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BSEL Undergraduate Scholars Mentorship Program

BSEL Undergraduate Scholars Mentorship Program

The Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab (BSEL) Undergraduate Scholars Mentorship Program is a nine-month mentoring and skills-building experience for a group of rising juniors and seniors who are engaged and pursuing careers in social impact.

Program Eligibility
This program is open to all undergraduate juniors and seniors at USC. We seek students who:

  • Think broadly about the "wicked problems" facing the world and see themselves as agents of change in responding to these problems.
  • Engage with their communities in meaningful ways.
  • Enjoy learning from other people, especially those who have different life experiences.
  • Pursue opportunities for self-reflection and growth.

Note: As this is a highly experiential program, students cannot study abroad during the year they plan to participate.

Benefits

  • Mentorship from leading social impact professionals and social entrepreneurs. (A list of past mentors can be found here.)
  • Professional and personal development workshops to foster competence and leadership skills relevant to social impact careers.
  • An invitation to a formal meal with all mentors and mentees.
  • At least two one-on-one meetings with a mentor.
  • A career shadowing day with a mentor.
  • Access to the BSEL student and professional network and advising from BSEL staff.
  • Membership in a cohort of like-minded students offering feedback and support.

Commitment

  • Participate in a day-long orientation in August. (Orientation is typically held the Sunday before the start of the fall semester.)
  • Attend a group dinner with mentors in early September (date to be given at orientation).
  • Engage fully in monthly cohort meetings and BSEL events (approximately five to six hours per month). 
  • Schedule and attend meetings with mentors.
  • Attend an end-of-the-year event (usually held the last week in April or first week of May).
  • Serve as official ambassadors of BSEL within and outside of the USC community. This means identifying publicly as a BSEL Scholar and prioritizing attendance at other BSEL opportunities, including Lunch & Learn lectures, site visits and networking events.

Application Process
Applications for the 2018–2019 academic year are now closed. Information for the 2019–2020 application cycle will be released in the spring.

For questions and additional information, contact Michelle Chow, BSEL program specialist.

 

Below is the current cohort of BSEL Scholars. For a full list of previous Scholars, please click here.

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Emma Cappiello

Emma is a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in business finance and social entrepreneurship. She currently serves on the Marshall Women’s Leadership Board, as a Dornsife Ambassador and as logistics director for the USC Own It women’s summit. She is passionate about women’s equality and believes in the power of partnerships. After graduation, Emma intends to leverage public-private partnerships to accomplish infrastructural investments within communities domestically and internationally. In her free time, she enjoys walking dogs at Westside German Shepard Rescue, golfing and reading.

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Rhea Choudhury

Rhea is a fourth-year student at the University of Southern California studying biomedical engineering with a minor in health care studies. She co-founded Intram, a digital health startup focused on eliminating pre-hospital delays in stroke patient care, and presented her business plan as a finalist at the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C. She also co-founded Violence Intervention Volunteers, a student organization dedicated to providing mentorship, tutoring and service opportunities for students at LA County + USC's Violence Intervention Program. She is passionate about community health and lending a voice to underserved populations in LA; through her volunteer projects, she works with foster children, victims of domestic violence and children with mental disabilities. On campus, she conducts research at the USC Biomechanics Lab, co-hosts and produces the podcast Viterbi Voices, and plays a ton of Ultimate Frisbee. After graduation, Rhea hopes to use her technical engineering background and passion for community health to help manufacture and distribute medical devices for low-income families around the world.

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Hanna Fahsholtz

Hanna is a senior majoring in narrative studies and minoring in international relations and Spanish at the University of Southern California. On campus, she serves on the leadership board of Peaks and Professors, welcomes prospective students as a tour guide for the Admission Center, and is an active member of Troy Camp, Society 53, and Alpha Delta Pi. Off campus, she has conducted field research on the effects of climate change on the Arctic Circle, explored kelp’s viability as a renewable energy source and volunteered for the sustainable development branch of UNESCO-Etxea in Bilbao, Spain. Hanna is passionate about the environment, education and storytelling. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking (through forests and countries), reading and quoting episodes of “30 Rock.”

