When you finally settle on a college, everyone will undoubtably ask you why you chose your school. When I first was accepted to USC, I didn’t have an answer to this question. Slowly but surely, however, USC won me over and I could not be happier to be a Trojan.
I was not a Trojan fan from the start. In fact, of all the schools I applied to my senior year of High School, USC was easily towards the bottom of the list, not because it was not an amazing school, but because I was determined to go out of state and leave California after having grown up in Bishop and lived in Carlsbad for two years. I was adamant about not living in Los Angeles, and was starstruck with the possibility of boarding a plane to go to college when I left my home in Carlsbad, CA. USC, however, did not so easily dismiss me as a potential candidate. The most remarkable thing to me about my college selection experience is that USC slowly converted me to the passionate and proud Trojan I am today. I tried to not be dazzled by the school when I begrudgingly came for my exploreUSC interview, but couldn’t help being amazed when I saw the Trojan marching band in all its spirit and walked through the beautiful campus I am now proud to call home. Letters, pamphlets, and postcards filled my mailbox, showing me all the wonderful things about Viterbi.
Then USC sent me the package that sealed the deal. When I got home from school one fateful day, there was a box of Goldie Blox (an innovative engineering toy for girls) on my doorstep with a letter instructing me to give it to a young girl in my life to inspire her in engineering the way I had been inspired. It was that letter that to me to symbolizes what USC is all about. As the upcoming generation, USC wants us to not only learn in the classroom, but then take what we learn and positively impact the local community. I committed officially to the USC Trojan Family 2014 later that very afternoon, and could not be more happy to have made that decision.
Since coming to USC, my life has been opened to so many breathtaking opportunities, made rich in incredible friendships with my hall-mates and classmates, made exciting by the plethora of campus activities, and made powerful by the drive to do something of impact with my studies. Rather symbolically, one of the most influential events thus far was getting to start the Goldie Blox campaign through the Society of Women Engineers, which will now be an annual feature of the SWE community service initiative. Given the responsibility of project manager for a Fall service event, I knew I wanted to SWE to work with girls at the local schools. Inspired by the Goldie Blox toy I had received (which I am happy to say is now a treasured toy belonging to one of the girls I babysit), I proposed the radical possibility of purchasing Goldie Blox and giving them to girls for free that Christmas. I contacted the company to explain our mission and received free shipping with huge discount. I then proposed the idea to my SWE advisor who proposed it to the SWE Officer Council to receive funding and the Goldie Blox campaign was born. After fundraising and advertising, we raised the full amount we spent and donated over 100 Goldie Blox to girls at Synergy Charter School and the Orthopedic Institute. We were able to do it the next year for two hundred girls. The joy on their faces when they opened the boxes will forever be priceless in my memory. And this neat experience is just one of the many I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying at USC.
So Why USC? I chose USC because the extracurriculars are amazing and the campus is beautiful. I chose USC because being in Los Angeles means being super involved in the local community by getting to volunteer at places like the LA Food Bank, tutoring at local elementary schools, and volunteering at the local hospital. I chose USC because being a Trojan means having the best game days in the world where everyone dawns cardinal and gold shouting for the home team. I chose USC because I can throw up a fight on sign just about anywhere in the world and get one in return, even in Singapore. I chose USC because Viterbi is an amazing school that offers great classes. I chose USC because there are so many research labs with state of the art facilities where I can learn about how textbook knowledge translates to real designs. I chose USC because it would give me the opportunity to study in amazing places like Madrid and Singapore and Ecuador. I chose USC because the scholarship I received made a four year university possible for me. I chose USC because it means getting to explore some of the best that LA has to offer including the entrepreneurial community, the Pantages Theatre, the Rose Bowl, and other countless places. But most of all, I chose USC because it is a lifetime community of amazing people committed to doing amazing things – what I love about USC more than anything else is the people whose hopes and dreams shape the new world we live in. I am honored to be part of a community of filmmakers, engineers, designers, writers, thinkers, and big dreamers that spans so many amazing generations.
Needless to say, I am enormously proud to be a Trojan and so thankful I get to wake up every day at this wonderful school. I am so excited to see what opportunities the future holds. So, in a very Trojan fashion, I look to what is coming up at USC with anticipation and say “Fight On”!
Here are some pictures of the amazing Trojans I’ve met here at USC – they have changed my life and I am grateful beyond words!
I wish you all the best with your college decision making – and I hope you all find your home like I did at USC and I will be especially excited to see you on campus if you choose to become a Trojan!!!Meet Madelina