Providing a unique opportunity for undergraduates to spend a year learning about, and then conducting, community-engaged research.

Services Provided

Scholars enroll in a credit-bearing course each quarter, and receive a financial award to engage in research that will support social justice movements. 

Who We Serve

Scholars spend the fall learning the principles of conducting community engaged research, then during winter/spring, collaborate with grad students & community activists to produce action-oriented research on a specific social issue.

Mission and Goals

Always keeping in mind our goal of having a positive impact on the communities we work with, the program has continued to evolve over the years to incorporate more community voice.

We hope to perpetuate study in the fields we both love, and in a way that supports student scholarship that is both interesting to them and will advance the field.

— Helen “Lena” S. Astin

I’ve not come across anyone who cared more about students than Lena. She deeply cared about what they were doing, even if she barely knew them. I’m proud to run a program in her name. 

— Doug Barrera

The Astin program allowed me to cultivate the idea that you can be passionate for disadvantaged communities, vulnerable populations….It strengthens you as an academic in a way that is unmatched at UCLA.

— Brian, an Astin Scholar alum (2017-2018)