USC jumpstarted a new year of fundraising for its Good Neighbors Campaign, a program started by former USC President Steven Sample that aims to support the communities surrounding the university’s two campuses, on Tuesday.The campaign encourages faculty and staff to contribute portions of their paychecks to a fund called the USC Neighborhood Outreach program.Each year, the USC Good Neighbors Campaign and the Neighborhood Outreach fund have a goal of raising more than $1 million to support programs that enhance educational opportunities, promote neighborhood safety and job opportunities and encourage healthy lifestyles in the surrounding areas.Last year, faculty, staff, students and outside donors gave an average of $253 each to raise a record-breaking $1.5 million, exceeding the pre-year goal by $100,000. This success was due in part to the creation of an online donation platform, now a major trend in nationwide philanthropy that makes donating easier and greener.This year, the campaign aims to raise $1.6 million, which would trump last year’s success by $100,000.Though the Good Neighbors Campaign accepts donations any time during the year, the official campus-wide campaign runs during the month of October, according to Cesar Armendariz, communications director of the campaign.Armendariz, who also serves as director of community outreach at the Health Sciences Campus, explained that the campaign not only raises money but also pairs USC faculty, staff and student organizations with community groups to create programs that make a change in the surrounding area.“It’s one thing to give money, but it really helps for faculty to see the impact firsthand,” Armendariz said.Armendariz works for the campaign and each year contributes 1 percent of his salary to the fund. He also personally received grants each year to fund a community health fair in the fall and a science education fair for fifth graders in the spring.“At the science fair, our medical and pharmacy students become mentors for the children,” Armendariz said. “I can assure you that the money is going to good use because I’ve seen both sides of it.”One of the chief beneficiaries of UNO is The 32nd Street USC Magnet School, which aims to set all its students on a path to USC. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade at the school focus on performing and visual arts, while the high school is aimed toward improving math, science and technology skills. Its arts curriculum has produced successful performers such as actor Shia LaBeouf.“We are trying to create a project-based, hands-on learning environment,” said Victor Sanchez, who facilitates USC programs at The 32nd Street School. “But the school’s enriching programs depend on an ongoing relationship with USC and its student volunteers.”One of the school’s most valued enrichment programs comes from the USC Thornton School of Music’s Outreach Program, which not only puts on special concerts and events, but also organizes undergraduate and graduate students to teach weekly music lessons to local elementary school students. The Thornton Outreach Program depends heavily on GNC funds to pay for materials, transportation and special events.“For the last 10 years, education funding has been cut back and back and back, especially for arts instruction,” said Susan Helfter, director of community outreach at Thornton. “Without these funds, our music programs simply would not run.”According to Sanchez, GNC and UNO has had a tremendous impact on The 32nd Street School by connecting elementary students with sorority houses to paint pumpkins together for Halloween, starting a debate team and organizing art shows at the school.“What makes us unique as a school is that while other schools might use student volunteers as an opportunity to get rid of a student who has behavioral problems, we strategically place students in those special programs who are potentially gifted and who can really benefit from them,” Sanchez said.GNC has also helped fund Troy Camp, a student-run volunteer organization that mentors elementary school students through sporting events and field trips.“[UNO] is one of our biggest sources of money. Troy Camp is completely free for campers, so we really depend on our fundraising efforts,” said Michael Lin-Brande, a senior majoring in business administration who served as the grant-writer for Troy Camp last year.Sanchez explained that Troy Camp has introduced his school’s students to enriching experiences they normally couldn’t afford, which in the long run helps them academically.“When I asked one of our students what he spent his summer doing, he said he visited his brother in prison,” Sanchez said.Since its inception in 1994, GNC has raised more than $12.5 million to fund more than 400 groups like Troy Camp that collaborate with USC to put local children on the path to a college education and to alleviate safety and health problems in the community.The effort has expanded from contributions by faculty and staff to include donations from students, as well.Though some students cannot afford to make a financial donation, Armendariz encouraged students to promote the campaign by encouraging their professors to donate or by getting involved in the beneficiary organizations themselves.
Ball’s minutes will still be capped Thursday against the Heat, but he will likely play more than the 24 minutes he was allowed in Atlanta.“He felt good,” Walton said. “He looked good in practice today, the minutes restriction will go higher again next game.”Ball has averaged 11 points, seven rebounds and 5.5 assists in the two games he has played since sitting out 15 games before the All-Star break with a sprained left knee.“However long I play,” Ball said, “I’m going to do what I can.” MIAMI — The Lakers experienced two departures Wednesday. One was of their own hand. The other: One of their own’s hands.Shortly after the team finalized an agreement to waive veteran Corey Brewer, rookie Josh Hart suffered a broken bone in his left hand while the Lakers practiced.Hart’s fate is uncertain after fracturing his fourth metacarpal. He returned to Los Angeles to have his hand examined by team medical staff. His options could include season-ending surgery.Brewer’s future is less murky: He is believed to have several suitors among playoff teams, but is reportedly likely to sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder upon clearing waivers on Friday. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Hart has emerged as a favorite of Walton’s – a player who embodied the team’s developing defensive identity and fit nicely into the offense.“We’ll miss him if he’s out,” Walton said. “But we’re not going to be stuck thinking how to fill in for him until we actually hear back whether or not we’ve got him or not.”TURNOVER A NEW LEAFThe Lakers won their last time out, Monday in Atlanta, but Walton saw blemishes in the blowout. After the Lakers committed 23 turnovers against the Hawks, their coach decided to return to the basics.With his team practicing at a community center in downtown Miami, Walton instructed his players to pair up and stand 15 to 18 feet apart. Then, at the instruction of assistant coach Brian Shaw, they practiced rudimentary passes.Chest pass. Bounce pass. Overhead pass.“It looked like a high school drill,” Ball said. “It’s kind of basic, but it helps.”It’s a drill from the Tex Winter playbook, thought Walton said it is now known as the “Brian Shaw Passing Clinic.”“Just the very fundamentals of passing,” Walton said, “without doing what Tex would call ‘passing out of motion,’ being strong with the ball, snapping your wrist and getting it to your teammates.”After watching film from the win in Atlanta, Walton determined the Lakers could have cut their turnovers “by eight or 10 if we just made more solid, fundamentally sound passes.”THROWDOWN SHOWDOWNDisplaying an arsenal of 360-degree dunks, windmill dunks and tomahawk jams, a springy Ball looked nothing like a player who belongs on a minutes restriction for a knee injury.The rookie point guard closed practice on Wednesday in an impromptu dunk contest with rookie forward Kyle Kuzma that saw the two throw down one dunk after another – missing plenty along the way, too. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“It’s what he wants,” Coach Luke Walton said of letting go of Brewer. “He’s been so great all year with our guys and he’s with the rotation the way it is, he wasn’t playing much anymore. Not because he wasn’t good enough but just because we’re trying to grow a young team while we win. I hope he gets on a good team where he’s playing and finishes the year off competing for a title.”Brewer appeared in 78 games over two seasons with the Lakers, averaging 4.2 points in 13.5 minutes. He was the NBA’s active leader in consecutive games played before sitting out on Jan. 11.Hart is averaging 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 55 appearances, but since moving into the starting lineup on Feb. 2, he has averaged 12.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and shot 48.9 percent from 3-point range.A prolonged absence would have a noticeable impact on the Lakers, who have won seven of the last 10 games Hart started. Fellow rookie Lonzo Ball called Hart “very important” to the team’s success, saying he’s good for a “double-double pretty much every time he steps out there; one of our best defenders and he rebounds a lot.”To compensate for Brewer’s absence on the depth chart, the Lakers recalled Gary Payton II from the G-League.