Leonardo DiCaprio and the UCLA Lab School today announced the formation of the Leonardo DiCaprio Scholarship Fund and a climate education program for students in pre-K through sixth grade that will launch ahead of the 2023–24 school year.
The fund will help provide financial aid to students in need at the school, where some 40% of families require financial assistance, while the Climate Justice Education Program will teach students how to protect the planet through hands-on learning and seek to inspire the next generation of climate leaders.
“We are honored to partner with Leonardo DiCaprio in support of UCLA Lab School,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Expanding access to high-quality education and helping young people recognize the need to protect our planet are critical goals for our institution. We are deeply grateful to Mr. DiCaprio for giving back to the Lab School in this way.”
The Academy Award–winning actor is an alumnus of the school, which is located on the UCLA campus and is known for its progressive teaching models and arts, STEM and socioemotional development programs.
“I was fortunate enough to attend the Lab School due to the generous contributions of UCLA donors, and my experience profoundly transformed my worldview,” DiCaprio said. “I am proud to have the chance to pass on my experience to those who might otherwise miss out on this opportunity and to help create a program that will help guide the next generation of climate warriors.”
Because of the school’s role as a research and innovation site for elementary education, it is important that its student body represent the ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic diversity of California, school leaders said, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Scholarship Fund will help ensure this diversity.
DiCaprio has long been involved with projects related to climate change, access to clean water, biodiversity protection, conservation and disaster relief and has worked in support of organizations and initiatives dedicated to securing a sustainable future.