Russell L. Caldwell Neighborhood Scholarship

USC Russell L. Caldwell Neighborhood Scholarship Program


April 26, 2022

Briana Chavez Ramos: Briana is a Political Science major on the pre-law track. Her activitiesat USC have included volunteering with JEP as a mentor for children who live in shelters, feeding the homeless population in Los Angeles through Share-A-Meal, and mentoring 3rd  12th grade students in the student-run organization Troy Camp. She works at the USC Ticket Office as well as at USC Transportation. In the Fall semester of 2019, Briana interned at Parent Revolution, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting parents of students attending LAUSD schools. Briana is involved in Greek life at USC as well – she is a sister of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc., a sorority within the Multicultural Greek Council, in which she has leadership roles and is a member of Phi Alpha Delta, a co-ed fraternity dedicated to guiding pre-law students through their years at USC. This past year she has been working as a legal assistant at Miranda Rights Law Firm, criminal defense attorneys. After graduation this May, Briana plans on taking a year off to live in Spain and work as a teacher’s assistant in tutoring children in English and hopes to attend law school in Fall 2023.


Nicholas Isai Lopez: Nicholas is graduating this spring with a major in Psychology and a minor in Data Science. He enjoys reading books and comics, drawing cartoons, and learning different subjects and skills on LinkedIn Learning. In his time at USC he has focused on his personal development and has made the Dean’s List multiple semesters as he maintains a 3.8 grade point average. Extracurricular activities include involvement in the USC Shepherds Club, Share-A-Meal, and as a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. He highly values helping others as he has been active in USC’s I AM Mentoring Program and also assists students through USC’s First-Generation Mentor program. In summer 2021 he was a Gateway Advising Intern and this year he is an Administrative Intern in the USC Dornsife Office of Advising. After graduation Nicholas hopes to work tutoring and mentoring students in a program such as City Year AmeriCorps or USC’s College Advising Corps, which will give him experience in working as a student counselor. He eventually aspires to attend graduate school, focusing on higher education, as he would like to become an educational counselor.


April 26, 2022

Keyron Colvin: Keyron found his way to USC from Manual Arts Senior High School where he maintained a four-year 4.0 GPA, was president of the Magnet Senate leadership club, a member of the Robotics Club, College Ambassadors and Manual Arts Beyond Borders that taught empowerment strategies to underserved and immigrant communities. He also played in the Manual Arts Band. Keyron amassed 40 units of college credit via the community college Upward Bound program, he has volunteered to feed Santa Monica’s homeless and has interests in writing poetry and gaming. Keyron is a Computer Science major. Last summer Keyron continued an internship with a company called Launchmaps, which aims to be a competitor to the likes of Linkedin. He also studies Chinese language at USC. 


Jada Salazar: Jada is majoring in Business Administration in USC’s Marshall School, and as part of Marshall’s Honors Program she will graduate with a distinctive degree in Marketing. She is also minoring in Law and Psychology. As the first black female president of Marshall’s Business Student Government, she was able to drastically change recruitment practices and diversified the programs and resources offered to all Marshall students regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, transfer status, etc. She has participated in the Coury Leadership Program and she serves as a College Board AP Council member advocating for students and their need for equitable resources. In February of last year, as part of the celebration of Black History Month, the USC Emeriti Center and the University Club sponsored a moderated conversation, “USC Black Women Leaders: An Intergenerational Conversation.” Jada participated, representing her generation of current undergraduate students. Last summer she worked at Medcomps Corporation as an Administrative Assistant Intern, a consulting firm that creates innovative services in the tech industry. She is a member of the GIS, a risk management society on campus and this summer will be interning at Marsh, a risk management firm in Los Angeles. Her life goal is to create a non-profit organization for foster youth, like herself, to thrive in. Through her training in Business Management, she is motivated to learn, grow and excel in the business and legal industry.


