When Kendall Damon was a junior in high school, she seemed certain of one thing: She wouldn’t attend USC. Her father, brother and cousin all studied here, and the 16-year-old Damon wanted to chart her own path.
It took just a few hours on campus to change her mind. During a visit over spring break, Damon quickly fell for the sunny weather and energy from the bustling students. She got the chance to listen to a lecture by Professor LaVonna Lewis of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. As Lewis’ students pitched ideas to combat systemic sexism, Damon discovered a path where she could make a difference.
“It ended up being this click moment when I thought, ‘This is what I want to do. This is a major I want. This is a career I want,’” Damon said.
Damon is now the USC Price School’s valedictorian. It’s the culmination of four years full of accomplishments for the public policy undergrad, who landed internships in the U.S. Senate and L.A. County Board of Supervisors, oversaw diversity and equity initiatives at her sorority, and volunteered for political and climate advocacy campaigns.