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USC Good Neighbors Campaign Continues to Support Community

Employees collectively donated over $1.5 million during recent campaign

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: August 16, 2012


USC Good Neighbors Campaign Continues to Support Community


In keeping with its strong philanthropic tradition, the USC Good Neighbors Campaign (GNC) continues to make a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods through employee funded grants. Forty-two local organizations serving the Latino, African-American and Pacific Islander communities received grants during the 2011 campaign. Latinos represent over 70% of the total community served.

Originally founded in 1994, USC GNC provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to be "good neighbors" by contributing a portion of their paychecks to support programs that help strengthen surrounding communities located close to USC's University Park and Health Sciences campuses. Students, alumni and friends of USC have also contributed to the program's success by participating as donors. Many donors also volunteer their time with the organizations.

"USC has always taken great pride in being a good neighbor to our community," said Thomas Sayles, Senior Vice President, USC University Relations. "The Good Neighbors Campaign is not only a wonderful source of pride for the thousands of faculty and staff who participate, it is an opportunity to work together to strengthen our community."

Although a special fundraising drive in October launches the annual campaign, employees can make contributions at any time. All overhead and expenses are covered by USC, ensuring that 100% of funds raised are allocated for granting purposes.

Since its inception, 501 grants totaling $12.7 million have been awarded to community organizations affiliated with the University. Many of the organizations serve the Latino community and address a variety of topics directly impacting this population such as education and health.

Among the many organizations supported by USC GNC during the recent granting year include the Afteschool Sports Connection, FUENTE Program, Garden Gateway Nutrition Education Project, I HABLO U, Jumpstart for Children, USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative and USC Neighborhood Mobile Dental Clinic among many others. The largest single grant awarded this cycle was over $82,000.

"The USC Good Neighbors Campaign empowers faculty, students, local schools, and nonprofits in meaningful partnerships that make a difference in the lives of neighborhood children and families every day," said Carolina Castillo, Ed. D., Executive Director of Development, USC Civic Engagement. "The Trojan Family has embraced Latino families in our communities by working together, hand-in-hand to solve societal issues."

Priority consideration is given to non-profit programs whose efforts focus on enhancing educational opportunities for under-served children between K-12, and promoting good health and fitness with tools to effectively manage diabetes and obesity. Other passion projects for USC GNC include programs supporting local economic development and job training and improving neighborhood safety. Grants are awarded in the spring. Additional information regarding USC's GNC is available at communities.usc.edu/ gnc.

About USC Neighborhood Outreach

USC Neighborhood Outreach (UNO), created in 1993, is a program that provides financial support to university-community partnerships involving collaboration between USC faculty and staff and local nonprofit organizations that have a visible, positive impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. The program's inaugural grants were awarded in 1995.
In June 2012, $1.37 million was awarded to fund 42 (UNO) grants through donations raised by USC GNC.

ABOUT USC IN THE COMMUNITY

The University of Southern California has been a proud and active member of its community since 1880. USC believes its strength as a great university depends on its ability to be a good neighbor. USC is dedicated to supporting healthy, vibrant and engaged communities around its University Park and Health Sciences campuses. To this end, USC supports families and youth, promotes small business development and economic growth and instills in its students a profound commitment to participate in civic life.

• USC invests $32 million annually to support community initiatives, serving 40,000 community members.
• USC students, staff and faculty devote more than 650,000 hours annually in the community.
• The USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative, an intensive college prep program, sends 100 percent of its students to college, with nearly half getting full-tuition scholarships to USC.
• USC has adopted 15 neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools as part of its Family of Schools program, sharing with these schools its students and educational resources.
• USC's local hire program puts $5 million in annual salaries back into the neighborhood.
• USC taught 60 small business owners the skills to obtain $61 million dollars in capital, contracts and loans.
• USC has more than 3,000 children in college access programs and more than 500 children in pre-school programs.
• The USC Good Neighbors Campaign raises more than a $1 million in donations every year for community programs through staff and faculty donations.

These efforts have been recognized on a national level by the Carnegie Foundation, the president of the American Council on Education, the World Health Organization and the "Saviors of Our Cities," survey of best university civic partnerships. Community outreach was a key factor in TIME magazine naming USC College of the Year in 2000.

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