Profile picture and text: 50 FOR 50 STORIES: Story #48: Sharon BlountStory #48: Sharon Blount

In 2015, Sharon Blount returned to USC after a thirty-year absence to complete her undergraduate degree. Graduating from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2016, Blount earned her B.A. in Broadcast and Digital Journalism.

It was during this time that Blount also first became acquainted with JEP. She saw an ad in the Daily Trojan for an assistant office manager and decided to apply. Little did she know that she just found her new home on campus.

“I really enjoyed what I was doing here at JEP and I enjoyed what JEP represents to the USC community, our students, and to all of our partners. And I just thought, ‘this is great.’” said Blount.

After graduating from USC, Blount was offered the full-time position as office manager at JEP. Her answer was a resounding yes.

“I love the interaction with students,  I love talking to the students about their experiences in the community, within the schools and how they’re able to manage the students and interact with the students and just have that engagement.” added Blount. “Of course, working with the USC students here is awesome. The staff, the full time staff is amazing as well.”

In particular, Blount has enjoyed looking back at the history of JEP during our 50th anniversary celebrations this year. She says she is proud of JEP’s mission and what it stands for, and describes the program as a “well-oiled machine” that consistently does good work in the community.

In the next 50 years, Blount is confident that JEP will continue to evolve with the needs of our students and our community.

“[JEP] is a living entity and it conforms to what the needs of the community and the students are in a very essential way. I think JEP is relevant and will always be that.” said Blount.

Most of all, Blount is grateful to JEP for taking her on a trajectory in her career where she can engage in community service. Coming back to college after being a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, Blount was unsure of what to expect and where her degree would take her. Luckily, it brought her to JEP.

“Working here at JEP has just been a delight. I never expected this season of my life to be so full of fresh, young energy with the students…It’s been wonderful having students in my life again along with the staff. It’s been a nice full bouquet of a JEP experience for me.” added Blount.

In addition to her work as Office Manager, Blount also serves on the USC Black History Month Committee, where she works to empower Black students at USC and beyond.

Describing Blount, JEP Communications Director Kathrin Rising says the following: “I cannot image JEP without Sharon, because coming into the house and being greeted by someone who always has a positive demeanor and always knows exactly the right thing to say no matter what mood you come into the house with makes JEP feel more like home to me.”