University of California, Riverside

Parents Association

Parent Spotlight


The Sklarz Family: Achievement, Excellence and Service

By Anna Sklarz


The Sklarz family is your quintessential blended family from San Francisco, California – multicultural, diverse and progressive.

UCR Parents John and Anna Sklarz hail from the East Coast, and the Far East, respectively. They are parents to UCR student, Lorenzo and to four-year-old Finn. John is stepfather to Lorenzo, Anna’s first child from a previous relationship.The family grew further with the arrival of Finn. The future Highlander just started preschool this fall. She continues to do gymnastics, play soccer and build big bro Lorenzo’s Legos.

John was raised in Washington Township, New Jersey by Irish and Italian parents. While pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Virginia, John was the lead singer of a rock band called, Prom Queen and never without his Gibson guitars. He now specializes in machine and factory automation working for a Japanese company. His work takes him all around the country and Japan.

Anna grew up in the Philippines and earned a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Administration from University of the Philippines. Before migrating to the US, she was on the Philippine national team competing in the sport of Taekwondo. Her sport took her to competitions around the world until she settled in the US. Prior to meeting John, Anna was a single, working mom who pursued a Human Resources program at UC Berkeley Extension.  She has worked in corporate human resources specializing in employee benefits, retirement and wellness programs; until the birth of Finn four years ago.

The family’s affinity to UCR started with eldest son, Lorenzo. The whole family rejoiced when he gained admittance to UCR last year and it was the obvious choice over the other colleges that had offered admittance. Lorenzo is your typical 19-year-old young adult, into his computer games, paintball and dragon boat paddling. Having spent his early formative years in the Philippines, and while in high school, two summers in Japan; Lorenzo is no stranger to coping with change and adjusting to shifting circumstances. This bode him well when he had to move further away to Southern California to attend UCR. He is now a sophomore with the goal of pursuing a degree in Psychology, Law & Society. He wants to be in law enforcement someday. When not studying and hanging out with newfound friends, he is oftentimes seen working out at the Rec Center or on his longboard around the campus.

The entire family looks forward to parent meetings and events, making the trip down to Riverside from San Francisco at every opportunity. It has been inspiring learning about ground-breaking research activities at UCR, while being kept informed and connected to the school. Especially gratifying is the opportunity to serve and give back to the community, such as with the Highlander Day of Service where the Sklarz family led a beach clean-up in San Francisco.

The family has high hopes for Lorenzo. They have every confidence that he will thrive at UCR and that a Highlander education will enable him to grow and continue the family’s tradition of achievement, excellence and service.


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