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 community organizations to enhance educational opportunities, promote good health and fitness, support economic development, and improve safety.

June 27, 2016

Good Neighbors Campaign funds 42 university-community partnerships

Students gain dental assistant skills. (Photo/Ana Beatriz Cholo)

This year, 42 university-community partnerships were announced that span health, safety, education and the arts.

“It’s really meaningful to have these partnerships completely funded by USC employees,” said Carolina Castillo, executive director of GNC, now in its 22nd year after raising $18 million. To date, nearly 700 programs have been funded.

Because the university absorbs all administrative costs, the funds go entirely toward the partnerships that surround the University Park and Health Sciences campuses.

“It reflects our Trojan values of building community and providing opportunities,” Castillo said. Read more here.

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December 7, 2015

Call for proposals

Attention USC Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Partners:

The USC Good Neighbors 2016-17 grant application cycle is underway! Any benefits-eligible university employee, university department, or student organization is eligible to apply when they partner with a community-based, tax-exempt organization that operates within the Good Neighbors service area surrounding the University Park or Health Sciences Campuses (visit website for application criteria and service area maps).

Grant applications are due by 10 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

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