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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 highly selective 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 in this program.

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.

Information Session
Please register to attend the info session taking place Tuesday, Feb. 11, noon–1 p.m. in Hoffman Hall 114.

Application Process
Applications for the 2020–2021 academic year are now open! 

To apply, submit your (1) resume and (2) answers to the following questions:
1. What area of social impact are you most passionate about? (300 words max)
2. What steps have you taken to address this issue? (300 words max)
3. Have you taken BAEP 471: Social Innovation Design Lab and/or BAEP 491: Intro to Social Entrepreneurship?


Application Deadline
Applications must be emailed to the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab no later than Wednesday, March 4, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. PST.

For questions and additional information, contact Michelle Chow, BSEL associate director of programs.
 

2020–2021 BSEL Scholars

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

Kristen Gao

Kristen Gao

Kristen is a senior majoring in business administration as part of the World Bachelor in Business Program, for which she spent her sophomore and junior years studying abroad in Hong Kong and Milan, respectively. She is involved in 180 Degrees Consulting Milan, which provides consulting services for social enterprises and nonprofits throughout Europe and Africa. Kristen is passionate about finding scalable business solutions to address social issues, particularly those related to affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure investment. She hopes to eventually work internationally in these areas.

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Ana Priscila

Ana Priscila Garcia

Ana Priscila is a senior majoring in health and human sciences and minoring in education and society. She is also working on her master’s in social entrepreneurship as a progressive degree student. Ana Priscila is passionate about education and affordable housing. On campus, she is the public relations chair of USC QuestBridge, a mentor in Troy Camp, and a science teacher with USC Science Outreach. In her free time, Ana Priscila enjoys creating art through pyrography, trying out new boba shops and exploring the outdoors.

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Shreya Havaldar

Shreya Havaldar

Shreya is a senior from Orange County, California, studying computer science and applied mathematics. She is currently an organizer for AthenaHacks, Southern California's largest all-female hackathon, a curriculum lead at USC’s Undergraduate Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society, and a research assistant in the Computational Social Science Lab. Shreya is passionate about increasing diversity in the technology industry and is planning on attending graduate school to further explore how artificial intelligence can be used to bring positive change to the world. In her free time, Shreya enjoys hiking, painting and spending time with her dog.

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Andrew Leung

Andrew Leung

Andrew is a junior from the Bay Area studying geodesign and gender and social justice. In the future, he hopes to use his skill sets in design thinking, urban planning and spatial data mapping to create accessible public spaces for underserved populations. On campus, he is a researcher under the Spatial Sciences Institute, where he uses remotely-sensed satellite imagery to investigate the contrasting urbanization patterns of Chinese and Indian cities. In the past, he has also served as a fellow for the Sustainable Development Goals Leadership Academy, where he helped create a mapping platform that promotes more equitable investment in Los Angeles street assets. In his free time, you can find him boxing, experimenting with plant-based flavor combos or adventuring in the outdoors.

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Alvin Makori

Alvin Makori

Alvin Makori is a junior majoring in law, history, and culture with a minor in international relations. Alvin discovered his passion for education equity as a volunteer for 826LA, and he has since conducted extensive education policy research, including at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Alvin conducted education-based research at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, where he co-authored op-eds covering topics such as the economically-driven digital divide, school districts’ racial equity practices amid social justice movements, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected unhoused students. Following graduation, Alvin plans to continue working at the Center on Reinventing Public Education before pursuing a law degree and entering the public policy realm.

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Lindsay Opie

Lindsay Opie

Lindsay is a senior studying public policy with an emphasis on nonprofits, philanthropy and social innovation. She currently serves as the director of finance and donor relations for Troy Camp, where she loves spending time with her 3rd–12th grade students during weekly programming. She is a member and team lead for Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI), where she has worked on consulting projects for gang intervention programs, community gardens and service centers for marginalized populations. Her experience teaching social studies with 8th-grade students at Breakthrough Greater Boston shaped her goals of becoming an educator and education policymaker. Lindsay hopes to create more equitable education and greater access to resources for low-income students, students of color and diverse learners. She recharges by enjoying the outdoors, spending time with friends and exploring new cities beyond her downtown Chicago upbringing.

