Estudiantes de Boyle Heights Cavan en el Aprendizaje Saludable

November 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Decenas de estudiantes en la Escuela Secundaria de Hollenbeck se ensuciaron las manos el martes, construyeron jardineras, desenterraron tierra fresca y plantaron una variedad de siembra de frutas y vegetales en su nuevo Jardín de Enseñanza donado por Keck Medicine de USC. (Cortesía de Keck Medicine de la USC)

 (Cortesía de Keck Medicine de la USC)

Decenas de estudiantes en la Escuela Secundaria de Hollenbeck se ensuciaron las manos el martes, construyeron jardineras, desenterraron tierra fresca y plantaron una variedad de siembra de frutas y vegetales en su nuevo Jardín de Enseñanza donado por Keck Medicine de USC. (Cortesía de Keck Medicine de la USC)

Viewing ‘The Great American Eclipse’

August 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Angelenos may not be able to see the first full Solar Eclipse of the Sun visible in the United States since 1979, but that’s not stopping them from getting in on the excitement.

Taking place on Monday, Aug. 21, it will be the first time in history that a total eclipse is exclusively visible from U.S. soil, the University of Southern California said in a statement quoting several experts associated with the university.

Courtesy of NASA

Courtesy of NASA

Viewing events for “The Great American Eclipse,” as it’s being called, are planned for a variety of locations, from the Griffith Park Observatory to local libraries. Experts will be on hand to help explain the science to those who attend.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the earth and the sun and completely blocks out the light from the sun. The first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 99 years will start at approximately 9:05 a.m. local time. At the height of the eclipse, the moon will block out the sun for 2-3 minutes.

“The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East,” according to NASA, In other regions, the eclipse will only be observed as a partial eclipse, or not visible at all.

Lincoln Beach, Oregon will be the first point of contact on Monday at 9:05 a.m., reaching total eclipse at 10:16 a.m.

For the next hour and a half, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, leaving the U.S. at 4:09 p.m.

Solar_eclipse_Aug_21_2017_smallWhile the full solar eclipse will not be visible in the Southland, scientist say residents here will be able to see the moon cover 70% of the sun’s diameter, 60% of the sun’s area.

“The solar eclipse provides an opportunity for the public to experience a rare planetary phenomenon,” said Michael Kezirian, adjunct associate professor of astronautics at USC. “Our live streaming from the atmosphere along with the other schools in the NASA space grant consortium will offer unique views in real time of this amazing event,” he said.

While there is a great deal of excitement surrounding the eclipse, people should take precautions when trying to get a look, eclipse experts advise. They warn that looking directly at the sun could cause permanent damage to a person’s vision, and urge residents to use eyeglasses and other devices specially designed for that purpose.

“Directly looking at the solar eclipse is as harmful as sun gazing on a regular day,” said Hossein Ameri, an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at the USC Roski Eye Institute at Keck Medicine of USC. He said it could cause damage in the retina, resulting in vision loss.

“In mild cases, the vision loss may be reversible over the course of several months, but in severe cases it is permanent,” Ameri said. “It affects the central vision — affected individuals may not be able to read or see faces — but it does not affect the peripheral vision.”

USC advises eclipse watchers to follow these tips to avoid vision loss:

—Never look at the sun or solar eclipse without eye protection: Use solar eclipse glasses [eclipse viewers] that have been approved by the American Astronomical Society.

—Sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not protective.

—Do not use eclipse glasses that are damaged or have a scratch on them.

—If using a binocular, camera or telescope, wearing eclipse glasses does not protect your eyes; the sun-facing front lens of the device should be shielded with specially designed filters.

EGP has compiled a list of  local eclipse-watching events, to view, click here.


Estudio Asocia el Café con Menor Riesgo de Sufrir Infarto, Cáncer y Diabetes

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El consumo de café está asociado a un menor riesgo de infarto, cáncer, embolia, diabetes y enfermedades respiratorias y renales, según un informe presentado el lunes por la universidad del Sur de California (USC).

Así, el consumo de esta bebida aromática está asociado con una mayor esperanza de vida, pues aquellos que consumen una taza de café al día son un 12 % menos propensos a sufrir estas enfermedades que los que no lo toman.

