Dr. Scorza believes that education can be used as a tool for civic and social empowerment in order to advance justice in communities. His work has centered on building leaders who fight for equity in schools and communities while currently serving as the Executive Director and Founder of the Social Justice Learning Institute and President of the Board of Education for Inglewood Unified School District. He also serves as a lecturer in the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA, is a UC Regent Emeritus and is the current President of the UCLA Alumni Association. In these roles, he helped pass policies that established veterans’ services centers and prioritized $160 million for student services across UC campuses. He also improved sustainability in Inglewood schools by helping to secure $90 million to support school construction efforts.
As a US Navy Iraq War Veteran, Dr. Scorza believes that being a responsible leader means setting a strong personal example. Upon returning to his hometown of Inglewood, from his tour in Iraq, he was eager to help youth in his community by expanding literacy programs; helping more teens to graduate high school and pursue higher education. Dr. Scorza created the Urban Scholars program to help train students to be social justice youth leaders while receiving opportunities for academic support, career pathway guidance, personal growth and college scholarships.. Students who complete this program have a 95% graduation rate from high school, and 85% of those are successfully accepted into college. He also wrote and co-authored articles that focused on improving literacy practices for youth of color in urban communities.
Through his work he was awarded for one of the 40 Emerging Civic Leaders under 40 in 2018 for paving the way in advocacy, policy and philanthropy and he received the UCLA Recent Graduate Award in 2016.
He is an Education Pioneers Fellow and a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Fellow, working to end discrimination against people in rural and urban communities by supporting them in their endeavors to start businesses and buy homes. He also serves on the PATHS UP Advisory Board, supporting workforce development for innovative and cost-effective technologies that heal chronic diseases in under-served areas.
Dr. Scorza has been quoted multiple times in publications such as The NY Times, LA Times, ABC News, and ESPN about his work, and has been featured in LA Magazine, Huffington Post, and on several podcasts. He is a regular speaker and presenter on topics including equipping leaders to return to their communities to serve, how to help communities thrive, and advancing racial and social justice. He and his family live in and serve in the community of Inglewood, California and they enjoy taking family camping trips and spending time outdoors as often as possible.