Searing Family Creates Scholarship for Pomona High School Graduates Attending the University of La Verne
Trustee Sue Searing ’71, her husband Lee ’70, and their children Christina, Richard ’06, and Katherine, have established a scholarship for Pomona High School graduates who wish to attend the University of La Verne.
The Searing Family Scholarship provides qualified students with full financial support for expenses such as tuition, fees, housing, and meals for on-campus residents, in order to ensure that students’ academic success is unburdened by financial need.
The four-year scholarship is available for a set number of students and is renewable for recipients who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA each year of undergraduate enrollment. First generation students who graduated from Pomona High School and plan to live on campus are strongly encouraged to apply.
Sarai Martinez Acosta ’26 is one of the four inaugural recipients of the scholarship. She is studying child development with the goal of becoming a Child Life specialist after graduation. She said receiving the scholarship felt “unreal” and looks forward to focusing more on her passions and less on financial concerns.
“…because of my situation being in a group home, I never imagined myself going to a private four-year college and getting scholarships,” Martinez Acosta said.
The Searings created this scholarship to support the next generation of student leaders from their community. Both Sue and Lee grew up in Pomona and graduated from Pomona High School. She worked weekends as a clerk in the Pomona Valley Hospital pharmacy and volunteered at Casa Colina before going on to a career as an educator, earning both her bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from the University of La Verne. She worked for 25 years in elementary school education within the Ontario-Montclair and Arcadia Unified School Districts, where she saw firsthand the inequities faced by economically disadvantaged students. She also owned and operated a preschool from 1978 to 1990 in Arcadia.
In addition to Sue’s work on the University of La Verne board of trustees and as co-chair of Create the Future: The Campaign for the University of La Verne, Sue, Lee and their family also created the Searing Family Endowed Chair in honor of professor Ahmed Ispahani to support excellence in teaching economics, and they are loyal supporters of the university’s annual Scholarship Gala.
“Trustee Searing cares deeply about students, and understands the power of education in creating opportunity and transforming lives,” University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman said. “We are so grateful to her and the entire Searing family for their leadership and support for the University of La Verne and our students.”
The Searing Family Scholarship is available to students who have been accepted into the University of La Verne as traditional undergraduates; attained a 2.75 minimum GPA in high school; demonstrated skills in leadership and teamwork; and agreed to engage in on-campus extracurricular activities. The four-year scholarship is available for a set number of students and is renewable for recipients who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA each year of undergraduate enrollment. First-generation students are especially encouraged to apply.