Y si aumenta el consumo disminuye la propensión, según la investigación dirigida por Verónica Setiawan, profesora asociada de Medicina Preventiva de la Escuela de Medicina Keck de USC.

El análisis de los datos de más de 215.000 participantes mostró que el consumo de tres tazas de café al día hace a la persona un 18 % menos propensa a morir de estas enfermedades principales.

“No podemos decir que tomar café prolongará su vida, pero vemos una asociación”, destacó Setiawan al señalar que los resultados no se diferencian si el consumo es de café normal o descafeinado.

“Si a usted le gusta tomar café, ¡tómelo! Y si usted no es un tomador de café, entonces debería considerar comenzar a serlo”, agregó la investigadora.

El análisis, que será publicado este martes en la revista científica Anales de Medicina Interna, utilizó la información de un estudio multiétnico de factores de riesgo de la calidad de vida realizado conjuntamente por el Centro de Cáncer de la Universidad Hawái y la escuela Keck.

“Hasta ahora había muy pocos datos disponibles para la asociación entre el consumo de café y la mortalidad en personas no blancas en Estados Unidos y en cualquier otra parte”, afirmó la investigación.

“Estas investigaciones son importantes porque los patrones de estilo de vida y los riesgos de enfermedades pueden variar sustancialmente a través de los fondos raciales y los hallazgos de un grupo no necesariamente se aplican a otros”, señala USC.

“El ver patrones similares en distintas poblaciones da un respaldo biológico sólido al argumento de que el café es bueno para usted ya sea blanco, afroamericano, latino o asiático”, aseguró Setiawan.

Entre otras posibles razones está que el café contiene una gran cantidad de antioxidantes y compuestos fenoles “que juegan un papel importante en la prevención del cáncer”, destacó la científica.

Setiawan señaló que, aunque el estudio no muestra la causa “o el punto en que los químicos del café pueden tener este ‘efecto de elixir’, está claro que el café puede ser incorporado en una dieta y un estilo de vida saludable”.

Residents Will Have Say In USC Health Campus Expansion

March 16, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

The Board of Supervisors took steps Tuesday to ensure Boyle Heights residents have a voice in shaping development around LAC+USC Medical Center.

Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended hiring a consultant to facilitate a partnership between the county, USC and local residents, hoping to generate a shared vision for the campus and community.

“It is important we make sure everyone gets a seat at the table,” Solis said.

Residents and community advocates told the board that they’ve been excluded from conversations about development of the campus for too long.

“Development is great, but not when the community is stepped on,” resident Jesus Ruiz said, adding that many of his friends had been forced out of Los Angeles by rising costs.

Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at LAC+USC Medical Center, told the board that he and other leaders were “thinking about how we can best serve the community where we reside.”

Residents expressed concern about being displaced in a gentrifying neighborhood.

“History paints an unfortunate story of what happens to communities when powerful institutions like USC come and develop. Many times it’s a cycle of displacement, criminalization and ultimately, erasure,” said Esthefanie Solano, a youth organizer for InnerCity Struggle who grew up in Boyle Heights.

“We expect USC to invest in, support and see every young person and resident as their next medical student, doctor, surgeon or biotech engineer.”

The discussion came as the county considers adding services for the homeless and improving juvenile justice facilities on or near the campus, where it owns 124 acres and LAC+USC Medical Center.

Solis said the development options were wide-ranging, including a clinic, housing and a biomedical center.

For its part, USC is planning a 200-room hotel, more student housing and a cancer treatment center as part of its 80-acre Health Sciences Campus.

However, as the university builds out its campus, the lack of resources in the surrounding neighborhoods becomes even more stark, community advocates said.

“It’s not about being anti-USC, it’s about let’s work together,” said Lou Calanche, executive director of Legacy LA Youth Development Corporation and a USC grad.

Community leaders said growth on the campus should be aimed at creating more jobs and affordable housing for those who live nearby.

The motion – co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl – was added as part of a supplement to the board’s agenda. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas urged his colleagues to postpone a vote, arguing that more review was warranted, as the impact of the work would reach “well beyond USC.”

The board’s vote was 3-0 in favor, with Ridley-Thomas abstaining.

The board directed the county’s chief executive officer to report back on goals and a work plan for the Health Innovation Community Partnership.


