What Drives You?

What Drives You?

At the USC Rossier School of Education, faculty and students are driven by their deeply personal stories to make a difference in their respective fields. In these videos, students and faculty share memories about the experiences that led them to pursue their ambitions at USC Rossier.

Demontea Thompson: Driven to make a difference for foster youth

Raised as foster youth, Demontea and his twin brother struggled to make ends meet while completing their undergraduate education. Today, Demontea is pursuing his Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA) degree at USC Rossier and has plans to pursue a PhD focusing on foster youth and homeless students.

Mia Kang: Driven to impart pride to my students

Inspired by her grandparents, Mia embraced a life of teaching, first as a dance teacher and later a school teacher. She is committed to teaching with her full being and helping her students to be proud, without being prideful. Mia is currently completing the Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership Online (OCL online) program at USC Rossier.

Jerry Lucido: Driven to make my immigrant grandmother proud

After realizing that his vocation was not making a difference, Jerry began working in college admissions, specifically focusing on recruiting students from inner cities. Years later, he founded the Center for Enrollment, Research, Policy and Practice at USC Rossier to teach educational leaders to broaden their definition of college potential.

Anthony Maddox: Driven to help students learn science

Anthony left his career in engineering after observing the lack of diversity in the profession.Today, he educates teachers in Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program to help K-12 students learn science. He also searches for ways to make learning more personalized using new technologies.

Dominique Hall: Driven to mentor students to their potential

After a discouraging meeting with a counselor on her first day as a first-generation college student, Dominique became a peer mentor for other community college students struggling to navigate higher education. As she championed for her peers, she discovered her calling to become a counselor and enrolled in the Master of Education in Educational Counseling (EC) program at USC Rossier.

Julie Marsh: Driven to level the playing field through research

While working for a grassroots lobbying organization post college, Julie realized her passion for work that levels the playing field. Now she trains the next generation of researchers and educational leaders at USC Rossier and conducts research on the role of civic voice in education and policy.

Mabel Sanchez: Driven to help first-generation college students

Because of others who paved the way for her to beat an education system not designed for ‘people like her’, Mabel graduated from college, despite struggling academically through her first year. Now, as a student in the Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA) program, she is preparing to help students survive the system and have the best experience possible.