As longtime residents of University Park, members of the Lopez family consider USC a great asset to the neighborhood.
But they also can talk about how the university has enhanced their lives in very personal and positive ways.
Tram driver Jaime Ruben Lopez, the family patriarch, has worked for USC’s Transportation Services for 27 years. But other members are also part of the Trojan family.
His wife, Guadalupe, is a community parent representative at the 32nd Street/USC Magnet School, where she is also a USC Family of Schools facilitator. In this role, she helps provide direct services to students through USC’s many community outreach programs.
In addition, Lopez children have attended the USC School for Early Childhood Education, participated in programs offered by the USC Educational Opportunity Programs Center and attended schools that make up the USC Family of Schools.
“Working for USC,” said Lopez, “has offered my family economic stability through my income, networking advantages through meeting USC faculty and staff and the opportunity to offer my children a quality education at a major institute of higher learning.”
The couple views their family’s close relationship with USC as a way of motivating their children to attend college. That’s why they’re taking advantage of an important benefit offered to USC staff ? tuition remission.
Through this program, USC employees can send their children to USC tuition-free. The only caveat: The student must qualify for admission.
And because he has worked for the university longer than 15 years, his children can still take advantage of this program, should he leave or retire.
“We are a hard-working family,” said Lopez.
“However, we do not count on ample capital to send our kids to private institutions that cost $30,000. Therefore, tuition remission is a heaven-sent program that allows us to send our kids to USC, regardless of our economic situation,” he said.
The family’s eldest son Juan has taken advantage of the tuition program. Pursuing a double major in sociology and Spanish, Juan graduated in May and plans to study law at USC.
“Juan has definitely received a quality education, which will allow him to have an edge when he begins to compete in the working world,” said Lopez.
“Obviously this institution’s reputation and prestige will increase his chances of being hired by the companies or firms of his choice.”