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USC Neighborhood Outreach awards funds to local programs

Community organizations in the area surrounding the Health Sciences Campus and their university partners were recognized at the USC Neighborhood Outreach (UNO) Grant Awards ceremony on June 9.

The event, held in the Edmondson Faculty Center, announced the recipients of grants ranging in size from $7,000 to nearly $35,000 that were funded by the annual USC Good Neighbors fundraising campaign.

“The UNO program was created to allow university staff and faculty an opportunity to channel funds back into the community through an organization with absolutely no overhead,” said John Wolcott, senior computer consultant specialist for the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. “Every penny donated to UNO goes directly back into the community.”

Wolcott is a board member of USC Neighborhood Outreach and served as the ceremony’s emcee.

Receiving prime recognition at the ceremony were those programs identified as “signature programs.” These established—three years of activity or more—programs met additional criteria that marked them as exceptional, and have received guaranteed funding for three consecutive years.

Two programs in the HSC area received “signature” status: USC Health & Science Expo 2010, which received $14,167, and the USC Thornton Outreach Program, a service of the USC Thornton School of Music that is active at Murchison Elementary School and was funded in the amount of $34,880.

“It is impressive that, despite current economic conditions, USC faculty and staff contribute to UNO and the wonderful programs highlighted here,” said Celina Mancia, field deputy for City of Los Angeles Councilmember José Huizar.

“All of these programs have significant impact on the lives of families in Boyle Heights,” she added.

Other programs to receive grants from UNO include:

“Expanding STARS,” an educational program sponsored by the USC School of Pharmacy—$13,613

“A Fotonovela on Obesity,” a project of the USC School of Pharmacy—$30,600

“Fuente Initiative,” a program of the USC School of Pharmacy—$7,421

“HSC Community Health Fair 2009,” an event organized by USC Civic & Community Relations—$14,363

“HSC PartnerNews Newspaper,” a program of USC Civic & Community Relations—$19,016

“Mission Science-HSC,” a project of the Viterbi School of Engineering—$18,842

“Proyecto Verde,” a new program sponsored by the Keck School of Medicine—$12,105

“Science for Life Outreach Program,” a program of the Keck School—$11,950

“USC Neighborhood Mobile Dental Van Prevention Project,” a project of the USC School of Dentistry—$32,818

“USC Physical Therapy Fit Families Program,” sponsored by the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy—$19,050

The UNO grants have helped sustain and grow community outreach programs that might otherwise have fallen victim to the worsening economy.

“With all the recent funding cuts, I decided to apply for supplemental funding to 42 different foundations—and was rejected by every one,” said Jennifer Holtzman, assistant professor of clinical dentistry and project leader of the USC Neighborhood Mobile Dental Van Prevention Project, which provides access to oral health care to underprivileged children. “Without this funding from USC Neighborhood Outreach, these kids would not have any access to dental care.”

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