April 26, 2022

Michael Hernandez Garcia: Is completing his sophomore year at USC as a Mechanical Engineering major in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. During all four-years of high school he was involved in the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Program ( MESA), solving engineering challenges and participating in competitions with other schools. He also was involved with the USC Upward Bound Math and Science Program (UBMS). Michael Hernandez Garcia graduated from Los Angeles Senior High School as Salutatorian for the Class of 2020. He was an honor roll student for all four years of high school. Throughout his time at LA High School, he was actively involved in various clubs and organizations such as Bible, Financial Literacy, Dance, and Arc Leadership Clubs. Garcia was also actively involved in various sports such as Soccer, Students Run LA, Track & Field, and Cross Country. Garcia was awarded the Scholar Athlete Award, the Track and Field Highest GPA Award, and the Principal’s High Honors Award.


Kevin Gomez: Kevin Gomez is a current sophomore studying Public Policy, minoring in both Social Work and Juvenile Justice; and Law and Migration Studies. His dedication to community service was amplified by his active role in the Boyle Heights Youth Festival. Last summer, he was selected as an intern for the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, working under the City Deputy Attorney in the Administrative Citation Enforcement Unit. The internship excited him as it provided a great opportunity and experience for his desire to work in public policy and public service. In school, Kevin is part of the USC Trojan Marching Band, where he plays in the Drumline and has traveled to cities like Chicago for football games. He is also part of the First-Generation Student Leaders Program, an organization designed to support first-generation students on campus and guide them through their academic journey. In the program, Kevin serves as the Mentorship Lead where he is responsible for managing the First-Generation Mentorship Program. He is currently applying to be an intern for Congressmen Jimmy Gomez and County Board of Supervisor Hilda Solis. He hopes to work on social issues like immigration and social welfare.


April 26, 2022

Raul Torres, Jr.: Raul graduated from Huntington Park High School with honors from the Superintendent’s and Principal’s High Honor Rolls with perfect attendance. He was an active member his school’s Key Club International and one year was a representative for the Academic Decathlon team where he was given a second-place award for the Interview Session. For the past 5 years he has been involved with C5 Youth Foundation of Southern California (C5LA), a leadership program that helped him tremendously through hardships and reaching his goal of higher education. He considers C5LA his second family and plans to continue to be part of this organization in the future. Raul’s older brother works on electronics and mechanical systems to build robots. Inspired by his brother, he decided to major in Mechanical Engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Outside of academics, Raul has a great passion for sports and in high school he was on the soccer and tennis teams. He spends a great deal of time playing video games, going on long runs, and exploring the great city of Los Angeles where he states, “there is always something new to find.” 


Jose Zarate Diaz: Jose M Zarate Diaz graduated from Foshay Learning Center as Salutatorian of the Class of 2021. He was part of the Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) at USC, from middle school through high school, and received a high honor roll every year. He continues his relationship with NAI in working for the organization’s Saturday Academy as a Health and Science Teacher’s Assistant. His own high school involvement with NAI’s Health and Science Academy, motivated him to volunteer at Kaiser Permanente and take college classes at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) in Health Occupations and Careers. This inspired him to pursue a major in the health field: Biomedical Engineering at USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He is a member of the USC Human Biology Association and Star Wars clubs. This year he has participated in mock interviews with upperclassmen in developing his confidence in conversational skills with others. This semester he is especially engaged with his Biomedical Engineering class, though challenging, he enjoys learning about MATLAB and how calculations apply to world technicalities. He has a continued in interest in film and photography by taking pictures and videos during school breaks. He also dedicates time to his hobbies of art and music. Currently he is reaching out to several professors for a summer internship.

Giving Tuesday

November 29, 2021

On this Giving Tuesday, please consider making a gift to the Russell L. Caldwell Neighborhood Scholarship. Conceived by the late Professor Russell Caldwell in the mid-1960s, this scholarship supports and encourages students from the USC campus neighborhood while they are students at USC. Caldwell scholars are genuinely inspiring young people, high academic achievers who regularly reach back and commit themselves to USC’s many community engagements such as tutoring local middle and high school students. 

To learn more about our scholars, please visit:  2020-2021-caldwell-neighborhood-scholars.