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Lyndsey Franklin

Lyndsey is a senior majoring in political economy and environmental science. She co-founded and serves as president of EcoBright, an organization that provides quality sustainability education to K–12 students in schools in the surrounding USC community. Through this work, she aims to empower a new generation of environmentally conscious citizens, voters, policy-makers and activists. More recently, Lyndsey spent a semester in Australia, where she conducted research on the impact of China’s Belt and Road initiative on sustainable development in the “global south.” After graduation, she hopes to promote a healthier, more livable planet by working at the intersection of natural science, economics and policy to shift perceptions and behaviors. In her free time, she enjoys figure skating, hiking and listening to podcasts.

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Pearl Keane

Pearl is a senior majoring in international relations (global business) with a minor in social entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California. She is the founder of GrandGarden, a social enterprise that works to bring older adults to elementary schools to garden with young students. She is also one of the founding members of Social Impact 360, an organization that works to teach underclassmen about social entrepreneurship through the help of upperclassmen mentors. She is passionate about early childhood education, intergenerationality and gender equality. In her free time, she loves to make art, explore LA and spend time with friends.

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Iris Kim

Iris (Yi Youn) Kim is a senior majoring in business administration and minoring in human rights at the University of Southern California. She previously served as co-president of Global Brigades at Marshall, where she worked with microfinance institutions in rural Panama and Honduras. She has covered global women’s issues as a columnist for the Daily Trojan and completed internships at tech startups in Taipei, Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C. Iris is passionate about writing, politics and promoting diversity in entertainment. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and longform articles, singing, reading, and running.

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Raghav Maheshwari

Raghav Maheshwari was born and raised in Zug, Switzerland, and moved to Los Angeles to study computer science at USC. Outside the lecture hall, Raghav is actively involved in student organizations such as Novus Think Tank and the Center for AI in Society++. Raghav hopes to find ways technology can be used for positive social impact and looks forward to collaborating with other cohort members to solve diverse local and global issues. In his free time, Raghav can be found playing Frisbee on campus or adventuring out in the mountains.

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Sahit Menon

Sahit is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in nonprofits, philanthropy, and volunteerism. He plans to attend medical school upon graduating from USC and hopes to one day improve rural health outcomes in developing countries. He currently conducts meditation research at the Brain and Creativity Institute. He is a founding member of Social Impact 360, and has held board positions for USC Project RISHI, TEDxUSC and the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering. In his free time, he enjoys writing blog posts on his website, watching the NBA and making montage videos of his travels.

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Dani Morales

Dani Morales is a senior studying public policy and diplomacy (nonprofit track) with a minor in social entrepreneurship. She has been a Friends and Neighbors Day Team leader for the last two years and is a member of Los Angeles Community Impact, a pro bono consulting club that helps nonprofits and social enterprises enhance their ability to create tangible impact. She is passionate about finding solutions to homelessness, improving education and fighting for food justice.

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Jorge Rojas-Ortega

Jorge Rojas-Ortega is a junior majoring in industrial and systems engineering and minoring in social entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Thematic Option honors program and serves as co-president of Novus Think Tank, a student-led organization that aims to empower individuals to take sustainable action through strategic community building. Through events like “The Giving Games,” whose donations to highly effective philanthropies are dependent on participants’ attendance, Jorge spearheads initiatives to increase student involvement in effective altruism and intersectional philanthropy. In his free time, Jorge enjoys swimming, biking, running and hanging out with friends who enable his coffee addiction.

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Marianna Shakhnazaryan

Marianna is a senior majoring in international relations (global business) and minoring in social entrepreneurship and public policy. She has served on the board of a number of student organizations, including Los Angeles Community Impact, a pro bono consulting group that assists nonprofits and social enterprises in the LA community. She has experience working in the public and private sector and has held roles at Pod Save America, KPMG and a Compton-based education nonprofit. She is passionate about political mobilization, food security and economic development across sub-Saharan Africa.

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CJ Wechsler

CJ is a junior majoring in public policy (philanthropy, nonprofits and social innovation emphasis) and minoring in Spanish and gender studies. She is the president of USC’s Residential Housing Association, serving as the primary student liaison to the Office of Residential Education and representing residents’ interests at university affairs. She is also vice president of external affairs at USC Hillel, developing relationships with student organizations to bridge interests and collaborate on programming and initiatives. CJ is passionate about identity-based advocacy and community building, which is exemplified in her involvement as a Girl Scouts troop leader and Special Olympics coach. After graduation, she plans to join the Peace Corps.

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