USC Firma Acuerdo Educativo de Salud con Ciudad de México

December 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

La Universidad del Sur de California (USC) firmó el 10 de diciembre un acuerdo en Los Ángeles con autoridades de la capital mexicana, en una alianza que se espera traerá “desarrollo de oportunidades pedagógicas, investigación e intercambio”, según se informó.

La Escuela de Medicina Keck de USC anunció hoy la colaboración con la Ciudad de México que permitirá entre otras actividades que estudiantes universitarios de Los Ángeles participen en programas en la capital mexicana para beneficio mutuo.

Según anunció el alcalde de Ciudad de México, Miguel Ángel Mancera, quien estuvo presente en la firma del memorando de entendimiento, el acuerdo permitirá replicar el programa “El médico en tu casa” ofreciéndolo a los latinos de California.

“Nos da gusto compartir la experiencia de ‘El médico en tu casa’ del gobierno de la ciudad de México en California, donde radican más de 11.4 millones de mexicanos”, afirmó Mancera.

El cónsul de México en Los Ángeles, Carlos García de Alba, destacó que a través del programa en la Ciudad de México se han visitado más de 2.6 millones de hogares y se han atendido 258.000 personas de bajos ingresos.

A su vez, el vicepresidente de Estrategia e Iniciativas Globales de USC, Anthony Bailey, anotó que el número de estudiantes provenientes de México que se matriculan en USC “se ha más que duplicado en los últimos cinco años”.

Igualmente, nuevas alianzas con las principales universidades en México han generado oportunidades de becas tanto en USC como en el país azteca para beneficio de los estudiantes mexicanos.

Durante el anuncio hoy de la alianza también estuvieron presentes el Secretario de Salud de Ciudad de México, José Armando Ahued; el director ejecutivo de la escuela Keck, Tom Jackiewicz, y el médico René Sotelo, profesor de Urología Clínica de la facultad.

Al final del acto, Ackiewicz entregó un reconocimiento de USC al alcalde Mancera por la implementación del programa en California.

El nuevo acuerdo de colaboración se agrega a varias alianzas académicas de USC con universidades e instituciones mexicanas para estudiar y buscar soluciones a temas claves como el abuso de drogas (ciudad de México), el envejecimiento y el cuidado de la salud de personas de la tercera edad y la reducción de la pobreza (Yucatán).

Breves de la Comunidad

October 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 


(CNS)- Un bebé, recién nacido, fue entregado sin ningún peligro, por quinta vez durante éste año, bajo el programa del Condado de Los Ángeles de Entrega Protegida de Bebés, de acuerdo al supervisor Don Knabe.

El niño fue entregado el lunes 26 de septiembre en un hospital de Montebello, dijo Knabe. Siguiendo la práctica usual, el bebé está bajo custodia protectiva y será puesto bajo adopción por el Departamento de Niños y Servicios Familiares.

Desde que el programa empezó hace 15 años, 147 bebés han sido entregados, de acuerdo a Knabe. Por ley del condado, la entrega de un bebé que no sea mayor de 3 días de nacido a un hospital o estación de bomberos, es permitida sin consecuencias si no tiene señales de abuso.

Este de Los Ángeles

(CNS)- Una colisión involucró a tres vehículos incluyendo a un camión cargando cemento en el área sureste de Los Ángeles, dejando al conductor del camión con heridas criticas.

El accidento tomó lugar alrededor de las 6:45 a.m. el 5 de octubre en el bloque 1800 del Bulevar East Washington, de acuerdo al Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles.

Dos conductores fueron trasportados a un hospital cercano. La causa del accidente permanece bajo investigación.

Boyle Heights

(CNS)- Un hombre se escapo de un hospital donde estaba bajo arresto y fue recapturado y herido a balazos por lo policía el 28 de septiembre, cerca del Centro Médico de USC y el campus de Salud y Ciencia de la universidad, en Boyle Heights.

Fredy Bailon de 36 años, fue originalmente arrestado dos días antes por sostener un cuchillo a la garganta de una mujer.

El fue arrestado y llevado después al hospital del cual se escapó el 29 de septiembre. Al fugarse él forzó a una mujer a salirse de su camioneta SUV y le quito el carro, tratando de huir.

