Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California (USC) is a private research university located in Los Angeles. With a student body numbering over 48,000, USC was ranked 22, in US News & World Report’s 2020 Best National University list. The school’s athletic programs are also well-known, including its 21 NCAA. Some of its many, notable alumni include actor LeVar Burton, Neil Armstrong, and Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther.
Among USC’s social responsibility initiatives is the Good Neighbors Campaign, which supports programs in the university’s surrounding community. With particular focus on developing educational and scientific pathways, the Good Neighbors Campaign has distributed more than $25 million to local community programs, including “After ‘Cool,” a community arts program, the Robotics and Coding Academy, and the Young Researchers Program.
USC also operates the Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), which it describes as “a comprehensive educational and social-services initiative for low-income” students and their families. Under the program guidelines, students must commit to a seven-year plan of attending Saturday Academy classes along with weekday morning classes at USC, after-school tutoring and parent workshops. NAI guarantees full-tuition scholarships for graduates of the program who meet USC’s admission requirements.
As a partner of HSF, USC has hosted HSF’s Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) on its campus for the prior 3 years, also co-hosting this year’s virtual event, which was held online, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. YLI is a five-day, overnight, college empowerment program for Latino, rising high school seniors, selected through a competitive application process. It is designed to give young leaders the practical tools they need to successfully apply to top universities, have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success, through early introduction to in-demand fields.
In April 2019, HSF named USC as its Education Partner of the Year, at the Leaders in Education Awards, in recognition of the university’s work to advance higher education for the Latino community.