USC in the Community


Hispanic Directory of L.A. County Is a Powerful Tool

For Frank Villalobos, president of Barrio Planners Inc., an architectural and urban planning company, USC’s Directory of the Hispanic Community of the County of Los Angeles is mightier than the sword.

“There is a certain sense of power when you command access to information,” Villalobos said of the recently released ninth edition of the directory. “Most organizations out here feel alone. This catalog of organizations provides a power base by collecting all organizations in the community into a single book. Without it you would have to rely on a range of sources, which would be time-consuming.”

Villalobos, whose company has been in business in the 5200 block of East Beverly Boulevard for 28 years, said the directory, which primarily lists nonprofit and governmental agencies and organizations, is sometimes referred to as the “bible” by community activists and others interested in an organized Latino community.

Civic and Community Relations Assistant Vice President Samuel Mark, executive editor of the directory, traced its history in an introduction to the ninth edition.

“Seventeen years ago, the growing importance of the Hispanic community in the county of Los Angeles prompted the director of the University of Southern California Institute for Hispanic Media and Culture, professor Jose Ramon Araluce-Cuenca, and me … to gather information about Hispanic/ Latino organizations,” Mark writes. “During the life of the directory, its contents changed as the Los Angeles area and its Hispanic/Latino community grew, evolved, and yes, progressed in many areas.”

Over the years, for example, more organizations founded by women made their appearance, along with AIDS and HIV agencies.

“And this year, it was interesting to witness the birth of several nonprofits founded by young Central Americans, a reflection that they are here to stay and have shed the refugee mentality,” Mark writes. “Years from now I hope all nine … editions will become an interesting and unique source of information on our Hispanic community for future historians.”

The directory is available to nonprofit and governmental organizations for $40.

Saying ‘Fore’ Can Send Kids to Summer Camp

Proceeds from a Friday, May 21, golf tournament will send hundreds of University Park-area children to summer day camp and a year-round after-school sports program.

The first National Youth Sports Program and After School Sports Connection golf classic gets underway at 11 a.m. at the La Mirada Country Club in La Mirada. Cost is $75 per person and includes green fees, cart and tournament prizes.

ASSC is in its second year of serving 800 elementary school children in the Family of Five Schools with an after-school sports program. And NYSP is in its 31st year of operating a free daily sports camp for five weeks during the summer to more than 450 boys and girls, ages 10 -16. In addition to receiving sports instruction, each youngster also participates in a hands-on, small-group educational program.

For a tournament brochure, registration, or sponsorship information, contact Dave Koch at (213) 740-6325 or e-mail at

Pull on Work Gloves for Christmas in April

This is your chance for the most free food you’ve ever had on a Saturday, coupled with a great chance to volunteer. We’re talking three meals – breakfast during check-in, lunch during a one-hour break, and a barbecue when the work is done.

USC is always a big part of Christmas in April/South-Central Los Angeles, a citywide beautification effort. This year, there are three projects to work on, with no driving required.

Those who want to work at headquarters (Fagg Park) will have plenty of administrative work to do on April 17. Volunteers with a truck or van can transport materials to and from headquarters and the sites. About 100 volunteers will clean, plant and landscape at the 32nd St./USC Performing Arts Magnet school at 30th Street and University Avenue, 25 will work at the fire station on Jefferson Boulevard near Burger King, and another 25 will tackle projects at a residence near 49th Street.

Volunteers will work with faculty, staff, and other organizations around campus, making it a great opportunity to meet like-minded people. Volunteers are also needed April 10 and April 24 for activities associated with preparing and closing down Christmas in April efforts. To sign up, contact Cynthia Woolley at MC 1122 by April 7, or call (213) 740-4540.

Annual Banquet to Honor USC’s Volunteers on April 6

Justin Ward, Lynn Tran, Henny Struijk, Gloria Reyes and Curtis Roseman are part of a battalion of volunteers who willingly donate time to causes seeking to make the world a better place. In return for their selflessness, they, along with 13 other USC students, faculty, staff, community residents and supporters of neighborhoods near the two campuses, will be recognized Tuesday, April 6, at the annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Banquet.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our outreach efforts into the community,” said Michelle Blanchette, coordinator of USC’s Volunteer Center. “The work they do – whether they are soliciting funds for an after-school youth program or painting over graffiti in a community beautification project – improves the quality of life for everyone. The awards banquet is our way of saying thank you.”

The annual awards banquet, sponsored by the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Division of Student Affairs and USC External Relations, will be held in Town and Gown from 5 to 8 p.m.

Good Neighbor Volunteer Awards

Kim Thomas-Barrios, a magnet coordinator at the USC Math, Science and Technology Magnet High School (MaST), will be recognized for her contributions as a USC alumnus. She has designed competitive math, science and computer class curricula with real world applications. She also taught a Web class where students volunteered to work on projects for small businesses.

