College Corps prepares for the new year after emergence

By Jose Hernandez, March 7, 2023

The College Corps program emerged on campus this past October as a historic college program becoming the first state service opportunity open to AB540 eligible Dreamers, who are able to access training, networking and professional development opportunities with the possibility to join a statewide body of young leaders across California.

To ensure the opportunity is accessible to all, CPP students are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in awards toward their education when committing to serve for a year upon the completion of 450 hours of community service completed in the duration of the year.  

Christina Gonzalez-Salgado, the College Corps Fellowship program coordinator, oversees the program on campus and urges students to take a positive step forward in supporting their professional development, and make a rewarding investment in their career professions. 

“The motivating course for joining is if you are seeking to impact the school’s community and become connected to their communities, become very passionate about being a part of community change and working with community leaders, the fellows connect with community leaders and feeding people in the community,” said Gonzalez-Salgado.   

The mission statement, deemed #CaliforniansForAll, aims to lend a helping hand to create debt-free pathways to college while engaging students across the state by piecing together problems in their communities. The program strives to provide more than 10,000 students with opportunities to support and learn from public community organizations.

The College Corps initiative consists of three main goals beginning by helping pioneer a generation of civic-minded leaders with the capability to bridge divides and solve problems. Secondly, help low-income students graduate college promptly with less debt, while addressing societal challenges and helping build more equitable communities statewide.  

Jose Hernandez | The Poly Post

The Mid-Year leadership workshop took place Feb. 24 at the Bronco Student Center. The first-time event brought together participants in the program from all colleges throughout California participating in the College Corps program. Josh Fryday was appointed California’s chief service officer by Gov. Gavin Newsom to lead service, volunteer and civic engagement efforts throughout California. 

“The central tenent of these workshops is to create an environment of belonging,” said Fryday. “Through College Corps, fellows are connecting with communities and bridging divides, while networking professionally and connecting with each other.”

Psychology student Kenya Osorio joined the College Corps program last fall and volunteers at the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies on campus. She said it’s been a good experience so far.

“Be ready to commit to 10 to 15 hours of community service per week. It is a lot of work and time consuming at times because you have to be a full-time student. Being able to juggle everything and staying on top of it all is hard. In the end, it’s really helpful being able to help the community and pay off student loans,” Osorio said. 

Since the amount of volunteering locations varies upon student’s interest, students’ are able to choose between tutoring with K-12 students or at local food banks. Angel Sarango, civil engineering student, volunteers at the food bank in the city of Industry.

“Overall, the impact on the community I have gotten a bigger sense of who I am as a person and what I am doing for the community. We make food kits for people in need for specific groups such as children and homeless in need,” said Sarango. 

The priority application deadline is March 24, and the final application deadline is May 1 for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Feature image by Jose Hernandez

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