Three-thousand California college students are each committing 450 volunteer hours with non-profit organizations in their communities this coming school year.
At University of the Pacific in Stockton, almost 100 students will be participating in the new program launching this fall. The commitment is part of a collaboration between colleges and universities with California Volunteers, a program through Governor Gavin Newsom’s office, AmeriCorps and CaliforniaForAll College Corps.
The UOP student fellows, who were sworn in late last week, will take part in a program that blends field experience with classroom learning.
At the induction ceremony, the group took this pledge: “I am an AmeriCorps member and I will get things done.”
The participating UOP students are college freshmen to seniors and come from five states. Lillia Gracia, one of the students, said she has several things she hopes to achieve by being part of this program.
“Personal growth, learning to work with other people, extra fulfillment,” she said.
There’s also a financial reward built in: $10,000 toward educational expenses. Another student, Hernoor Sandhu, said this will be a big help with her tuition.
“I think that’s a unique experience to stay debt free,” she said, “while taking classes and being part of a community.”
Marylou Bagus-Hansen is a service learning instructor at UOP. She said student volunteers will be concentrating in four project areas while working with 17 local non-profits.
“Food insecurity, K-12 education through tutoring and mentoring, climate action and then community health,” she said.
Nearly four dozen colleges are taking part in the program. They include community colleges, California State University, University of California campuses and four private colleges, among them UOP. Participating institutions in the Sacramento region include Sacramento City College, Sacramento and Stanislaus State universities and UC Davis.
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