Anthony Romano, left ,and Dylan Manzano, sixth graders at Foshay Learning Center, demonstrate robots to Alice Montoya, 5, in the Civic Engagement Tent at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC April 18, 2015. Photo by David Sprague

Anthony Romano, left ,and Dylan Manzano, sixth graders at Foshay Learning Center, demonstrate robots to Alice Montoya, 5, in the Civic Engagement Tent at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC April 18, 2015. Photo by David Sprague

Good neighbors campaign funded robotics team uses ingenuity to find its way to the national championship.

For the Foshay Learning Center’s Team 597 Wolverines, it was a suspenseful moment. Which high school team would win the prized Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Robotics International Competition in St. Louis?

Bob Tuttle, FIRST’s co-chair of the board of directors, addressed the audience and talked about the accomplishments of the Wolverines. (FIRST refers to For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.)

“You all did a great job, but there is one team that is particularly special in this program,” he said. “They are the role models and change agents reaching out and transforming whole communities to show through their actions the lessons of team work, gracious professionalism and all the good life lessons FIRST is all about.

Jason Mares, a junior at Foshay, was confident that the school’s team would win the competition. After all, their presentation blew away the panel of judges. But then he looked around and felt uncertain. There were 59 other robotics teams from around the world in the competition. He decided it ultimately didn’t matter. If his team lost, it would simply come back next year, better and stronger, to win it.

Seconds later, Mares and 12 of his teammates heard their team name called, and they all ran up on stage to claim their trophy.

“That moment was just complete shock,” Mares said. Read more  here

Program highlight

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This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the USC Good Neighbors Campaign. Since 1994, USC faculty, staff, and friends have been coming together every October to help USC be a good neighbor. In all, they have donated more than $20 million dollars in support of university-community partnerships. 100% of contributions is distributed via USC Good Neighbors grants (formerly USC Neighborhood Outreach or UNO). Supported partnerships strive to enhance educational opportunities, promote health and fitness, enhance public safety, and support economic development. Nearly 700 grants have been given to date.

September 15, 2017

Good Neighbors Campaign dinner salutes Trojans who support the community


Yesenia Alvarez, center, told her story at the 2017 Good Neighbors dinner. (Photo/Steve Cohn)

Yesenia Alvarez has yet to begin college, but she has already works in a dentist’s office after earning a dental assistant certificate. The job allows Alvarez to help support her family while getting an education. In a few weeks, Alvarez will begin studying biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Davis. Then she plans to study at USC and become a dentist.

Alvarez told her story to USC staff, faculty, friends and family at an annual dinner held Wednesday at the home of USC President C. L. Max Nikias. The event honors Trojans who donate 1 percent of their salary to the Good Neighbors Campaign, which has put $20 million back into the communities surrounding the USC University Park and Health Sciences campuses since 1994.

“Our Trojan Family is building a future in which access to college for our neighborhood children is no dream — it is reality,” Nikias said. “Good Neighbors, with the support and generosity of all of you here tonight, works mightily to bring USC’s neighborhoods that sense of hope.”

Donations from staff and faculty totaled $1.6 million last year. More than 5,000 Trojans — faculty, students, and staff — participate in Good Neighbors projects.

“Good Neighbors is helping disadvantaged kids beat the odds by changing their mindset and giving them confidence,” Nikias said. Read full story here.

 

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August 28, 2017

USC’s neighbors get a helping hand with school supplies

Thousands of families from neighboring schools received back-to-school supplies at the USC Health Sciences Campus on Saturday. Students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC School of Pharmacy and the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC helped distribute the items and shared their pathway into the science and medical fields.

“It’s a great opportunity to connect university resources with our local community, and emphasize the numerous science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs we offer,” said Zul Surani, executive director of community partnerships for the Health Sciences Campus.

The event was hosted by USC Civic Engagement and supported through the university’s Good Neighbors Campaign, through which USC faculty and staff donate more $1.6 million each year to support university-community programs.

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