History of the YRP

The USC Young Researchers Program (YRP) was the brainchild of Earth Science graduate students Laurie Chong and Carie Frantz. YRP was developed under the guidance of Professor Will Berelson in the fall of 2008 as a way to bring local high school students, especially students of disadvantaged and traditionally underrepresented households, to USC and experience research first-hand. YRP aims to encourage our students to attend college and pursue careers in the sciences.

The inaugural year of the program (summer of 2009) included seven students from two USC-neighborhood schools working within six different labs in the Earth and Marine Environmental Science Departments. After presenting their research posters at the end of the six weeks to friends, teachers, family, USC students and professors, students reported the program made them feel confident in their abilities to attend college. We consider this a great success, very nice.

Over the past ten years YRP has hosted over 100 outstanding high school students. We continue to expand our program as students express their interests and needs over the years. Check out previous summer research on the Past Events tab. As of today, YRP is still housed in USC's Earth Science Department, but our mentors stretch across all fields of STEM.


YRP is dedicated to serving the local USC neighborhood by providing high school students a unique summer research opportunity. Through research experiences YRP aims to increase interest in STEM fields among students traditionally underrepresented in STEM. By doing so, we hope to create a network for previous participants to support each other as they pursue their future careers.