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The ABCs of JEP


Illustrations by Letty Avila for USC Dornsife Magazine.

Conflict is the beginning of consciousness. That was Barbara Seaver Gardner’s take when surrounding neighbors perceived USC as an ivory tower. Reaching out, she founded USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project in 1972. Her service-learning program in neighborhood schools has fundamentally changed relations with the surrounding community while empowering youth and USC students.

USC Dornsife alumna Jazmin Vidana is among more than 70,000 USC students who have collectively contributed a million hours of service. Vidana remembered making flashcards for a kindergartener who could not grasp the days of the week.

So she drew Joel hopscotch squares marked with the days of week. Finally, on the semester’s last day, an excited Joel, his hair spiked up with gel, came running toward Vidana.

“I knew today was Friday,” Joel confidently said. “So I asked my mom to spike up my hair for you.”

Heartfelt anecdotes are one way to convey the effects of JEP. But here’s a variety of JEP’s programs and people — from A to Z.

Read more stories from USC Dornsife Magazine's Spring-Summer 2014 issue