Online Ceremony

Since an in person gathering was not possible in 2021, we chose to celebrate all of our awardees with an online ceremony.

2021 Community Service Awardees

Read all of our awardees’ acceptance speeches and words of thanks below:

  • EFGF Logo and Ella Fitzgerald PictureOne of the first places we started working at was at USC. We are beyond grateful for all of our Trojan friends – for everything you do to make LA and the world a better place. So enjoy all those items, listen to a lot of Ella’s music, and as Ella would say – Sing On!

  • Portraits of Lauren and TaniaLauren is pictured on the left, Tania is pictured on the right

    From Tania: I am honored and grateful to receive the Grace Ford Salvatori Community Service Award. I truly appreciate the assistance I will be receiving to continue to serve my communities through education, and it is wonderful to see the resources that the Grace Ford Salvatori Community Service Award is contributing towards this. It makes me proud to be a part of this community at USC. Once again, I am deeply thankful for this award!

    From Lauren: Thank you very much to the Grace Ford Salvatori Foundation and everyone at JEP that made this opportunity possible. I believe the motivation for service should never be about recognition, but instead seen as an opportunity for compassion and personal growth. Some of my favorite experiences throughout the last few years have been from service opportinunities. I have learned so much about my community and myself through service, and I feel incredibly honored to be recognized by such an incredible foundation for the service. I look forward to continuing to give back to my community and would like to express my sincere appreciation for the award.


  • I want to say thank you to the Desiree Benson Work-Study Grant Committee for awarding me this scholarship. I am immensely grateful and humbled to receive this award. I also want to thank my recommenders Alma Sanchez and Anne Hawthorne of Kid City Hope Place. If it was not for your guidance, along with my mentor Marie Daniel’s support, I would not have been able to have won this year’s scholarship as well as last year’s. I am blessed to have so many lovely people in my life. Thank you 🙂

  • Portrait of Daniela CruzThank you to the Joint Educational Project for housing so many programs that cater to the community surrounding USC. When I was in high school, I received writing support from students at JEP and I thought “when I’m in college, I’d like to help other students too”. I think these programs help bridge gaps between the community and USC students. The programs that I was a part of through JEP helped me fulfill my goal of giving back to the community that saw me grow up. I am especially grateful to ReadersPLUS for being my home for four years. Thank you, Tina, for being such a great and caring supervisor, you’ve set really high bars! I appreciate our tutors, literacy and math directors as well as the other coordinators and assistants for making this a very fun and fulfilling experience. The work that we do helps students like me achieve their goals and dreams, and I am thankful to have been a part of this team.

  • Portrait of Divana OlivasFirstly, thank you to the Joint Educational Project for recognizing me with the Dick Cone Graduate Engaged Scholarship Award. I am honored to receive the award and to join a group of dedicated people that prioritize service-learning in spaces of higher education, and who find creative ways to integrate their academic learning with hands-on service. This practice was first introduced to me as an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico in the Chicanx Studies program, where it was instilled in me that the value of higher education stems from its direct application in service of others, working to solve the complex and painful issues our communities face. My research as a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies and Ethnicity evolved from my experiences working with community organizations like the SouthWest Organizing Project, where I first learned about food justice and the movement of people behind it. Since living in Los Angeles, I’ve deepened my understanding of food movements through experience working with incredible leaders at the Los Angeles Food Policy Council as a food policy intern, and curriculum consultant. Now, 5 years after moving from Albuquerque, New Mexico I am able to work remotely with a local non-profit organization called Three Sisters Kitchen. I am working with a team to launch the Shifting Narratives Around the Table project, a shared media campaign with 5 Albuquerque-based organizations, to co-create food stories that shift narratives about poverty in New Mexico. II am grateful to the people and experiences that have shaped my work and overwhelmed with love and appreciation for my community. For me, the process of building knowledge alongside community members, that clarifies how power works so as to better wield it, is life-long. I will continue to sharpen my skills in the service of others so as to build more equitable, liberated, and joyful communities.

  • Frank ManisMany thanks for honoring me with the JEP Award for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research. It’s been my pleasure to work with JEP these past many years in training students to be more effective literacy interventionists in the community.

  • A photo of the USC FinAid TeamIt is our honor to accept this award. This award is particularly meaningful as it recognizes the spirit of service embodied in the work that all of us do. We’re both amazed and encouraged by all that JEP has been able to accomplish despite the pandemic and providing service to students remotely. I look forward to our continuing collaboration to serve students and continuing to see the impact of our efforts in the lives of so many children in our communities. Thank you and Fight On!

  • Portrait of CeciliaThank you, to all the amazing tutors, to the coordinators, to my central staff team for being the highlight of my days, to the JEP office staff for welcoming me into this funky house, my friends, family who supported me, and of course, to the heart of my service–the children and the community for allowing me to crash into your home and be a part of it. It’s an absolute honor to accept JEP’s Extraordinary Service award and to have served and learned from South Central LA.