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Mitali Shanbhag

Mitali Shanbhag

Mitali is a rising senior from the Bay Area studying business administration and computer programming. She serves as the executive director for the OWN IT Women’s Leadership Summit, an event that brings together over 150 speakers, 50 organizations and 1200 attendees. Passionate about supporting the surrounding Los Angeles area, Mitali offers strategic recommendations to nonprofits as a member of Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI), and teaches local middle-school girls about feminism and sexual health as the school site director of Women and Youth Supporting Each Other’s (WYSE) Camino Nuevo branch. As the vice president of Society 53, she also passes on her Trojan spirit by connecting students to USC’s half-million alumni. In her free time, she loves exploring new music, books, restaurants, trails and cities. Mitali will be moving to NYC after graduation to work in technology consulting at PwC, in hopes of gaining industry experience to build her own global social enterprise that provides underprivileged women with access to health, safety, and sex-ed resources.

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Brandon Washington

Brandon Washington

Brandon Washington is currently a junior majoring in business administration and minoring in applied analytics at the University of Southern California. His economic struggles as a low-income student cultivated his personal ambitions to tackle education inequities in his community. He has aspirations of creating his own social enterprise in the future to address these social issues. This past summer, Brandon interned as a summer associate at Boston Consulting Group, where he optimized the backend operations of a title and escrow company. Apart from his career aspirations, Brandon enjoys exploring the city and staying active. You can find him biking around campus, attending music festivals and planning his next thrilling adventure to embark on!

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2020–2021 Senior Fellows

For the full list of Senior Fellows, click here.

Ayesha Barenblat

Ayesha Barenblat

Founder and CEO
Remake

Ayesha is the founder and CEO of Remake, a community of millennial and Gen Z women committed to ending fast fashion's extreme waste, environmental destruction, illegal wages and unsafe working conditions. She has worked with brands, governments and labor advocates to improve the lives of the women who make our clothes. Ayesha led brand engagement at Better Work, a World Bank and United Nations partnership to ensure safe and decent working conditions within garment factories around the world. She was head of consumer products at BSR, providing strategic advice to brands including H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Marks and Spencer, Nike, The Walt Disney Company, and Pou Chen on the design and integration of sustainability into business.

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Mario Fedelin

Mario Fedelin

Co-founder and CEO
Changeist

Mario is the CEO of Changeist, a youth activism organization. He spent over a decade in the national service movement with City Year, where he developed civic leadership programs for youth in three different markets and later supported high-needs schools improve the urban high school graduation pipeline. Mario has been engaged in refining college access programs for girls in South LA and developing recreation programs in Pico-Union. He currently serves on a steering committee that guides federal funding to create a coordinated cradle-to-college community effort. He recently joined the Service Year Alliance Alumni Council, which promotes a national service and gap year agenda, and is also a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow.

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Christopher Rhie

Christopher Rhie

Associate Principal
Buro Happold

Chris is an urban planner and sustainability strategist at Buro Happold. With a background in public policy, urban design and environmental management, Christopher has extensive experience in the development of sustainability and climate action plans for local governments, as well as colleges and universities across the United States. His recent projects include the comprehensive land use and climate action plans for the City of Cambridge, New York City’s Roadmap to 80×50, the Los Angeles County Sustainability Plan, and Design Sprints on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Boston and Los Angeles. Prior to joining Buro Happold, Christopher worked on climate action initiatives as an energy analyst at the City of New York and the City of Oakland.

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Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Chief External Officer
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

Ryan is the chief external officer at Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an in-district nonprofit organization that collaborates with LAUSD to seek the advancement of 18 traditional public schools in the heart of South Los Angeles, Watts and Boyle Heights. Prior to joining the Partnership, he was the executive director of the Education Trust-West, an education civil rights organization dedicated to closing opportunity gaps. Ryan led the team’s development and production of “Black Minds Matter: Supporting the Educational Success of Black Students in California,” and “The Majority Report: Supporting the Educational Success of Latino Students in California.” Before joining Education Trust, Ryan served as the director of education programs and policy for United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Ryan was an Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

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Johanna Zeilstra

Johanna Zeilstra

CEO
Gender Fair

Johanna is the CEO of Gender Fair, a public benefit corporation that independently evaluates the diversity and fairness policies of American companies to help consumers, employees and investors support companies that share their values. Over the past two decades, she has helped launch several consumer-facing businesses, and has worked as a senior executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers and JPMorgan. With her passion for supporting personal change in making large-business changes stick, she continues to coach senior executives and their teams. Prior to Gender Fair, Johanna co-founded GiveBack, an innovative platform that makes it easy for companies to build authentic and impactful cause marketing, workplace giving and other social responsibility initiatives.

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