Underscoring the USC Marshall community’s commitment to giving back, the MBA.PM Class of 2016 recently raised more than $24,000 in the iBowl for the Junior Achievement of Southern California program as part of their ongoing participation in Challenge for Charity (C4C). After costs, MBA.PM will donate $21,000 to the local chapter of Junior Achievement, a national non-profit youth organization geared to teaching financial literacy to nearly 100,000 K-12 students.
“The Class of 2016 did this in just three weeks,” said Fernando Zapatero, vice dean for graduate programs, Robert G. Kirby Chair in Behavioral Finance and professor of finance and business economics. “Philanthropy is part of Marshall’s community DNA. Nothing makes us happier than to verify it is a priority for our new members.”
C4C, a 30-year-old nonprofit organization started at Stanford University, enlists nine top West Coast MBA programs to compete in fundraising, social, volunteer and athletic events in pursuit of the coveted “Golden Briefcase.” USC Marshall has won the prize for the last four consecutive years and, if Jordan Alajov MBA.PM ’15 and Peter Ernandes MBA.PM ’15, co-vice presidents for philanthropy on the MBA.PM class board, have their way, they will continue the trend this year.
“What separated USC for me was how involved the community is with charities and philanthropic events,” said Alajov. “I couldn’t wait to get involved.”
Roommates Alajoy and Ernandes carved out time between classes and full-time jobs at AEG and Northrop Grumman, respectively, to devote to their strategic efforts. This included maintaining the robust Marshall C4C Web site and enlisting philanthropy representatives from the second LA MBA.PM program, as well as the part-time Saturday section and Orange County class contingent, to raise funds for JA in the three weeks leading up to the iBowl event at Lucky Strike in downtown Los Angeles.
For Alajov, it was not only the amount of money raised, but also, with 400 participants, the level of engagement that made the project particularly memorable.
“It was inspiring to see everyone coming together, both to raise $24,000 and, more importantly, to recruit the highest number of participants,” said Alajov. “It speaks volumes for the first-year students to generate so much excitement and passion about philanthropy.”