By Selena Roldan and Mayibel Ruiz (Contributing Writers)
Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced the initiative #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, the largest state-level investment in a college service program in California history, that allows students the opportunity to receive a grant of $10,000. Its main objective is to enrich and connect Californians from all different backgrounds with their communities. The program will include community colleges and universities, with CSUSB as one of the 45 schools in the program.
“California is a world leader in both higher education and service. The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians of different backgrounds with enriching service opportunities throughout the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the nation,” said Gov. Newsom.
The #CaliforniaForAll College Corps will work with up to 6,500 students, including AB 540 eligible Dreamers at the 45 colleges and universities chosen for this initiative. Over the course of two years, the program will allow students to complete a year of service opportunities on critical issues. Students can choose to focus their work on issues such as climate action, K-12 education and COVID-19 recovery.
Summer Steele, director of the CSUSB California Student Opportunity and Access Program, stated that “under the two-year fellowship program set to begin in the fall, CSUSB will recruit, train, place, supervise, and evaluate each year 75 full-time undergraduate students, including 25 eligible Dreamer students, at both the San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses.”(Cal-SOAP).
“We’re thrilled to team up with California Volunteers to create new opportunities for our students to give back, be part of something bigger, and grow personally and professionally,” said Diana Rodriguez, Chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District, home of Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College.
The program is already getting the attention of CSUSB students.
“This is a great opportunity! As a college student, a lot of the time you’re left trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for everything after graduating. This opportunity would allow students to try and work through some of the debt after completing community service, ”said fellow Coyote, Zuyva Ruiz.
Supporting the California College Corps Fellowship Program will help millions of college students not only get involved, but to pay off student loans.
When discussing student debt in California, California Chief Service Officer, Josh Fryday said, “Nearly four million Californians owe 147 billion in student debt, with Black and Latino Californians facing the highest rates of default and delinquency.”
Fryday followed up by discussing the three core goals of the program.
“Students will be able to show leadership by using the three core goals that are expected of them by the California Volunteers Program. Goal one will be to engage college students in meaningful service opportunities that build leadership skills and civic responsibility. Goal two will help students from diverse backgrounds graduate college on time and with less debt. Goal three will support the work of community-based organizations focused on key local priorities.”
Starting March 1, 2022, campuses will be notified in order for students to be able to learn more about the program. Recruiters will be able to see who the right candidate is for this position. There will be 250 student selections from each of the 45 colleges if they meet the criteria. Once these participants are selected, they will have to complete 450 hours of community service over two cohort terms, starting from August 2022 to July 2023 for year one and August 2023 to June 2024.