USC Annenberg Civic Engagement

The Civic Engagement department promotes service and volunteering opportunities for Annenberg students to get involved in the local community, utilizing their unique skill set to create positive change.

Their mission is to foster an academic culture that promotes civic participation in a constantly evolving society and provide USC Annenberg students with the space to focus on local issues and practice social responsibility. Their service opportunities allow students to develop or further enhance their involvement in USC’s local communities in South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, and other areas surrounding the USC communities.

Projects for Current Students 

Girls Inc. Photography Sessions

Girls Inc. Photography Sessions: Each semester, USC Annenberg students have the chance to teach photography and editing skills to middle school girls in South L.A. through our partnership with Girls Inc. Los Angeles. Annenberg students may give back to the community by teaching 7th and 8th-grade girls about the basics of photography as well as how to edit photographs utilizing different apps. This three-session volunteer opportunity culminates with a visit to campus where USC Annenberg students lead a tour of USC Annenberg’s Media Center as well as a campus photo scavenger hunt for the middle schoolers. Current USC Annenberg students can sign up for 1–3 volunteer sessions per semester.

Alexander Science Center School

In partnership with the Alexander Science Center School, USC Annenberg students have the possibility to teach media skills to the 4th and 5th graders of the Black Student Achievement Program (BSAP). Five USC Annenberg students run the seven-week media club at the local elementary school where they teach photography, video, and editing skills to the children. At the end of the Media Club, the elementary students will have a photo exhibition on their campus where they can share their work with their peers, teachers and parents. This is a paid civic engagement opportunity where an application and interview are required.

Los Angeles Youth Media Day

Every spring semester, the department hosts an event where about 100 local high school students and their teachers are invited to campus to learn about communication, public relations, and journalism. They attend sessions from professors in USC Annenberg’s three majors and have the opportunity to connect with USC Annenberg students. Additionally, they are exposed to our state-of-the-art media center where they will have the chance to record a short podcast in Studio B and be in front of the camera in Studio A. Students working in the media center are encouraged to participate in leading this event as well as other USC Annenberg students are invited to get involved.

Friends and Neighbors Day

Once per semester, the department will host a service project in conjunction with the USC Volunteer Center Friends and Neighbors Day. USC Annenberg students are invited to participate in these projects that are promoted on our Instagram page. 

Annenberg Youth Academy

Annenberg Youth Academy is a competitive summer program for local high school students. This free summer academy, funded by USC Annenberg families, celebrated its 6th cohort in the summer of 2023. AYA participants are challenged to better their critical thinking skills and consider issues of race, gender, and ethnicity in communication and journalism during this four-week program. Students produce podcast episodes, videos, articles, and zines to explore these complex topics. With classes in communication and journalism as well as guest speakers in a variety of topics and professions, AYA students gain a snapshot of the benefits of studying media in higher education and what it is like to work in these fields in the future. The program touts a 100% acceptance rate to colleges and universities around the globe. Read about four fantastic AYA alumni here

USC Annenberg students are invited to apply for an internship that runs from the spring semester through the summer to gain valuable work experience working with youth programming in communication, journalism, and public relations. The AYA intern will work closely with the Civic Engagement Coordinator to successfully deliver a rewarding and enriching experience for the 26 scholars participating in the program. There are other volunteer opportunities for USC Annenberg students and alumni to be part of panel discussions to inspire and guide the participants.

Follow us @uscannenbergcivicengagement on Instagram and/or send an email to the civic engagement coordinator at if you would like to connect.