By Alyssa Delarosa
Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula
During my final semester here at USC (and as an undergraduate) I did a considerable amount of reflection on my time at USC. In that reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that carrying over my student club and organization involvement from my time at community college to USC resulted in a time of new growth, relationships, learning, and experience. Even amidst a virtual learning experience, I was able to keep pursuing my goals and forge new connections through involvement and leadership.
A community college is a two-year college where students complete their general education and lower division courses. Students have many options available to them as to where they can obtain an associates degree (two-year lower division degree), professional certificate, or other certification. Or, they can choose to transfer from their community college to a university – which was what I did in 2020. This was during the onset of Covid-19, which greatly impacted my educational experience.
Before the pandemic, I was determined to be involved as much as possible on my community college campus. I joined and led several clubs and student organizations, as well as joining a newly founded faculty committee on civic engagement. In this club, I was able to develop an internship program for student advocates. When the pandemic hit, it was during my last semester at my community college. I remember how faculty were unsure of the future of student clubs and organizations on campus continuing due to the pandemic, yet I was able to continue my involvement in these clubs remotely. I was even able to adjust my proposal for the student advocate internship program to a remote format accordingly. Though I have long been graduated from my community college, I continue to mentor students and work with faculty through this program.
Even though I began my first year at USC remotely, I knew I wanted to be just as involved in clubs and student organizations as I was at my community college. My first semester at USC, I founded the Human Trafficking Awareness Club, joined the Wrongful Convictions Club, and became a One-On-one Conversation Partner with the American Language Institute. Currently, in addition to this involvement, I serve as a first-generation student mentor, a VOICE advocate, a K-12 tutor with Teach for Los Angeles, a volunteer tour guide/social committee member with Tommy’s Tours, and a volunteer with USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative.
I am so glad I continued my involvement even through a global pandemic and after joining a new school environment. These organizations have been so rewarding to be a part of, and have made up a huge part of my college experience. If you are a new student at USC or another college, I highly recommend becoming involved on campus early on so that you can try out different activities and see what you enjoy!
Alyssa is a recent graduate of the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences who majored in psychology. Alyssa has lived in four different cities in California including Ventura, Somerset, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clarita. Currently, Alyssa resides in Oxnard, California. When she is not studying or working on various community engagement projects, Alyssa enjoys reading, skateboarding, skim boarding, rollerblading, ice skating, hiking, and going to the beach.