Tiara, USC Class of 2018

Initially I was nervous about attending USC, a predominantly white private school; I was worried about fitting in as a person of color. I am a first-generation student of color from a low-income family. I tried talking to my mom about issues I was having, but she didn’t quite understand what I was going through because she didn’t go to college herself. Thanks to Thrive Scholars Summer Conference I met other students going to USC or who were facing the same challenge at other schools. After meeting other Scholars, I knew I wasn’t alone on campus, I knew other people going in, and knew mentors I could talk to about college through Thrive Scholars. It made all the difference.

Now I will have my bachelor’s in Journalism from the Annenberg School of Communication and I am going to pursue my master’s in Public Administration from the Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Through all my college accomplishments, I am most proud of the internships I have attained. I have interned with Hollywire, TheWrap, and City of Santa Monica Communications Dept. Through Thrive Scholars referrals, I have also interned with Lionsgate and will intern with CAA this summer.

I didn’t know just how unique Thrive Scholars is until I realized that my friends did not have the same opportunities: they don’t have access to networks of people that can help, they don’t know how to apply for or approach internships, or even how to get started. I feel more confident pursuing my career goals because of Thrive Scholars’ career development webinars and events, and because Thrive Scholars has given me access to so many opportunities.