Milken Scholars was founded in 1989 by Lori and Michael Milken to honor exceptional young individuals based on their academic performance, community service, leadership activities and ability to overcome obstacles. By identifying these extraordinarily talented youth and then providing resources and networks to them, so they can help themselves and those around them, the program aims to support Milken Scholars during their academic and professional careers.
As of 2023, over 560 Milken Scholars have been selected from more than 100 high schools in Los Angeles County, New York City and Washington, D.C. Representing a variety of ages, backgrounds, academic and professional interests, they are attending and graduating from the top colleges and universities in the country.
Milken Scholars receive financial assistance during their undergraduate careers. Yet, what makes the program truly unique is the access to a lifetime of resources. Being a Milken Scholar means joining an extended family and building relationships that will last over time. For example, Milken Scholars receive ongoing career-related counseling, assistance in securing internships, opportunities for volunteer community service, and a fund to assist with the transition from college to graduate school or the world of work.
Throughout their college careers, Scholars are in regular communication with Scholars staff and each other. They meet with Foundation staff and mentors during campus visits and special events, including an annual Summit that provides guidance and insights through speakers, panels and activities to prepare Scholars for choices in their personal, academic and professional lives. These resources create a setting that propels these exceptional youth into the position where they can achieve their academic and professional goals and, in the process, make a profound difference in the world around them.