Cal Poly Pomona will serve as a partner in the new #CaliforniansForAll CollegeCorps program.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and the leaders of California’s college and university systems recently announced the partnership at a press conference. A replay of the press conference will be streamed at an open watch party on Friday, Oct. 7 in Building 1, room109 from noon to 1 p.m.
CPP is one of only 45 campus communities partnering with a statewide initiative aimed at bolstering service and civic engagement. Students from all backgrounds will be engaged in a common purpose through CollegeCorps, which specifically creates opportunities for Assembly Bill 540-eligible Dreamers to participate.
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) will be tasked with executing this program and its three goals: to engage college students in meaningful service opportunities that build leadership skills and civic responsibility, help students from diverse backgrounds graduate college on time and with less debt and support the work of community-based organizations focused on key local priorities.
“The watch party is really a way to get all of our students together with all of the other 4,500 students throughout the state that are really working to address these key focus areas,” said Bryant Fairley, interim director for the CCE. “We always talk about how one person can make a difference, but I feel like the CollegeCorps sort of shows that ripple, and it shows sort of the wave of impact that’s happening statewide.”
For many, the CollegeCorps program will be a major move to open doors to entire career pathways they had never imagined possible.
CollegeCorps Fellow Natalie Gudino, a hospitality management senior minoring in nonprofit management, is thrilled about the program.
“This program, I didn’t even know about it. My sister saw it on the news and instantly messaged me about it,” she said. “Maybe Bryant can testify, I emailed him immediately, like the program wasn’t even ready, the application wasn’t ready at all! And I was like, ‘When can I do this? When can I start? Give me all the information.’ So, this program really is like solidifying my passion for the career that I never knew how to get.”
Gudino went on to explain that her passion has always lived within community, and CollegeCorps is the perfect delivery.
“It’s so common, especially in college, that everyone I’ve known so far is worried about how much money they’re going to make, what floor their office is going to end up in. But I’m over here, like, I would love to spend the rest of my life in Pomona; I know what it needs, and I know what I can do. And I’ve learned all the programs that I can be a part of, so why not be a part of it when I’m given this opportunity?”
CPP’s new coordinator for CollegeCorps is Christina Gonzalez, who shared that the most thrilling thing about the program so far is uplifting and empowering students to take on community leadership roles.
“I think what’s exciting about this college core program is, I feel it is really about collaborating with community folks to take leadership roles,” Gonzalez said. “So, it’s like our students are joining community leaders to connect on local priorities with this kind of support network bubble around our students. So, I really believe that this program is all about retention and graduation.”