Transformational Leaders Initiative

By Mary Castillo

This semester, USC LAA partnered with Dr. Yasmin Davidds, CEO, Women’s Institute of Negociation, Dr. Betty Rengifo Uribe, Executive Vice President, California Bank & Trust and Jamie Greene, MFT, CEO, Off the Couch Consulting to launch the Transformational Leaders Initiative (TLI), a program designed to provide student scholars with the tools, knowledge, access to opportunities and the role models necessary to become successful professionals. Scholars received this initiative with great enthusiasm.

“We live in uncertain times, when competition for internships and jobs is fierce and return on investment is essential,” said Dolores Sotelo, Assistant Director of the USC LAA. “All of our instructors provided the guidance and tools to help our scholars gain a competitive edge when they apply for jobs and then gain traction in the workforce. We hope that donors will be proud of the strides scholars have taken in their transition from young adults to new professionals.”

“Yasmin’s workshops helped me look at my own potential and no longer put limitations on myself,” said Nicole Marcione, a first year transfer student majoring in Gerontology. “Even if doors are closed, they can be opened.”

Jamie Greene delivered a leadership tool kit in his workshop series, as well as giving them life skills to manage stress rather than be overwhelmed by it. “Our sessions were about generating impact during interviews and in social situations by honing their communication abilities, and being present in the moment,” he said. “It is such a gift that they are exposed to this type of training at this stage in their lives.”

Chanel Velasco, a senior who is double majoring in Music Industry and Communication, has learned many hard lessons during her years at USC. “The first two years were tough and if I could go back and tell my 19 year old self, I would say break out of that shell,” she said. “Jamie re-emphasized to me that people are going to judge me no matter what, but as long as I know the truth about myself and do what is right for me, their judgments will not have any impact on me.”

“What has been so amazing about USC is that I’ve met and made friendships with people I might not have come into contact otherwise,” Chanel said. “With them I’m creating a realistic plan to grow my career as a singer and songwriter, while pursuing a future in the business of the music industry. USC LAA has given me the tools I need to build my future.”

“Our scholars are bright, driven young people who need the polish and guidance from those of us who have been in the professional world and know what corporations and businesses expect from their teams,” Dr. Uribe said. “The USC LAA Transformational Leaders Initiative is destined to become a model program that will prepare scholars to compete and succeed in today’s demanding workplace.”