USC students participating in the program teach and mentor high school and middle school students. JEP has been adding programs in the past decade as more students decide to serve.
Tammy Anderson, executive director of JEP, said on average 1,100 students participate in JEP each semester and 20 to 25 percent of those students have participated before.
“It just shows that more and more, our students want to be involved. They want to be part of the solution to problems and test out their own abilities,” Anderson said.
This semester, JEP created a program for international relations students and formed new partnerships with USC Cadets, who will help them run a boot camp, and the California Conservation Corps.
“We try to add programs that will give our students different experiences than [those] we already offer,” Anderson said.
Travis Glynn, a junior majoring in international relations who has worked at JEP for two years, runs the new program. He said it will allow students form USC to talk at middle schools and high schools about international relations issues related to Los Angeles.
“We will discuss issues ranging from trade and migration to court security and public safety,” Glynn said.
JEP will also be continuing a program that allows international students to teach about their homelands and cultures.
Though plans to formally celebrate JEP’s 40th anniversary have been postponed until the house is finished, Anderson is encouraging students who have participated in JEP to go online to share their most memorable moments working at JEP.
“It’s an important milestone for a program like ours to be at a big research university like USC for so long. Its students want to be engaged, and our full time staff and student staff have been here and committed to the program,” Anderson said. “That’s the key to why we’ve been so successful.”
The JEP house is being renovated for the next nine months to provide more space for the growing program. JEP is now temporarily housed at The Lot.
JEP Program Assistant Coordinator Nicole Kohansamad. a junior majoring in business, said the project allows students to interact with the community in a new way.
“It’s a small amount of time during your week that will have a big impact on you. It exposes you to what is going on in the community, and it gets you out of the USC bubble,” Kohansamad said. “JEP is really for someone who wants a rewarding experience to learn about other people and themselves.”