Bailon fue llevado de nuevo al hospital después de haber sido detenido y herido por la policía y se encuentra en condición estable, de acuerdo al LAPD.

Condado de Los Ángeles

La Iniciativa Visión Cero fue adoptada en el Condado de Los Ángeles por la Junta de Supervisores el 4 de octubre, según un comunicado de prensa de la oficina de la supervisora Hilda Solís.

El propósito de la moción es disminuir el bienestar de las comunidades, reduciendo las muertes a causa de accidentes automovilísticos.

“La iniciativa se centra en facilitar la actividad peatonal, el andar en bicicleta, el uso del transporte público y la actividad física al aire libre, especialmente para la población creciente de ancianos y niños”, declara el comunicado.

El Departamento de Salud Pública, el Departamento de Obras Públicas y Servicios de Salud, el Sheriff y al Jefe de Bomberos serán responsables de informarle a la Junta dentro de 120 días sobre las posibles estrategias y acciones para implementar la Iniciativa Visión Cero.

Explore How You Can Succeed in Biotech Future at Local Summit

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Biotech industry is not limited to some “crazy scientist locked up in a room or lab,” says Martha Escutia, vice president of government relations at the University of Southern California.

There is a wide range of career options and job opportunities in the field, and USC wants to inspire Latino parents and students to begin exploring them, says Escutia, a native of East Los Angeles and former state senator.

On Saturday, in partnership with the Los Angeles Community Colleges, USC is hosting “Preparing for the Biotech Decade.” a bilingual summit aimed at demystifying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the Biotech/Bio-Med fields.

These fields offer good paying jobs in a lot of different areas, from lab technicians to marketing and communications, logistics and administrative positions, points out Escutia, noting that the USC Health Science Campus in Lincoln Heights is helping to fuel development of a strong bio-med corridor in L.A. County.

It’s important that Latino students and their parents in the city and county’s Eastside begin to think about these careers so they can start planning early, Escutia told EGP, adding that there will also be information available to adults looking to make a career change.

Student wears protective eye ware while conducting an experiment at Bravo Magnet High School. (Photo by Gus Ruelas/USC)

Student wears protective eye ware while conducting an experiment at Bravo Magnet High School. (Photo by Gus Ruelas/USC)

Saturday’s summit will be held at East LA College from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon and will include panel discussions and workshops with a variety of experts in the fields. There will also be a resource fair where people can get information on job openings, college requirements and programs, high school classes as well as re-training opportunities for adults. All of the events are free and open to the public and will be available in both English and Spanish.

If you ever dreamed of meeting a real life astronaut, this is your chance. Former astronaut, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC Ret. Carlos I. Noriega is one of two special guest speakers Saturday, the other is Dr. Dian Ramos, LA County’s Medical Director for Reproductive Medicine.

Noriega will discuss the road that led him to eventually logging more than 481 hours in space, including over 19 EVA hours in three spacewalks.

Ivan Alberto Trujillo-Priego is a PhD candidate attending USC and will be one of the panelists speaking Saturday. He told EGP he hopes his story inspires and motivates students to follow in his path.

“I don’t know why, but there is something that stops us as Latinos from getting into the science field, maybe because of the lack of resources or due to the lower incomes,” he said. “Biotechnology or science, for that matter, is not for an elite group, and not something alien. We do have the potential and the same capabilities that everyone else has to do it,” he said, referring to the lower number of Latinos in the field.

While he was born and raised in Mexico, in some ways Trujillo-Priego has benefited from the same opportunities available to his higher income non-Latino counterparts in the U.S. He comes from a family of engineers and attended private schools, and his interest in the sciences was encouraged from an early age.

Math was intuitive to him, he says, but adds he still had to work hard to qualify for the internship program at USC, which presented its own challenges due to his limited ability with the English language.

Yet, he was undeterred.

“People from Mexico are sometimes afraid to come to the US to study because we think we won’t be good enough. However, once I came here I realized that I was very well prepared and sometimes at a higher level than the other students born here,” he said.

Trujillo-Priego told EGP he wants to disprove the myths that Latinos are not cut out to be scientists. As an international student, who struggled with language barriers, he hopes to further his research on infant development, helping those suffering from motor disorders.

