Putting a centuries-old Latin phrase into practice, a La Jolla-based student support organization is looking to reward those who came, saw and conquered.
The foundation — known as Triple V (for “Veni, vidi, vici” or “I came, I saw, I conquered,” as believed to have been said by Julius Caesar — says it provides scholarships, internships and community programs for enterprising, resilient and creative students in the San Diego area.
To bolster its scholarship and mentorship efforts, Triple V is planning a spring luncheon to honor people who have gone through the program since its inception in fall 2022. Triple V’s offices are in northern La Jolla at 3366 N. Torrey Pines Court.
The organization was co-founded by Manyi Zheng, who had experience in the nonprofit sector helping children go to school in China. One of the beneficiaries, Hanson Yan, approached Zheng a few years ago to create a platform for students to connect and share resources during their college years.
“Our organization was founded on a young person having an idea and running with it, so that is our thing,” said Triple V office administrator and grant writer Zipporah Yisrael. “Because we are in the start-up phase … we need young people with ideas to make positive change.”
Unlike other scholarships that are awarded based on grades or extracurricular achievement, the Triple V scholarship is based on a “whole person” evaluation, Yisrael said. “Our scholarship applications are open to anyone 14 to 24 years old and meet the student where they are. They might not have the best grades, but that might be because they have a part-time job to help support their families.”
The application process includes recorded conversations with potential scholars to get to know them and their aspirations, what they need to get there and what they have had to overcome in their educational pursuits.
“It creates a more open and honest conversation,” Yisrael said. “Some of these students are amazing and have these rich stories, but you wouldn’t know it by reading a letter of recommendation or a transcript.”
Triple V doesn’t have an “ideal applicant” because success is measured person to person, Yisrael said.
“Most of the scholarships that are available today target the cream of the crop, which is great. Our program recognizes success on a granular scale,” she said.
Thus, Triple V places a strong emphasis on supporting students who have overcome obstacles and faced adversity. Forty-eight percent of applicants identify as people of color and 62 percent as female.
Among the 200 applicants this year are 50 Ukrainian students who were active in their communities amid the conflict there.
Triple V will review the recorded interviews and choose the top 50. From there, a panel of judges will review the interviews with those 50 and choose 20 of them to receive $3,000. The rest will receive at least $1,000 and/or mentorship or internship opportunities.
A luncheon will be held Saturday, March 30, at the UCSD Park & Market Forum in downtown San Diego to recognize the students.
Then the next round of scholarship applications will open.
Beyond that, Triple V will create an app intended to make its offerings available to more people and will offer an “artificial intelligence mentor’’ for each user.
“We understand the power of peer mentorship, and as part of our commitment to this model, we’re enlisting students from our scholarship pool to serve as mentors on the app,” according to the organization. “The app’s core purpose is to create an environment where students can share their experiences and gain insightful perspectives on how to overcome situations.
“To further enhance the support available on the app, we are developing a personalized AI mentor for each student. This AI counterpart will be tailored to each student’s personality, offering a round-the-clock presence for app users.”
Learn more about the foundation at triple3V.org or (858) 955-8882. ◆