Media advisory: USC college access program celebrates 25 years of successful graduating cohorts

May 16, 2022

Media RSVP: USC Media Relations, or (213) 740-2215

For the first time in three years, USC’s Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative will hold its in-person gala to honor the Class of 2022. Graduates will celebrate with their families and the people who have made NAI a nationally recognized college access program.

NAI’s Class of 2022 includes 85 graduates. All are headed for college, and out of 43 students who were admitted to USC, 42 will attend the university in the fall on full scholarships.

WHAT: Neighborhood Academic Initiative Gala
WHEN: Tuesday, May 17, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: USC University Park Campus; Brittingham Field
• NAI 2022 graduates and families
• Honorees Richard Weitz and Demi Weitz
• Actress and comedian Cristela Alonzo
• USC and NAI representatives and alumni

• NAI graduates waving pennants of their future alma mater
• Academic honors and scholarship awards ceremony
• Presentation of medals of completion


More than 1,400 students have graduated from the USC Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative, and over 43% of all graduates will have attended USC since the first graduating class of 1997.

This year’s NAI graduates received an average of more than four college acceptance letters. Thirty-three NAI graduates have accepted admittance to either the University of California or California State Universities — as well as four at other private institutions including Duke and Stanford. Collectively, the students were admitted to 57 different colleges.
More than 95% of NAI students are first in their family to graduate from high school and attend college. Most NAI students are from public schools in neighborhoods near USC.
NAI’s high school graduation rate is 100%, and 99% of all NAI graduates have attended college since 1997.

NAI students spend seven years attending early-morning classes taught by their public school teachers in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District, on USC’s University Park and Health Sciences campuses, along with full-day Saturday sessions. Parents and advocates commit to bimonthly seminars covering health and wellness, the K-12 academic pathway, communication, home-learning environments, the college application process and financial aid.
Click here to learn more about NAI.