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.

February 14, 2017

Boyle Heights Beat featured in LA Times

Good Neighbors Campaign funded program, Boyle Heights Beat, is featured in today’s Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times highlighted the Boyle Heights Beat, which was founded by Michelle Levander of the USC Annenberg School. The outlet produces articles by high school students about the community, and reporters are mentored by veteran journalists. The paper is funded by donations from the USC Good Neighbor Campaign and the California Endowment. “Our kids have a tremendous sense of responsibility to tell their stories. This is a way to get to know a community in a very intimate way,” Levander said.

Senior Editor Antonio Mejias-Rentas, left, and student reporter Kimberly Gallardo, 16, of the Boyle Heights Beat newspaper interview a Los Angeles police sergeant for a report on a swap meet at the Ramona Gardens housing project. (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Los Angeles Times)

 

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January 20, 2017

Accepting grant applications

The USC Good Neighbors 2017-18 grant application cycle is underway! Any benefits-eligible university employee, university department, or student organization is eligible to apply in partnership with a community-based, tax-exempt organization that operates within the Good Neighbors service area surrounding the University Park or Health Sciences Campuses.
Grant applications are due by 10 p.m. (PST) on Friday, February 24, 2017. Application information here.

Frequently asked questions, here.

Good Neighbors Information “Office Hours” by appointment only, at the USC Community House, through February 17, 2017.

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