saw him writing case studies, promoting a local market program, and finding potential partners, and he is eager to continue helping residents access healthy foods.

Graduates Transform the World

The internship award is not the only way Estolano and LeSar contribute. Their firm is “growing vibrant communities” across California, and it hires several employees and interns from UCLA Luskin, proving the pipeline’s success in turning students into society’s change-makers.

Through all of their efforts, Estolano and LeSar are furthering UCLA’s vision for its graduates and for the greater good.

To learn more, contact

Ricardo Quintero310-206-7949

Published June 2019

Professor speaks to students in the field while gesturing across a river.

UCLA social welfare students and faculty in the field

Two women discuss a research poster entitled “Mass Incarceration and Public Child Welfare: Foster Children with Incarcerated Parents.”

Researchers discuss mass incarceration and child welfare.

Group of young men and women pose for a photo in an office setting.

Award recipient Michael Loper (center) visits the Estolano LeSar Advisors team, many of whom are Luskin graduates.

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