Profile picture and text: 50 FOR 50 STORIES: Story #47: Elex MichaelsonStory #47: Elex Michaelson

Before he was co-anchor at Fox 11 Los Angeles, Elex Michaelson was a tutor at JEP.

During his sophomore year, he taught an eight week class on earthquakes at St. Raphael school as a part of his geology class.

“The kids we taught personified kindness, gratitude, and I can still see their smiling faces to this day,” said Michaelson.

A double-major in journalism and political science at USC, Michaelson says that his time at JEP allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of the social and political issues he studied in the classroom.

“The kids gave us a fresh perspective on this community and made us realize that many of the issues that are often stereotyped in conversation are actually way more nuanced.” said Michaelson.

Through his work as a news anchor and a political talk show host, Michaelson notices that many people today live in echo chambers and don’t know people with different perspectives or backgrounds. He’s grateful that JEP forces students to do the opposite.

“[JEP] gets people out of their comfort zones, it gets them to communities they may have never ever visited on their own.” said Michaelson. “It prompts conversation that makes us all realize that there’s a lot more that unites us than divides us.”

Overall, Michaelson is proud to be an alum of JEP because of how they have helped the university build relationships with the surrounding communities. During his time at USC, the school was known as the “University of Spoiled Children.” Now, he thinks a more apt title would be “University of Serving the Community.”

Despite graduating and leaving the JEP program, Michaelson is still very much involved with the JEP family. Just recently, he came back to campus to emcee our 50th anniversary gala at Town and Gown.

He has continued his community outreach by volunteering with several non-profits, such as the ALS Golden West Association, the Drew Child Development Corporation and the Boys and Girls Clubs.