Cal State LA students pledged to serve their communities during a virtual swearing-in ceremony this month for the first cohort of fellows in the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, a new statewide paid service program.
College Corps is a statewide paid service program that aims to provide meaningful work to underserved college students, helping them graduate on time and with less debt while benefiting the local community.
“Part of the California way is giving back to help uplift others, and that is a core principle of the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “Students from a range of backgrounds will use their unique experiences to serve others and at the same time earn money for college—a triple win for our communities, our students and our future.”
College Corps Fellows will dedicate the academic year to tackling some of the biggest issues facing the state. Fellows will work in their communities to tutor and mentor low-income students, distribute meals to those facing food insecurity and take climate action.
Students will receive up to $10,000 for completing a year of service. This program is the first opportunity for AB 540 CA Dream Act Students to earn support for college in a state service program.
California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday administered the service oath on Oct. 7 from Sacramento to the more than 3,200 fellows who will serve during the 2022-2023 academic year and were gathered at watch parties across the state.
“In California, if you are willing to serve your community and give back in a meaningful way, we are going to help you pay for college. This is a win-win-win: Helping to pay for college, gaining valuable work experience, and having a meaningful impact on your community,” Fryday said.
Cal State LA’s #CaliforniansForAll College Corps fellows gathered together on campus to watch the celebration and to pledge the service oath.
Isela Reynoso, a senior psychology major, is one of Cal State LA’s approximately 50 College Corps fellows this year. Through her fellowship, she will work to help address food insecurity with the St. Francis Center in Downtown Los Angeles, which provides hunger relief and other services for low-income families and those experiencing homelessness.
“Many people want to be involved in helping their community but must also work for their living expenses,” Reynoso said. “This program provides both—the opportunity to make ends meet and be part of positive change in one’s community. Being part of the College Corps means I am taking the initiative toward building a more inclusive and equal society and it allows me to further improve on my professionalism and academic background through hands-on experience.”
As part of the university’s participation in the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program, Cal State LA is leading a regional consortium of colleges and universities. The East Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Regional Consortium includes Cal Poly Pomona, East Los Angeles College, Rio Hondo College and Cal State LA.
The consortium will offer meaningful civic and community engagement opportunities to at least 200 low-to-moderate income students, helping to reduce their college debt through financial support while addressing key challenges facing some of the most underserved communities in the eastern region of Los Angeles County.
Modeled after the California Volunteers’ pilot Civic Action Fellowship program, the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program aims to engage students across the state in solving problems in their communities, while learning key skills that will advance their own academic and career success.
“Our #CaliforniansForAll College Corps fellows are ready and eager to serve their communities alongside our nonprofit partners and to continue Cal State LA and Gov. Newsom’s commitment to engagement and service for the public good,” said Jose A. Gomez, Cal State LA’s provost and executive vice president.
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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.