Whether in Westwood or around the world, Bruins share a spirit of adventure. Michael Ybarra ’90 was an avid world traveler, broadening his horizons while working as a journalist. After he passed away in 2012, colleague Bret Israel memorialized his friend through the Michael Ybarra Scholarship at UCLA. In fitting tribute, the funds enable English, arts, and music undergraduates to study abroad.
Following in Ybarra’s footsteps, these scholars are now forging their own interesting paths. Recipient Andrea Henthorn, a junior English major and first-generation college student, found plenty to explore at UCLA, joining the Daily Bruin and dance team and participating in clubs and events. But in true Bruin fashion, she didn’t stop there.
After taking an Italian class to connect with her family’s heritage, Henthorn spent a semester abroad in Florence with the help of the Michael Ybarra Scholarship. In addition to immersing herself in the city’s rich culture and improving her language skills, she got a taste of research through a Medici Archive Project internship – a valuable introduction for the prospective graduate student and teacher.
Even with her hefty résumé of campus involvement, Henthorn calls the semester her “most enriching experience thus far at UCLA,” a sentiment Ybarra would appreciate. Lasting beyond his lifetime, his passion is empowering today’s students to embark on their own journeys.
An investment in scholarships is an investment in UCLA’s most valued asset: students. The UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match aims to add $150 million to endowed student scholarships and fellowships during The Centennial Campaign for UCLA. Qualifying gifts to undergraduate scholarships of $75,000 to $1 million will be matched at 50 percent.
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