Jennifer Charnofsky, a University Park-area resident, will receive a resident Good Neighbor Volunteer Award. Charnofsky, who has lived in the area off and on since the 1950s, was a driving force behind the creation of the Richardson Family Park Project. She is an active member of the West Adams Heritage Association and is responsible for that group’s adopt-a-school program with 24th Street School.

Laura Harvey, a research nurse in USC’s Division of Hematology, and Gloria Reyes, division administrator of hematology, will receive staff Good Neighbor Volunteer Awards. Reyes and Harvey worked hard for almost two years creating the Art for Life program that raised money for AIDS and diabetes patients. The program grew into a week-long cultural celebration, attracting media attention and considerable support from the Latino community and the Mexican government.

Curtis Roseman, professor of geography, will be recognized for his volunteer contributions as a USC faculty member. During his free time, Roseman designed the framework and supervised graduate student researchers in the construction of the University Park Community Website. The constantly updated Website (at displays the cultural wealth and architectural beauty of the University Park neighborhood.

Henny Struijk, a mentor teacher at Vermont Avenue Elementary School, will receive a community Good Neighbor Volunteer Award for working beyond the call of duty. He has spearheaded fundraising drives, coordinated USC’s After-School Enrichment Program and the After-School Sports Connection programs, accompanied students to weekend Dodger games and opera performances, as well as donated typewriters and word processors to students.

Good Neighbor winners will each receive a plaque and $250 for the nonprofit agency of their choice.

Student Volunteer Awards

Lara Newth, a senior with a double major in history and German, will receive an Extraordinary Community Service Award for her devotion to Blazers Safe Haven, an after-school program providing safe, educational activities and field trips to children in the University Park community. Newth quickly moved from being a homework helper to designing arts and crafts, nature and gardening workshops and guiding tours of the Natural History Museum and other cultural spots.

Newth will receive a $1,000 check and a plaque, and her name will be inscribed on a permanent plaque in the foyer of Grace Ford Salvatori Hall. This award was endowed by Salvatori in 1981 to recognize USC students for their contributions to the community.

Lynn Tran, a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in business administration, has won the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award. Tran has immersed herself in helping hundreds of mentally and physically disabled athletes each year to compete in Spirits in Action, a track and field competition for the disabled. Serving as volunteer recruitment co-chair, Tran helped attract more than 500 volunteers to serve as “buddies,” athletic game coordinators and game booth volunteers.

Roxanne S. Aga, a junior majoring in psychobiology, Kara Lemma, a sophomore in sociology, Deana Nassar, a sophomore in sociology and Stephen Sohn, a sophomore in biological sciences, will each receive a $2,500 renewable Grace Ford Salvatori Community Service Scholarship for their community service. All have maintained a 3.0 GPA while serving as volunteer mentors and tutors.

Shawn Carlos Royal, a sociology graduate student completing his dissertation this year, and Justin Ward, a second-year law student, will be honored as this year’s recipients of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate Volunteer Award. Royal has volunteered with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign. He also helped organize USC’s AIDS Walk last year. Ward has helped served thousands of meals to the homeless, and participated in a free legal clinic and in USC’s Street Law Program for high school youngsters. Each will receive a plaque and $250.

Kyle Barisich, Anthony Hou and Timothy Mechlinski will receive Student Volunteer Recognition Awards for undergraduates who have done outstanding work on community service projects.

Barisich, a senior majoring in music, is a campus student leader who coordinated an Alternative Spring Break trip for students interested in helping the homeless. Hou, in the fourth year of an eight-year Baccalaureate/M.D. Program, is part of the volunteer leadership team at USC’s Volunteer Center. Mechlinski, a junior majoring in French and sociology, has chaired recruitment and fundraising committees for Spirits in Action.

Spirits in Action will be this year’s winner of the Campus Cup for outstanding student-run community service program. The organization will have its name inscribed on a living trophy and receive a $250 check. The Family of Five Schools Initiative will carry home the Legacy Cup for new and innovative student-run programs. Many of the 60 percent of USC students who volunteer in the community do so through the Family of Five Schools Initiative. The Legacy Cup comes with a $250 check.

The University Residential Student Community is this year’s recipient of the USC Student Organization Volunteerism Award. The group’s philanthropic projects include blood drives with the American Red Cross, a Thanksgiving Day house-building project, a breakfast with Santa event for children, an Easter “Eggstravaganza” and work on domestic violence awareness. This award is co-sponsored by CCR and the Volunteer Center. The group will receive a plaque and a $250 check.

Robin Levine, a senior majoring in journalism, will be recognized as a Templeton Fellow. Levine has been chosen to interview President Steven B. Sample on the importance of community service and service learning.