Speaker: Philanthropist, Melanie Lundquist speaks at BC


Emily Urias

Speaker Melanie Lundquist speaks about her philanthropy at the BC Campus Center Renegade Ballroom

Emily Urias, Reporter

Dr Melanie Lundquist, an activist philanthropist spoke at Bakersfield College on April 13th at the campus center ballroom. 

“These days I spend my days finding ways to make a positive impact locally and nationally. For me that has been activist philanthropy” stated Dr. Lundquist.

Dr. Lundquist describes how other philanthropists might see it as another tax deduction but she discusses how displeased she is when she hears some other philanthropists will not do this out of the kindness of their hearts but rather as their own personal self interest, which in the grand scheme is money. However, Dr. Lundquist believes it is way more than just writing a check.

Dr. Lundquist discussed that she was not wealthy growing up yet, she was taught how to give back and help those in need. She then goes on to explain that anyone can be a philanthropist because it is not necessarily about donating money but rather its the act of helping others, using someone’s time and talent. She encourages everyone to try to give back to their community or anyone, the littlest help can make a difference for someone.

“Studies show that those who give up their time and effort to help others, end up achieving more success than those who don’t,” she stated. Dr. Lundquist describes that sales people with highest annual revenue are those who are more likely to help their coworkers and customers. In addition, engineers with the highest productivity and less errors are more likely to do favors for colleagues than they do for themselves. 

Dr. Lundquist spends her time giving back to the public school education system especially in the greater Los Angeles area through a partnership. She shares that they are one of the latest school districts yet, they have had the lowest test scores and highest turnover of teachers and principals. However Dr. Lundquist has spent her time investing in training for teachers and principles as well as helping engage parents and families to be invested in their children’s education and future.

 Dr. Lundquist shared that since her time in the partnership there has been a graduation increase from 36% to 87%. She added that college acceptance has tripled and suspension rates have dropped from 21% to less than one percent.

She advises people to be a giver and to surround themselves with people who are also givers themselves. By surrounding yourself with giving people, it will help one’s self path to giving back.