Despite the recent Supreme Court Ruling striking down affirmative action, the USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative program moves forward with efforts to make college education accessible for students in local communities of color.   

Baldwin Hills NAI Scholar, right, with SWLA NAi Program Manager Lika Dozier. (Courtesy photo)

Audubon Magnet Middle School and Obama Global Preparatory, both located in South Los Angeles, will begin hosting the first cohorts of The USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative program this month as school opens in LAUSD.   

Students matriculating in from Baldwin Hills, 42nd Street, Hillcrest, 54th Street, Normandie Elementary, Martin Luther King, Tom Bradley, Coliseum, Angeles Mesa and Windsor Hills elementary schools, will make up this first cohort of 2023.  

54th Street NAI Scholar, center, with family. (Courtesy photo)

The USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative is a free seven-year enrichment program that prepares students beginning in 6th grade for admission to a college or university.  This highly successful pathway program has 30 years of success in partnering with local public schools.   

Since its first graduating class in 1997, the USC NAI has provided rigorous programming, vital mentoring and academic advisement services and millions of dollars in scholarships to over 1,400 Black and Latino scholars from South and East Los Angeles.  These services provide access to and guidance through their college journey.   

Hillcrest Elementary NAI Scholar, center, with Family. (Courtesy photo)

USC NAI partner school, Foshay Learning Center has been the #1 local feeder school to USC on several occasions. Students who complete the program will receive full tuition to attend USC.  If a student chooses to attend another college or university, they will still receive generous financial assistance. 

Principal Deanna Hardemion of Audubon and Principal Travis Holden of Obama are excited to have the USC NAI program at their schools and the opportunities the college prep program will provide to accepted NAI scholars who live in the community and will be the first generation to attend college in their families.  

Baldwin Hills NAI Scholar, left, with father. (Courtesy photo)


In addition to scholarship opportunities, the benefits of being accepted into USC’s NAI include academic rigor, extra study hours, social interaction with other scholars, and parents’ participation in the Family Development Institute (FDI), which provides tools to support the scholar and resources for the entire family. 

The program is accessible and looking to attract more Black and Brown students. For more information about this outstanding opportunity for local families of color to have access to a college education, call (213) 743-1591, email [email protected], or visit