One of my favorite things about USC is the fact that it is incredibly focused on community involvement. I am part of an organization on campus called Troy Camp. Troy Camp was founded in 1948 and is USC’s official philanthropy. As a member of Troy Camp, I was a counselor for a group of eight fifth grade girls during a week of summer camp in May, I now formally mentor those eight girls for the entirety of this academic year, and I will continue to do so informally for the rest of my time at USC and in my post-college career. Through Troy Camp I also teach dance to third, fourth, and fifth graders once a week at an LAUSD elementary school, I am part of the Leaders in Training program that mentors seventh and eight grade students, and I work with a group of eleventh and twelfth graders, all of whom went to camp with our program when they were in elementary school.
Troy Camp is a very unique organization in that students in the neighborhood have the potential to be involved in our program for up to nine years of their lives. Allowing kids to think about the possibility of attending a university, tutoring after school, providing artistic and athletic after-school programs that school budgets don’t allow for, helping kids through sometimes devastating family issues, preventing kids from getting involved in things that will negatively impact their futures, helping high schoolers with their college applications, and instilling the values of trust, having dreams, friendship, respect, honesty, determination, and a strong sense of self are only some of the things we do as Troy Camp counselors.
There are several other programs and organizations that allow USC students to get involved in the community in a myriad of ways. I cannot express how grateful and happy I am that I found the organization that is right for me. After only three semesters of being in Troy Camp, I have learned, grown, and made a difference in a capacity greater than I ever believed I was capable of.