SOURCE: Empowered UCLA Extension

Empowered UCLA Extension

July 23, 2012 07:00 ET

Hollywood's Biggest Stars Join Forces to Promote Empowered UCLA Extension's $2 Million Scholarship Program

Pierce Brosnan, Geena Davis, Sally Field, James Franco, James Gandolfini, Cuba Gooding, Jr., George Lopez, and Rita Wilson Participate in Announcement of Scholarships

SILICON VALLEY, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 23, 2012) -  Empowered UCLA Extension today announced a new scholarship program designed to provide financial aid to adults looking to make a career change or re-enter the workforce.

UCLA Extension partnered with Empowered Careers, which was co-founded by the Sherry Lansing Foundation, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Poizner, to address the growing skills gap while improving online education. Empowered UCLA Extension provides job-centric, twelve-month certificate programs designed to address real-world employment needs, integrated with personalized career coaching.

In total, Empowered UCLA Extension will make available up to $2 million in scholarships, which will be applied to recipients' program tuition and fees. These scholarships will be in the names of Pierce Brosnan, Geena Davis, Sally Field, James Franco, James Gandolfini, Cuba Gooding, Jr., George Lopez, and Rita Wilson.

Empowered UCLA Extension will award $250,000 in scholarships on behalf of each artist, throughout 2012 and 2013, based on applicants' essay submissions and demonstrated financial need.

"Empowered UCLA Extension represents what we can accomplish when powerful industries come together to create a movement around an issue that affects us all," says Steve Poizner, co-founder and CEO of Empowered. "We are looking to not only touch the lives of individuals, but also to encourage others to join us in finding ways to address the skills gap and jobs crisis. There is never just one answer to any issue. To make a larger impact, we need to work together to find multiple solutions."

Empowered UCLA Extension will reserve about 20 percent of its enrollment for students on full or partial scholarship. The program is currently enrolling students for its ten certificate programs with classes to begin in September.

The talent involved with the Empowered UCLA Extension scholarship program will share their experiences in achieving their own dreams and aspirations in online videos in an effort to encourage and inspire applicants.

Please CLICK HERE to view the "Work For Your Dream" video.

Empowered UCLA Extension's programs are available nationwide, and enrollment has started for fall 2012. Information on coursework, career guidance and scholarship programs can be found at

Empowered UCLA Extension has already named its first full scholarship recipient -- Katrina Adaire-Griffiths of Mahwah, New Jersey, a baby boomer and single mother of three, who is caring for a special needs child on her own, after the passing of her late husband.

Katrina's educational background and life experience both support and propelled her motivation to enter the Empowered UCLA Extension Patient Advocacy program. She wants to advocate for sick children who have no voice of their own. She plans to use her skills to navigate the health care system on their behalf, which would be satisfying both personally and professionally.

Her work experience has been two-fold, primarily as an L.M.T. (licensed massage therapist) and childcare professional. She is currently a therapy aid for a child who has Cerebral Palsy, is mute and in a wheelchair. Katrina holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Professional License in Massage Therapy, and recently obtained a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist Credential.

Katrina plans to get her studying in when she wakes at 5:00 am weekdays, during her lunch hours at work, and has even negotiated some quiet time with her two boys at night.

"I know it may be exhausting sometimes, but my resolve is to prevail," said Katrina. "I began working at the Children's Therapy Center with disabled children. I wish to advocate for them as I did my own young son. I think my husband, Glenn, would be proud."

UCLA Extension is the continuing and professional education division of the University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA Extension offers a broad spectrum of courses and certificates for professionals in business, management, engineering, information systems, entertainment studies, public policy, public health, the humanities and many other fields. UCLA Extension is a completely self-supporting enterprise, receiving no state or campus funds. Excelling in its quality, innovation and impact, UCLA Extension is considered one of the top programs of its type in the nation. UCLA Extension was one of the early adopters of online learning for continuing education, and nearly one-fourth of the 90,000 annually enrolled students are receiving their education online through Extension programs and conferences. Find out more at

Empowered ( is a unique, new, online educational experience that delivers the world-class professional training of UCLA Extension through Empowered's groundbreaking iPad app, combined with comprehensive career guidance for adults who need a career boost or change. Three of California's greatest assets are the academic excellence at UCLA, the technology and innovation of Silicon Valley and the power of the entertainment industry to influence social movements. We bring all three of these forces together to create a new opportunity for the millions of baby boomers and other adults who have been displaced in the workforce, are looking to enhance their current career, or are looking to make their next career move. 1-800-EMPOWER