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USC student-athletes’ volunteer work wins national Community Service Award

Top honor from athletic directors group and Fiesta Bowl goes to Trojan Outreach, through which 650 student-athletes gave more than 5,000 hours of service to the L.A. community

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday announced USC as the winner of the 2018 Community Service Award. USC was chosen from a pool of three finalists and received the award for its Trojan Outreach program.

“USC’s Trojan Outreach program stood out among an impressive field of applicants for its impact in assisting youth in their community, which aligns with the Fiesta Bowl’s commitment to serve youth in Arizona,” Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy said.

“USC’s Trojan Outreach program epitomizes the true meaning of student-athletes,” NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione said. “The ways in which these individuals have given back to the Los Angeles community are inspiring. They take the utmost pride in representing their institution in a positive way both on and off the field of competition.”

USC community outreach: 650 student-athletes, 5,000 hours

For the 2017-18 academic year alone, 650 USC student-athletes completed more than 5,000 hours of service to a myriad of causes. All 21 varsity sports participated in Trojan Outreach through a signature event, a SCORE (Serving Community through Outreach, Recreation and Education) project or both.

Because of the challenges facing the youth of Los Angeles, Trojan Outreach has been able to find unique angles to serve. In the area of homelessness alone, Trojan Outreach has successfully completed over 1,000 hours in the past year.

“What an honor for USC Athletics to receive this outstanding recognition from NACDA and the Fiesta Bowl,” USC athletic director Lynn Swann said.

‘True spirit of service’

“There is a true spirit of service across USC’s campus to help the community in which we live. We share this award with the entire USC community of students, faculty, alumni and friends whose passionate investment in our surrounding communities is a hallmark trait of our university.”

The award was designed to recognize NACDA member institutions in Division I, honoring exceptional athletics departments that make volunteerism and community service a way of life. A five-person committee consisting of athletics directors across the country and representatives from the Fiesta Bowl and NACDA aided in selecting USC as this year’s award winner. The other finalists were Providence College in Providence, R.I., and Towson University in Towson, Md.

USC will receive a trophy for permanent display and $10,000 for its chosen charity. The award will be presented this fall at an on-campus event hosted by USC.


An extended version of this story appears on the USC Athletics website.

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