Message from the USC Lambda Alumni Association
It’s a new day for USC Lambda and our LGBTQ+ Trojan Family, full of hope and promise. That is why I’m so excited and grateful to begin my tenure as president of USC Lambda’s board of directors. The opportunity to provide more scholarships for LGBTQ+ students and to bring our community closer together is what makes my heart beat.
I grew up in East L.A. in a family that was very involved with community organizing. Even at a young age, I was much aware of social disparities and wanted to address them. In college, a trusted mentor suggested that I pursue a career in social work. Becoming a social worker turned out to be exactly what I wanted to do, because it enables me to help solve social issues that affect underserved communities. Today, I own a hybrid educational consulting and private practice company that works with adults and families in work, life and school settings in Los Angeles.
Juggling classes and internships while attending grad school at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work prevented me from joining university groups. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I became aware of USC Lambda, and all that it does for the LGBTQ+ Trojan community—especially our LGBTQ+ students, who face many challenges when it comes to staying in school and graduating. LGBTQ+ students also face a higher risk of experiencing homelessness, bullying and discrimination. If we help and support them, however, they are more likely to graduate and make their mark on the world. For many LGBTQ+ students, education is protection; it empowers them and makes them much more resilient.
That’s why I’m so proud and excited to now serve USC Lambda as board president. I can’t wait for us to be able to meet in person and get to work. There is much to be done, but I know we will succeed.
Moving forward, USC Lambda is strengthening our partnerships with groups across the university to create programs that focus on our shared interests. It does not serve us to work in silos. Collaborating with the broader university community will open doors for LGBTQ+ Trojans, allowing them to connect and network with fellow Trojans of all ages and backgrounds.
Our board, which has recently grown from 6 to 18 members, will focus on cultivating donors, so we can continue to grow our endowment and expand scholarship opportunities for our LGBTQ+ students. They will also take a lead role in overseeing our committees—for scholarships, Homecoming, DEI programming, this year’s scholarship gala and next year’s 30th anniversary celebration—and will need your help. Please consider volunteering your time and energy, or sharing your expertise with us. Your support is greatly appreciated and valued.
We must also continue to strengthen our student outreach program. Personally, I owe so much to the mentors in my life, and there’s ample evidence that mentorship programs help students succeed—particularly LGBTQ+ students, who often lack role models or trusted advisors. As the saying goes, “You cannot be what you cannot see.”
To get these and other programs going will take time, of course, as well as the volunteer efforts of many LGBTQ+ and ally Trojans. So to all who believe in creating opportunities for LGBTQ+ students, I only have this to say: join us!
Thank you and Fight On!
Verónica Obregon MSW ’01, EdD ’14
USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association Board of Directors