University of Southern California


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New York Times praises USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative

The New York Times featured the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (USC NAI) program in “Lifting Kids to College“.

Frank Bruni writes:

But when Sierra was in the sixth grade, teachers spotted her potential and enrolled her in the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, or N.A.I., a program through which U.S.C. prepares underprivileged kids who live relatively near its South Los Angeles campus for higher education. She repeatedly visited U.S.C., so she could envision herself in such an environment and reach for it. She took advanced classes. Her mother, like the parents or guardians of all students in the N.A.I., got counseling on turning college into a reality for her child.

Read full story here.

About USC’s NAI:
Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) USC supports 3,500 children in college access programs and more than 600 children in pre-school and early literacy programs each year. The USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), the university’s signature college prep program enrolls close to 1,000 students annually. NAI is a rigorous, seven-year pre-college enrichment program designed to prepare students from South and East Los Angeles for admission to a college or university. Under the program guidelines, students must commit to a seven-year plan of after-school tutoring, coupled with Saturday morning classes. Parents are also required to attend a biweekly Family Development Institute program to create a 360 degree, hands-on approach to reinforce student academic goals and study habits and maximize a healthy home environment. Students who remain in the program in good standing from sixth grade until their high school graduation are eligible for a full-scholarship to USC, provided they meet admission requirements. Since its first graduating class in 1997, nearly 1,000 students have completed the program with 83 percent enrollment as freshman at four-year universities, and 35 percent enrollment at USC.

Related USC program helps LA students with full scholarships.