Congrats NAI Grads: Headed to Loyola, UCLA and USC

May 6, 2014

USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative graduates 65 South Los Angeles students, all enrolling in higher education; 19 will attend USC on full-tuition scholarships

Contact and RSVP: Teresa Lara at (310) 502-5763 or

WHAT: A graduation ceremony honoring the 65 graduates of USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), an intensive program serving public school students from the university’s neighborhoods. All will continue on to higher education this fall.

This year’s class is the largest in the program’s history. Nineteen students will attend USC this fall on full-tuition scholarships, with others planning to enroll at Loyola and the University of California, Los Angeles.

WHEN: Thursday, May 8
5:30 Reception
6:15 p.m. Dinner and program

WHERE: USC Town and Gown
620 W. McCarthy Way, Suite 10
Los Angeles, CA 90089

WHO: Among the speakers and honorees:

Pat Haden, USC Athletic Director
Thomas S. Sayles, USC Senior Vice President for University Relations
Jasmine TorresNAI alumna and USC graduating senior
Actor Mark Hamill

MOREThe USC Neighborhood Academic Initative is a seven-year enrichment program preparing low-income, minority students living in neighborhoods surrounding USC’s campuses for success at a college or university.

The program’s students, almost all the first in their families to attend college, spent six to seven years coming to USC’s campus for early-morning math and English classes and after school tutoring during the week and day-long Saturday classes.

USC NAI graduates also have gone on to attend Harvard University, West Point, and University of California, Berkeley, among others.

Last summer, NAI was expanded to two schools in East LA, near USC’s Health Sciences Campus. Sixty-six sixth-graders at Murchison Elementary School and another 35 from nearby El Sereno Middle School will attend Saturday NAI classes, tutoring and other workshops on the USC Health Sciences Campus in Boyle Heights. The program will eventually be extended to serve about 600 students from sixth through 12th grade from neighborhoods surrounding USC Health Sciences.

Since the NAI was established in 1989, more than 800 Southern Los Angeles students have graduated from the program and gone to college.