USC Public Service Weekend

Congratulations on your acceptance to the USC Public Service Weekend hosted by the Price School of the Public Policy!

The conference will introduce you to the rewarding career of public service and the vital role that it plays in promoting social justice and equity in our communities.

How can you make an impact?
Panels and group discussions with students, faculty, and alumni working in the public sector will expose you to the myriad ways that you can make a difference in your community through public service.

Why is social justice important in public service?
Public servants have a responsibility to improve the quality of life for all members of our communities. Experiential learning through a case study will challenge you to think about how you can address policy issues while achieving equitable outcomes.

What do you need to know to pursue a career in public service?
Activities will include professional development, guidance on how to apply to graduate school, and real world skills development such as data analysis, community engagement, and public speaking.

Los Angeles is an exciting living and learning laboratory. This exciting opportunity will provide you with an educational experience in an urban city that is improving communities through innovation and social change. Our society currently faces challenges that call on a new generation of creative thinkers and doers to explore beyond the status quo. Learn how you can be a future change maker through public service.



9:00 am – 9:30am Welcome and Introductions
9:30am – 10:00am Icebreaker: Spell Down
10:00am – 10:30am Keynote Address
11:00am – 12:00pm Moving Forward: Social Justice & Public Service
12:00pm – 1:15pm Lunch
1:30pm – 2:00pm Case Study: Impact of Homelessness on Children
2:15pm – 3:30pm Delivering Social Impact through Social Innovation
3:30pm – 4:30pm Case Study Prep
4:30pm – 5:15pm Applying to PPIA Programs
5:15pm – 6:30pm Break
6:30pm – 8:30pm Dinner
9:00 am – 9:30am Reflections
9:30am – 11:00am Hidden Figures
11:00am – 12:00pm Careers in Public Service: An Exploration
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch
1:15pm – 2:15pm Preparing for a Professional Career in Public Service
2:30pm – 3:30pm Advocacy in Action
3:30pm – 4:30pm Running for Office: Leading with a Purpose
4:30pm – 5:30pm Applying to Graduate School
6:00pm – 7:00pm Dinner
9:00am – 9:30am Final Reflections
9:30am – 11:30am Case Study Presentations and Analysis
11:30am- 12:30pm Lunch

Panelists and Speakers

  • Steven Almazan (BA ‘13, MPP ‘18)
    Former Board Member, Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council
  • Marilyn Alvarez (MPA ’16)
    California Regional Coordinator, National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
  • La Mikia Castillo (MPP/MPL ‘12)
    National Organizing Director, National Foster Youth Institute
  • Paola Fernandez (BA ‘14, MPP ‘19)
    Board Member, Latinas Lead California
  • Patrick Furlong (MPA ‘14)
    Global Giving Trips Lead, TOMS
  • David Gardinier (MPA/MPL ‘19)
    Performance Management Intern, City of Santa Monica
  • Matthew Gonzalez (MPP ‘15)
    Manager, Program Data & Evaluation at Leadership for Educational Equity
  • Juana Hernandez (MPP ‘15)
    Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Yoko Igawa (MPA ‘09)
    Manager of Public Affairs at Foothill Transit
  • Corinna Jiang (MPA ‘15)
    Judicial Extern, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • Taylor Kay (MPA/MPL ‘19)
    Planning Technician, City of Inglewood
  • Sally Kikuchi (MPA ‘13)
    Director of Operations, Healthcare Partners
  • Magaly Lopez (MPP ‘15)
    USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity
  • Rhea Mac (MPP ’16)
    Operations Manager for US VETS
  • Justin Tandingan (MPP ‘14)
    Managing Director, Southern California Recruitment Team for Teach for America
  • Gary Painter
    Professor and Director of USC Center for Social Innovation
  • Bertrand Perdomo-Ucles (BS ‘11)
    Partnership for LA Schools, AD 59 Delegate
  • Thai Phan (MPP/JD ‘15)
    Attorney, Rutan & Tucker, LLP
  • Victor Sanchez (MPP ‘17)
    Research Assistant, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Center for Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII)
  • Leslie Shim (MPA ‘17)
    AD 58 Delegate Candidate; and Management Assistant, City of Los Angeles

Driving Directions and Parking