California College Corps earn education and $10,000 to serve their community
Californians for all academic bodies
In January 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California college and university systems launched #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, the largest publicly funded college service program in California history.
The program aims to give up to 6,500 students the opportunity to serve in their communities for two academic years and receive a $10,000 stipend while gaining valuable experience. Fellows would work in critical areas such as climate action, K-12 education, and COVID-19 recovery.
At the time, Newsom announced, “The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians from diverse backgrounds with rewarding service opportunities across the state while making college more affordable for future leaders. of our state.”
The next cohort of fellows
In October, Newsom swore in 3,200 students who became the latest cohort of Californians For All College Scholars.
One of this year’s recipients was Ali Alani, a Syrian immigrant and sophomore at UC San Diego, who is pursuing a degree in engineering and entrepreneurship. Alani will participate in the AVID program for online students at twelve schools in the greater San Diego Unified School District.
At an EMS press conference on Oct. 11, Alani said her goal is to inspire students to stay in school and pursue their college goals. This program will help him finance his own college studies.
A win-win situation
Josh Fryday, the California Services Director who oversees the program, explained that it was a win-win situation for many low-income students, but especially for AB 540-eligible Dreamers. collegiate body was the first time California created publicly funded service opportunities for an all too often marginalized population, Fryday said.
The program received nearly 10,000,000 applicants for 3,000 slots, Fryday noted, indicating this generation’s desire to serve their community. Students who were not selected this time around can reapply to the program, which will run until 2026. Other states now want to adopt and follow this model, he added.
Corps Fellows have helped distribute food in food-insecure communities, said Debbie S. Espinosa, President and CEO, FIND Food Bank of Central California. Many DACA students have taken advantage of food bank services focused on access to healthy food.
Wendi Lizola, a DACA student studying nursing at Sacramento State University, explained that her undocumented family suffered from severe food insecurity. Due to their DACA status, his family washed cars to earn money as work opportunities were limited in their community.
Mireya Olivera confirmed that over 500 AB 540 CA Dream Act students are enrolled in the food program. Nearly 50% of the food distributed was fresh fruits and vegetables, Espinosa said, with the rest being a combination of protein, dairy and other foods. She added that FIND tries to limit the amount of foods that fall outside the USDA My Plate healthy eating recommendation to less than 20% of what is distributed to the community.
The College Corps program is a godsend
For her scholarship, Lizola was placed as a tutor at a middle school where she hopes to be an inspiration and role model to other young students. Lizola called the program a godsend for her and her family.
Both Lizola and Alami credit the $10,000 grant with helping ease the financial burden of a college education.
Fryday confirmed that the College Corps program will continue to be funded into next year even in the face of an economic downturn.
“It’s an incredible program serving incredible students,” he said.
A list of participating campuses is available at the following site: www.californiavolunteers.cagov/californians.
Photo by Matese Fields on Unsplash