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UCLA Magazine Summer 2004
Of God and Blue-Footed Boobies
The Providential Scholar
Of the Community, By the Community, For the Community
Good Fellows
The Perfect Storm
The Next Step
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Summer 2004
Good Fellows
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Illustration of a Man Filling the Shoes and Walking in the Footsteps of Another
An innovative program brings students in UCLA's policy school together with civic and business leaders to glean the lessons of
their real-world experience

By Ajay Singh
Illustration by Hadley Hooper

Three fresh-faced 20-somethings have shown up for an early breakfast at Jerry's Famous Deli in Westwood. They are casually dressed in slacks and sweatshirts, attentively receiving what they call "life's lesson of the week" from a stocky, bespectacled, middle-aged man wearing a brown suit but no tie.

"You have people with $200,000 to $1 million running around on the Westside not knowing where to live," he proposes. "Now let's say there's a living space with the right population density and ambience for $250,000 to $300,000. Would you live there?" His listeners nod. "But how would you sell it?" asks the man, quickly adding: "You wouldn't sell it as housing. You'd sell it as lifestyle!"

The man is business leader Steve Soboroff, and he is talking with graduate students from the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. What brings them together for bagels and eggs this morning is a top-notch initiative, the Senior Fellows Program, created by the policy school to give its students access to policymakers from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. These are people who have successfully addressed major issues — in Soboroff's case issues involving housing policy — at the local, state, national and global levels.

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