Not everyone has forgotten about Reggie Bush.
Senior Peter Yobo, a Ghana native and a walk-on for the USC football team, had dreamed about attending USC since he was a teenager.
“When I was in high school … I was watching ESPN in Ghana and I saw a clip of USC, a highlight of Reggie Bush, the fans and the excitement,” Yobo said. “Ever since then, I was excited and I knew I wanted to go to USC.”
Yobo’s dream came true when he transferred to USC from San Jose State University in 2010.
Before donning the cardinal and gold, he decided to start up an organization called iStandAbove, which focuses on empowering youth worldwide.
The organization teaches three core values: leadership, teamwork and creativity. This will ultimately help them come to the realization that they can achieve their dreams.
“What made me want to start up that organization came from my experiences from Ghana,” Yobo said. “If you surround yourself with the right resources, you can achieve whatever you want.”
And that’s exactly what Yobo did.
Rather than just settling at San Jose State, Yobo used the work ethic and discipline his parents instilled in him at a young age to achieve his ultimate goal of attending his dream school after two years.
“My whole family emulates hard work and being disciplined,” Yobo said. “I stuck to school only, hit my books, made sure I had great grades and transferred over.”
Once at USC, Yobo took advantage of every opportunity the university offered.
He walked onto the football team in fall 2010, and despite not having any experience playing the sport, coach Lane Kiffin and staff still gave him a chance.
They gave him a chance to prove himself, to show that he belonged.
“I never thought or dreamed of playing football,” Yobo said. “Just the fact that the coaches would take someone who hasn’t played at all and get me to a level where I’m at right now, it shows how good of a school it really is.”
The old stereotype refers to USC as just a football school, but there is so much more than just sports at this university.
Embracing everything the Trojan Family stands for, Yobo immersed himself in the community and culture of the school, joining the track and field team and becoming an active member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
USC has provided the resources and opportunities Yobo imagined when coming to USC. Getting involved around campus, meeting new people and forming relationships have been more than he could ask for.
“At USC, my interactions with people, through the networking, people being there when you need help, people always want to see you succeed and be a better person,” Yobo said. “Just those things are enough.”
But Yobo is not doing all this for his own benefit.
He knows he’s setting an example for his younger sister back home, as well as others in Ghana, who might not be afforded the opportunity to experience what he has in the United States.
Transferring to USC and starting his iStandAbove organization has given him a platform to use and be a voice for youth and his country.
“There’s a lot of [people] outside and they feel I’m not good enough to do this or I’m too little to do this,” Yobo said. “But knowing you can stand above any stumbling block that you face in life, you can overcome it and turn it into a stepping stone.”
Being a role model for his family and fellow citizens back home by attending one of the premier universities in the United States has given Yobo the motivation and courage to make a difference.
“I’m here, but I never dreamed of being here,” Yobo said. “ It just shows that hard work does pay off. Always look up, expect more for yourself and never settle for less.”