LOS ANGELES--(Theodore R. “Ted” Samuels.)--The Latino & African-American High School Internship Program (LA-HIP) at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has a received a generous endowment from longtime hospital supporters and philanthropists, Lori and
“Ted and Lori have been devoted supporters of LA-HIP from its inception in 2005 and this gift makes it possible for our intern program to continue providing opportunities to local minority students for decades to come.”
In honor of the endowment from the Samuels, the hospital will rename LA-HIP the Samuels Family Latino & African-American High School Internship Program, which provides internships for minority public high school students from underserved areas of Los Angeles County.
“I can’t begin to express the joy and gratitude from The Saban Research Institute and the entire internship program for this generous endowment,” says Emil Bogenmann, PhD, EdD, the program’s founder and director. “Ted and Lori have been devoted supporters of LA-HIP from its inception in 2005 and this gift makes it possible for our intern program to continue providing opportunities to local minority students for decades to come.”
Brent Polk, MD, chair of the hospital’s Department of Pediatrics and director of The Saban Research Institute, where the program is run, says the Samuels endowment not only nurtures student interest in science and medicine with hands-on experience in the Institute’s labs alongside faculty mentors and academic fellows, but also fosters perseverance and confidence, characteristics that enable students to begin the pursuit of career opportunities in these competitive fields. “This internship program is a win for everyone in society because it expands the leadership pool for science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the STEM programs – and the community,” he says. “These remarkable young students often come in with desires to find cures for diseases that have incapacitated family members. We also hope that one day some will join our hospital’s medical and science faculty. The Samuels family’s gift ensures that their hopes can become a reality.”
For six weeks each summer, 16 Latino and African-American high school seniors from L.A.’s underserved communities work with scientists from the hospital’s Saban Research Institute. They perform experiments and study diseases affecting the pediatric population, including diabetes, bacterial meningitis, HIV, inflammatory bowel disease, neuroscience and cancer. The Samuels family internship program also provides SAT prep, college counseling and financial aid application assistance for the students. Each year, more than 100 aspiring scientists apply for the sixteen positions and the 77 students who have completed the internship are attending college or have graduated, many from the nation’s top-ranked schools.
Ted Samuels, who serves as the co-chair on the hospital’s Board of Trustees, and his wife Lori, have had a longstanding interest in the program. They provided seed money back in 2005 when Bogenmann, the director of Research Education at the Institute, expressed concern during a Board of Trustees meeting that minorities were underrepresented in the hospital’s high school research internship programs. Three days later, as Bogenmann tells it, he received a pledge from Samuels, offering a $60,000 grant. “Dr. B,” Samuels told him, “Go and do your vision.”
Since the program was born, 93 students have completed the six-week summer program (students technically don’t “graduate” from the internship until they complete all facets of the program during the subsequent academic school year). These students have gone on to enroll in and graduate from top tier universities, including West Point, Princeton University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Los Angeles, among many others. “I learned to take risks,” says Naomi Rivera, an alumna of the Samuels Family LA-HIP research experience now attending Smith College.
Ted Samuels, who was elected as co-chair of the hospital’s Board of Trustees in 2012 with co-chair Cathy Siegel Weiss, has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2004. He is co-chair of the Executive Committee and serves on the Advancement, Finance, Governance, Nominating and Compensation committees. He and his wife, Lori, are members of the First Families Legacy Program and Children’s Fund 100, two of the hospital’s core fundraising initiatives. Samuels is president of Capital Guardian Trust Company and he and Lori serve as co-chairs of the Harvard College Parents’ Fund. Samuels also is a trustee of Polytechnic School in Pasadena and a former president of the Board of Trustees of the Chandler School. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University, and he and Lori reside in Pasadena with their three children.
Lori Samuels serves on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and is chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Board of Overseers for the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens. She was past Board Chair of Foothill Family Service. She received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1986 and an AB from Tufts University in 1981.
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.