New state initiative helps students serve their communities

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On January 18, Governor Gavin Newsom and leaders of California’s college and university systems announced a new student services program, #CaliforniansForAll College Corp, otherwise known as California College Corp.

In a statement, Newsom called it the “largest statewide investment in a college service program in California history.”

This is a state-funded grant, administered by the Governor’s Office of California Volunteers, that will provide service opportunities to 6,500 low-income students at 45 California colleges and universities. CSUMB is one of 16 participating CSUs.

Students, including eligible AB 540 Dreamers, can volunteer in underserved K-12 schools, recovering from COVID-19, climate change or food insecurity in their communities. Those who complete 450 hours of service in these areas in a year will receive a $10,000 stipend and scholarship for living expenses and tuition, as well as we credit their service-learning requirement.

“If you’re committed to serving your community, we’ll help pay for your education,” said Josh Fryday, California Services Director and California Volunteer Leader. He also called it a 4-way win, for the student, the school, non-profit organizations and society.

“California State University students who have participated in the pilot program over the past year have taken their world-class CSU training and translated it into on-the-job tutoring and mentoring in their communities,” California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in a statement.

The initiative is also a response from the governor and legislature to relieve the $147 billion student debt crisis borne by nearly 4 million Californians.

Pam Motoike is a professor at CSUMB’s Service Learning Institute and wrote the proposal for CSUMB’s participation in the program.

“We are thrilled to be part of the inaugural launch of the historic California Corps program,” she said. “This program is tailor-made for the CSUMB. Its founders embedded service-learning into the academic plan so that all of our graduates contribute to the local community and learn civic responsibility, compassion, and social justice.

The CSUMB will host 70 students who will be College Corps scholarships. Recruitment into the program will begin this spring and the first cohort will begin work in the fall.

Learn more about the California Volunteers Website.

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