Even if students don’t have access to laboratories at home, as he did growing up, Trujillo-Priego says students have other resources available and he suggested they download apps – that are often free – on their smart phones, or check out videos online to strengthen their skills. He also encourages high school students or undecided undergrads to become research volunteers at collage laboratories like those at USC. Lastly, he urges families to attend the free community events in their neighborhoods to learn not only about opportunities in science but in other fields as well.

“[Parents], try to give information to your children, push them but don’t do it too much so they don’t feel obligated. Encourage them because sometimes you just need a little push to know what is possible,” Trujillo-Priego said.

It’s a view echoed in part by Escutia, who said parents’ shouldn’t be afraid that something may be too hard for their child. “We need to raise expectations,”” she said. “We can’t be afraid to encourage them to take the tougher path, to work hard, to take more challenging classes,” she told EGP, adding that parents’ need to understand that the work they put in today will pay off in the future.

“These are the jobs of the future, we have to be ready for them.”

To learn more about the summit, go online to


Aprende a Cómo Triunfar en la Industria de Biotecnología

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

La industria de la biotecnología no es solamente para los “científicos locos que se mantienen encerrados en sus laboratorios”, dijo Martha Escutia, vicepresidenta de relaciones gubernamentales de la Universidad del Sur de California (USC).

Al contrario, hay un amplio rango de disciplinas y oportunidades de trabajo en la industria, y USC quiere inspirar a los padres latinos a empezar a explorar esas opciones, dijo Escutia, originaria del Este de Los Ángeles y ex senadora estatal.

En asociación con el Colegio del Este de Los Ángeles y con los Colegios Comunitarios de Los Ángeles, USC presentará el sábado el evento “Preparándose para la Década de la Biotecnología”. El foro bilingüe será con la meta de desmitificar las materias de ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas (referidas como materias STEM) junto con los ámbitos biomédicos.

Éstas áreas de trabajo ofrecen buenos salarios con posiciones que incluyen a técnicos de laboratorios, puestos administrativos, en comunicaciones y mercadeo, y en logísticas, señaló Escutia. También agregó que el Campus de Salud y Ciencia de USC, en Lincoln Heights, está ayudando a desarrollar un corredor de biomedicina en el Condado de Los Ángeles.

Es importante que los estudiantes latinos, junto con sus padres, empiecen a considerar estas carreras y a planear para ellas tempranamente, dijo Escutia a EGP. Para aquellos adultos que estén interesados en un cambio de profesión, el evento también proveerá información relevante, agregó Escutia.

El evento tomará lugar en el Colegio del Este de Los Ángeles y empezará a las 8:30 y durará hasta medio día. Incluirá paneles de discusión y talleres con varios expertos de la industria. Una feria de recursos también ofrecerá información acerca de oportunidades de trabajo, requisitos para aplicar a programas y a universidades, cursos de secundaria relacionados al igual que opciones de reentrenamiento para adultos. Todos los eventos serán gratuitos y bilingües y están abiertos al público

Además, si en algún momento ha soñado en conocer a un astronauta en persona, también tendrá la oportunidad de hacerlo, ya que el ex astronauta de la NASA y ahora teniente coronel, USMC Ret. Carlos I Noriega, será uno de los oradores principales. Noriega hablará acerca de su trayectoria que lo llevo a estar más de 481 horas en el espacio.

La Dra. Diana Ramos, directora del Centro Médico del Condado de Los Ángeles para Medicina Reproductiva también participará junto con Gabriela Teissier, anfitriona del show de Univisión, “A Primera Hora”.

Iván Alberto Trujillo-Priego, nacido en México y estudiante de doctorado en USC, también será uno de los panelistas el sábado. Él le dijo a EGP que espera que su experiencia inspire y motive a los estudiantes a seguir un camino similar al de él.

“No se por qué pero hay algo que nos impide a los latinos a alcanzar puestos en la industria de las ciencias. Tal vez es por la escasez de recursos en la comunidad o por los bajos recursos que esto suceda”, dijo él. “La biotecnología o la ciencia no es para un grupo de elite solamente y no es algo extraño. Tenemos el potencial y las mismas capacidades que todos los demás para hacerlo”, agregó.

