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.