JEP Receives Presidential Medallion: Celebrating Service, Access, and Commitment

by Kathrin Rising

The JEP Team, students, faculty, teachers, and community members posing with the presidential medallion.

JEP was grateful to be able to attend the Academic Honors Convocation with staff members, students, community members, and partnering faculty.

We are excited to share the wonderful news that the USC Joint Educational Project (JEP) has been honored with the prestigious Presidential Medallion this past semester. This esteemed recognition highlights the exceptional work of JEP in fostering service, creating opportunities, and promoting community engagement. It is a celebration of the collective efforts of our dedicated staff, students, faculty, community partners, and teachers who have made JEP what it is today. We humbly express our gratitude to all who have contributed to our mission and made this achievement possible. 

Attending the esteemed Academic Honors Convocation, we were also privileged to witness the recognition of outstanding individuals within the JEP family. Kelly Nguyen, Blanca Ramirez, and Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati were among those honored for their remarkable achievements. Their accomplishments serve as a testament to the exceptional individuals who contribute to the JEP community and inspire us all to strive for excellence.

As part of her remarks about JEP, USC President Carol Folt delivered an inspiring speech emphasizing the vital role of community engagement and service in shaping the university’s mission. Her words resonated deeply with our commitment to providing transformative experiences for students and fostering positive social change. Additionally, JEP was honored to have been mentioned in the speech of our co-awardee, Rick Caruso, a prominent philanthropist and USC trustee.

“Not only has [JEP] changed the lives of students, faculty, and other Trojans who are participating in this program” he emphasized, “the changes in the community for the children, schools, and community programs are amazing.”

His heartfelt remarks highlighted the powerful contributions of JEP in creating a positive and lasting difference in the lives of students, community members, and society as a whole.

One of the reasons President Folt mentioned for awarding JEP the presidential medallion is JEP’s continued commitment to progress and meeting new evolving needs when they come up. President Folt mentioned the establishment of the Tammara Seabrook Anderson Spirit of Service Award last November as one example. Since its inception, the Spirit of Service Award has played a pivotal role in providing funding and support for students participating in JEP’s global service-learning summer program in partnership with Thematic Option and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This transformative program has not only broadened students’ horizons but also empowered them to address global challenges and cultivate a sense of global citizenship. This upcoming fall, the Spirit of Service Award will furthermore start to enable students of all financial background to participate in JEP’s volunteer programs that happen throughout the academic year. 

Looking forward, JEP remains steadfast in its commitment to creating inclusive and meaningful service opportunities. We are deeply grateful for the Presidential Medallion, as it serves as a powerful reminder of our collective efforts and the importance of service in shaping our society.

As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who have supported JEP’s mission throughout the years. It is through the dedication and contributions of our staff, students, faculty, community partners, and teachers that we have been able to make a significant and lasting impact. We recognize that this achievement is not an individual accomplishment but a shared success. Together, we will continue to inspire future leaders, engage with our community, and work towards a more equitable and compassionate society.

To read more articles that were featured in the Spring 2023 Edition of “What’s new at the JEP House?” please click here: What’s new at the JEP House? – 2023 Spring Edition