Aunque para Trujillo-Priego la matemática siempre fue intuitiva, él se dedicó a su estudios y trabajó fuerte para poder calificar para el programa ofrecido en USC.

El crecer en México, descendiente de una familia de ingenieros le dio acceso a una educación privada pero al igual le brindo desafíos en el inglés. Sin embargo, esto no lo desanimó.

“La gente en México a veces tiene miedo de venir a los Estados Unidos para estudiar porque se sienten intimidados y a veces pensamos que no somos lo suficientemente buenos. Pero cuando llegué me di cuenta de que estaba muy bien preparado, incluso, en algunas materias superaba a los que habían nacido aquí”, dijo.

Trujillo-Priego le dijo a EGP que quiere refutar el mito que los latinos no están hechos para ser científicos. Como estudiante internacional, quien superó barreras lingüísticas, el espera continuar sus investigaciones en desarrollo infantil, ayudando a los que sufren con trastornos motores.

Aunque los estudiantes no tengan acceso a laboratorios en casa, como Trujillo-Priego tuvo durante su infancia, él les aconseja a que aprovechen de otros recursos que los avances tecnológicos ahora ofrecen. Él sugirió descargar aplicaciones, que frecuentemente son gratis o con bajos costos, en los teléfonos o ver videos en el Internet que ofrecen ayuda para desarrollar y fortalecer las habilidades en las matemáticas y la ciencia.

Para los estudiantes en las escuelas secundarias o en los colegios, él les aconseja que se conviertan en voluntarios de investigación en laboratorios universitarios como en USC para exponerse al ambiente y descubrir si les interesa. Por último, también urge a los padres a que asistan a todos los eventos comunitarios posibles para aprender acerca de diferentes oportunidades, no solo en la industria de la biotecnología sino en muchas más.

“[Padres], traten de compartir la información con sus hijos y empújenlos, pero no mucho, para no hacerlos sentir obligados. Motívenlos porque a veces todo lo que una persona necesita es un pequeño empujón para descubrir lo que es posible”, dijo Trujillo-Priego.

Este mensaje es resonado en parte por Escutia al igual, quien dijo que los padres no tienen por qué tener miedo de que algo puede ser muy difícil para sus hijos.

“Necesitamos elevar nuestras expectativas y no podemos tener miedo de motivarlos a seguir un camino más difícil, a trabajar duro y en tomar cursos más complejss”, le dijo a EGP, agregando que los padres necesitan entender que la energía que inviertan les dará una gran recompensa al terminar.

“Estos son los trabajos del futuro y necesitamos estar listos para ellos”.

Para aprender más acerca del evento, visite la pagina web

Nightingale Students On the Road to USC

September 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Students at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park could get a full-ride scholarship to the University of Southern California if they successfully complete a 7-year program aimed at getting them to college. The program includes mandatory Saturday classes for both students and parents.

It’s part of USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) expansion to East/Northeast Los Angeles this school year through a new partnership with Lincoln and Wilson High Schools as well as Nightingale.

Lea este artículo en Español: Estudiantes de Nightingale Podrían Estudiar en USC Gratuitamente

The goal is to create a college-going culture for the school’s predominately Latino students, many who would be the first in their families to attend college. It requires sustained commitment from students and parents must also agree to complete the part of the program directed at them. The benefits and payoff, however, could be life changing.

For many students and parents, the high cost to attend college or a university can be intimidating, and with good reason. The estimated cost to attend USC this year is about $67,212, an amount unfathomable to many, such as the 92% of students classified in Nightingale’s School Accountability Report Card Report as “socioeconomically disadvantaged.” Add in the fact that many of the students are immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants, English Learners, living in an area with a long history of crime and gang violence, and it’s not hard to understand why the idea of attending a top-notch private university like USC could seem out of reach.

NAL Students on the last day of their Jaime Escalante Algebra course at Nightingale Middle School in July 2016. (Courtesy of LAUSD)

NAL Students on the last day of their Jaime Escalante Algebra course at Nightingale Middle School in July 2016. (Courtesy of LAUSD)

But through NAI, students could receive financial assistance amounting to $302,454 over 4.5 years, and more importantly, the academic tools they’ll need to get in and compete once there.

