This program was initiated by the late Professor Russell Caldwell, a former RFA president, who resided in the neighborhood surrounding the USC campus. The program was designed to strengthen USC’s community relations by offering scholarships to deserving students from nearby high schools. The RFA became the sponsor of this program after Professor Caldwell’s death in 1979.
The program offers limited (but growing) financial support for Caldwell Scholars. If you would like to help build scholarship funds for our scholars, please go to: https://ignite.usc.edu/project/2036
The RFA offers a supportive community for these Scholars. During the academic year, the RFA Board invites the Scholars to two luncheons: the first (in the fall) to encourage interaction among fellow Scholars and Board members; the second (in the spring) to honor Caldwell Scholar graduates and to encourage these graduates to share stories about their experiences at USC.
RFA / USC Caldwell Neighborhood Scholars 2017-2018
Silvia Gomez: A senior majoring in Business Administration and the first from her family to go to college. She is active in intramural sports and is a member of the Best Buddies Club, a support organization for special needs students in her local community. For the past few summers, Sylvia has worked as a tax intern at the well-known accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. She won Dean’s List honors for three semesters and serves on the Leventhal School of Accounting Honors Council.
Mousael Rosa Louis: A USC Dean’s List junior majoring in psychology and organizational philanthropy. She graduated from Dorsey High School in 2015 at the top of her class. She’s continues her work as a campus Housing Residence Advisor and her passion for salsa and bachata dancing landed her on the USC Salsa Dance Team. Mousael volunteers for Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce and mentors Dorsey High School students about college preparation.
Carlos Marin: A junior who entered USC in 2015 from Thomas Jefferson High School where he was the class valedictorian. He was an intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Carlos spent his 2017 summer at the Air Force Rocket Lab located at Edwards Air Force Base studying the development of Rotation Detonation Engines. He tutors high school students in AP Calculus and plans to pursue advanced degrees in engineering after graduation. He majors in Astronautical Engineering with a focus on in-space propulsion.
Esmeralda Catalina Leon: As 2017 Class Salutatorian from Belmont Senior High School, shereceived honors for her GPA and Academic Decathlon Speech competitions. She took college courses at LACC as part of the Upward Bound Program and in the GEAR UP 4 LA Mentor Program she mentored high school peers on college opportunities. She was a member of USC’s Math Engineering Science Achievement Program. Esmeralda plans to major in Aerospace Engineering.
Gwang Neung (Daniel) Kim: A senior majoring in Philosophy, he arrived at USC with honors from Belmont High School. He spent his first year at USC exploring courses in communications, philosophy and Russian political thought. He remains active as a teacher and audio/visual technology supervisor at his church. Daniel is learning Chinese language characters just for the fun of it
Brenda Lili Apreza: While a student at Thomas Jefferson High School, Brenda took summer classes at USC via the Upward Bound Program and Project Bridge Programs. She was awarded a trip to South Korean for study. Brenda played alto and tenor saxophones for the Jazz Band, and taught middle and high school students how to read music and play instruments. She also participated in Academic Decathlon competitions. Brenda majors in English and is pursuing a career as a foreign language English teacher.
Mariela Cardenas: 2016 Valedictorian from Belmont High School, she was named a College AP Scholar. Now a USC sophomore majoring in English, she received first year Dean’s List honors. Mariela minors in Film with an emphasis on creative writing. She volunteers in the L.A. Public Library Lunch Programs where she prepares daily meals for neighborhood children and engages them in learning activities. She tutors Belmont High School students in writing and college financial aid planning
Carlos A. Fajardo: Entered USC in 2017 from Manual Arts Senior High School – College Preparatory Magnet. A College Prep Magnet High Honors student, Carlos was awarded JROTC Academic Excellent Medals for three years, was a 2016 College Prep Magnet Student of the Month, participated in Academic Decathlon Competitions for two years and four years in USC’s Upward Bound Program. His various community service activities included the College Ambassador Program assisting 250-plus students with college applications, All-City and National JROTC Drill Team Competitions and a Revlon Stand Up To Cancer Walk volunteer. Carlos is a Biological Sciences/PreMed major with a Biotechnology minor.