“I’m ready to fight on and prove everyone else wrong!”

My USC Story: first-year student

My USC Story freshman Ygor Pereira photographed standing outside in front of Doheny Library, he is smiling and looking into the camera appearing ready for college.
My USC Story freshman Ygor Pereira, 23, photographed September 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Gus Ruelas)

College business major and Questbridge scholar Ygor Pereira earned remarkable test scores and excelled academically despite coming from a disadvantaged school system in Mount Vernon, NY. With his two older brothers serving as role models, the track and field team captain used his own challenges as motivation for personal growth and to empower other youth in lower socioeconomic communities, starting a peer mentorship program in his high school.

Why did you choose USC?

When you think of USC, you think of the peak of academic excellence in the modern world. By placing myself in an environment clearly built on success, I will be furthering my career opportunities and extending my reach towards my intellectual potential. USC fosters a community that passionately instills work ethic and dedication into students while still encouraging us to enjoy ourselves. That’s exactly the type of environment I’d like to be in for the next four years, and I look forward to making the absolute most out of it.

What did you do when you first found out you got into USC?

Up to that point, the college admissions process had truly beaten me down; I wasn’t getting into schools that I thought were lock-ins and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. Before opening my USC decision, I even dreaded the “inevitable” denial that was sure to come. When I realized I had gotten accepted, I was a complete emotional rollercoaster. I jumped around, yelled, cried – you name it. I felt that USC actually saw something special in me and believed I was capable of thriving in their environment. Now, I’m ready to fight on and prove everyone else wrong!

What are you most excited to learn/do/experience while at USC?

Studying abroad, networking with peers from all over the planet, and contributing to the culture established by USC alumni are all examples of how unique and self-blossoming my experience at USC will be – not to mention living Los Angeles, a city filled to the brim with things to do and experiences to be made. Knowing that there will be new people to meet and new stories to hear every single day is exhilarating to me, and I can’t wait to get started.

What is one thing you brought (or will bring) with you to USC that means the most to you?

I’ll be bringing my track & field national championship bag; some of my proudest moments come from track, and I’m not talking about the actual track meets. The most gratifying moments of the sport come from practice: specifically, the days where you have to work especially hard to overcome yourself. My bag serves as a reminder that I am capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to, and it motivates me to hold on to that mindset throughout college.

What piece of advice about starting college do you think you’ll follow?

Being as open to opportunities as possible! Who knows where these next four years will take me? I will definitely be leaving my comfort zone both academically and socially, and I look forward to the personal growth that it will lead to. Being thrown into a city on the other side of the country can certainly be scary, but my excitement for all that comes with it easily makes it all worth it.

What do you think/hope you’ll be like four years from now?

With an entering class-bound to be filled with future politicians, doctors, lawyers, business owners, and teachers, my campus experience will be nothing short of a high-class educational wonderland full of opportunities to expand my mind. By combining contribution to a beneficial support system as well as honest self-reflection, I hope to be contributing to an elite community of scholars willing to do whatever it takes to be the best version of themselves possible, all while paying it forward and giving back to my community one way or another.

Read more stories here!