The academic assistance alone can make a big difference for Latino students in light of a number of recent studies which found that many inner-city students are unable to keep up academically with their peers in college and require remedial classes to get them through.

At Nightingale, for example, Latino students had the lowest overall proficiency in English Language skills, 45% compared 72% among Asian students, according to the school report card.

Through NAI, students at partnership schools will receive after school tutoring to help them achieve parity with students in more affluent areas of the state, says Kim Thomas-Barrios, executive director for the USC Educational Partnerships.

Rafael Gaeta, Nightingale’s principal, hopes the program will also keep enrollment at Nightingale from continuing to decline. He told EGP it’s one of the reasons he decided to reach out to USC.

“We’ve been losing a lot of enrollment to Charters and needed to be innovative in bringing in more kids,” Gaeta said. “At first I was denied, but I kept in contact with them and now it’s happened,” he said referring to the school’s partnership with NAI.

Currently, NAI serves about 1,000 students in 6th-12th grade and a little over 300 students in college, according to Thomas-Barrios.

“We don’t want students only to get into college,” but to also support students “throughout college so they don’t fall through the cracks,” Thomas-Barrios said.

The program is composed of three sections, the USC Pre-College Enrichment Academy, the Family Development Institute and the Retention Program, explains Thomas-Barrios.

The 7-year, Pre-College section requires participants to attend classes outside their regular Monday through Friday curriculum schedule. Held on 21 Saturdays during the academic year, each class lasts about five hours. Parents are required to attend nine, four-hour Saturday sessions a year.

Once students reach high school they can either continue in the program or drop out. If they elect to stay in, from 9th through 12th grade their first and second period classes will be on the USC campus, with the remainder of the day at their particular high school.

“They travel to the USC campus in the morning to dispel the notion that they do not belong in college, because they do,” explains Thomas-Barrios about why students don’t just stay at their local school.

For the parents, the Family Development Institute gives them a space to learn about the process of getting their children into college and their corresponding needs, in both English and Spanish.

“The fact that they can get a free ride to one of the most prestigious schools in the country is amazing because the cost of college is getting very expensive for the parents in our community,” Gaeta told EGP. Students who complete the program are not required to attend USC, but the scholarship is not transferable to another university.


NAL Students on a field trip at the Getty Center in 2016. (Courtesy of LAUSD)

It needs to be pointed out, however, that participation alone does not guarantee admission to USC. Students must also meet certain academic and financial benchmarks, but according to Thomas-Barrios, the program’s staff is well equipped to guide them toward meeting USC’s competitive standards. Once accepted, students must also apply to FAFSA to prove they are still low-income.

Response to the program exceeded the expectations of Nightingale staff, Gaeta said, noting that applications were gone as soon as they became available.

To qualify, students must reside near Nightingale and move on to Lincoln or Wilson High with a minimum of a C+ grade point average.

According to Gaeta, the school is also working on creating a college-going environment that goes beyond NAI, such as adding new electives to capture the attention of students who might begin to get distracted.

“We need to reach those children, stop being status quo and think outside the box,” Gaeta said.

Saturday classes for the 34 sixth graders selected at Nightingale for this year will begin September 17th at the USC Health Science Campus in Lincoln Heights.


USC Urges Fans to Comply with New Tailgating Rules

September 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With the first home game coming this week, USC officials are urging fans to comply with new security rules at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

All patrons will be subject to new metal detector screening, said USC sports information director Tim Tessalone.

Bags that are carried into the stadium must have clear plastic sides and be no larger than 6 inches wide, 6 inches deep and 12 inches long, USC officials said.

Or, fans can carry in whatever fits inside a 1-gallon resealable food bag. People may also carry a small clutch purse, about the size of a human hand, with or without a strap. Bags containing medical devices are exempt but are subject to search.

Blankets and seat cushions are still OK, the school said.

Some security fences and gates have been moved, and construction of the new soccer stadium southeast of the Coliseum means the loss of some tailgating space. Gates 4, 16 and 19 are in different places now, Tessalone said.

The school is asking fans to consolidate their parties to make room for everyone.

USC is coming off a 52-6 drubbing at the hands of No. 1 Alabama, and hosts Utah State at 11 a.m. Saturday.


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