USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI)

The USC Leslie and William McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative, enrolls close to 900 students annually, from sixth graders to high school seniors, as well as supporting more than 250 undergraduates in college.

Under the program guidelines, students must commit to a seven-year plan of attending Saturday Academy classes along with weekday morning classes at USC, after-school tutoring and parent workshops.

Graduating seniors are recognized for their accomplishments each year, and are eligible for scholarships to further help them in their academic pursuits.

Students who remain in the program in good standing from sixth grade until their high school graduation are eligible for a fully funded financial aid package (minus loans) to USC, provided they meet admission requirements. The initiative also provides support to all NAI scholars through their first college degree.

The 2020 class included 94 scholars, all of whom planned to attend college this fall. More than 40% of those students (39) received admission to USC, with 36 accepting the offer for a full-tuition scholarship. For three non-consecutive years, NAI participating high school Foshay Learning Center has been one of the university’s top feeder schools for the incoming freshman class, rivaling some of the most highly-rated secondary schools in the country.

USC McMorrow NAI Community Partner Schools

Partner schools are located in the communities surrounding USC University Park Campus (UPC) and Health Sciences Campus (HSC).

USC presents informational workshops and recruits for the program within these schools. Throughout the year, USC nurtures the relationships with the schools and explore collaborative efforts for pathways to college endeavors.


  • James A. Foshay Learning Center (middle and high school students)


  • El Sereno Middle School
  • Florence Nightingale Middle School
  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Woodrow Wilson High School
The entire 2020 class of the USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative planned to go to college in fall of 2020.

USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative Board of Councilors

  • Gary Erickson, The Erikson Group – Chair
  • Luis Campa, M Chemical Company, Inc.
  • Greg Curtin, Civic Resource Group
  • Alysha Del Valle, News Anchor
  • Marilou Hamill, Amazing Invisible Inc. & Hamjamill / MY Management
  • Pavel Krapivin, VM Capital
  • Daria Lewis, Xerox
  • Jan McElwee, The McElwee Group
  • Kathy Mota, Purpose & Profit Strategic Partners
  • Pedro Noguera, USC Rossier School of Education Dean
  • Greta Pruitt, Retired Educator, Principal
  • Laurie Rosen, Real Estate Management
  • Judy Rosenberg, Consultant
  • Barbara Solomon, USC Professor, Vice Provost and Dean Emerita
  • Scott Swanson, Covington Capital Management
  • Lizette Zárate, USC McMorrow NAI Program Director