The Educational Opportunity Program at Cal State San Bernardino will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Renaissance Scholars Program on Thursday, Feb. 1, at Garner Holt Productions in Redlands, featuring presentations from keynote speaker, David Ambroz, and alumni scholar, Kevon Lee.
Proceeds from the 20-year Celebration of Scholars and Champions Renaissance Scholars fundraising event – which begins at 4 p.m. and will also include tours of Garner Holt Productions, a leader in the animatronics industry – will support foster youth enrolled at CSUSB with comprehensive student support services and financial assistance. Visit the EOP Renaissance Scholars Program 20th Anniversary webpage for more information.
The EOP Renaissance Scholars Program at CSUSB was established in 2003 to provide specialized student support services to current and former foster youth as they transitioned into the university and on to completing their degrees. The success of Renaissance Scholars is a result of services provided by EOP's collaborative efforts with various community partners and CSUSB departments.
Keynote speaker Ambroz is a national poverty and child welfare expert and advocate. Ambroz, who wrote his memoir, “A Place Called Home,” was recognized by President Barack Obama as an American Champion of Change.
Currently serving as the head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon, Ambroz previously led corporate social responsibility for Walt Disney Television, and he has served as president of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission as well as a California Child Welfare Council member. After growing up homeless and then in foster care, he graduated from Vassar College and later earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law. He is a foster dad and lives in Los Angeles.
Lee, the alumni scholar speaker, earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from CSUSB in 2021. He is a nationally recognized speaker in the field of education, and he is known for his ability to inspire and motivate his audiences. At the age of 5, he spent a month in the hospital recovering from injuries. He never returned home to his family after this incident and grew up in the foster care system. He is an activist for anti-bullying, education and at-risk youth. As a speaker and activist, he tells his own story to motivate and empower others, urging them to persevere and recognize the power of their own voices. He is the author of “Kevon's Big Field Day ‘We Should All Have A Chance,’” a children’s book that teaches four lessons on resiliency and positivity.
Honored by state Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes with a 30 Under 30 award in 2021, Lee recently earned a master’s degree in higher education leadership at California Baptist University. He is applying to the doctorate in educational leadership program at CSUSB.