For anyone who has struggled with a disability, you know how sometimes, it feels impossible to continue forward without help. I hit that point in my freshman year at USC, overwhelmed by personal challenges, the changes of coming to college and experiencing harder coursework, more demanding schedules, and more complex relationships with my peers. USC Disability Services & Programs (USC DSP) was a major part of why I was able to make it through that semester, and have been able to continue achieving my goals at Viterbi.

All of my experiences with USC DSP have been incredibly positive. The first time I walked into their office, unsure of how the meeting would even go, the counselor they paired me with was extremely helpful and kind and gave me the tools and resources I needed. Rather than meeting my basic request, the counselor I sat down with listened to my needs, looked over my medical notes, told me all the services they had available, and made recommendations to me. The accommodations I got went above and beyond what I thought I needed, but saved me tremendous amounts of stress and hardship later in the semester due to challenges I faced. USC DSP not only met my immediate needs, but anticipated future ones, and made sure I had every available resource and tool to help me overcome obstacles.

After that initial visit, I’ve remained engaged with the office, receiving frequent newsletters and information about resources, opportunities, and even an honors society for students with disabilities. Even with everything being virtual, the office has worked to ensure that students with disabilities are supported and able to reach their full potential.

Whether you come to USC with needs, have needs that begin at USC, or have a period of time at USC when needs arise, know that, even in the rigorous engineering school, you will be supported by USC Disability Services & Programs. I can’t emphasize enough how meaningful it was that USC DSP has supported me throughout my time at USC. I didn’t know about USC DSP before I came to USC, but it’s important that everyone is aware that the resources are always there and available, should you need them.

If you want to learn more about USC DSP, you can find resources here: https://dsp.usc.edu/

Christina Najm

Christina Najm

MAJOR: Environmental Engineering YEAR: Class of 2021 HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @tina.najm On campus I conducted undergraduate research in wastewater treatment technology through the environmental engineering department and am involved in Alpha Omega Epsilon (a social and professional sorority for women in STEM), the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and the Society of Women Engineers.

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