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Program offers college students $10,000 to volunteer in their community
college corps
UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn, California’s Chief Service Office Josh Fryday and UC Merced’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Nies promote the new Californians For All College Corps program (Photo contributed).

Students at 45 colleges and universities, that include Stanislaus State and UC Merced, will be able to earn $10,000 toward their degrees by volunteering for the new Californians For All College Corps program. 

The first volunteer program of its kind in the country will be available to 6,500 students at a variety of schools, including University of California, California State University and California Community College campuses, as well as a handful of private schools.

The idea behind the initiative is that in exchange for volunteering in their communities at places like schools, food banks and community gardens, students can make a difference and earn money.

“By becoming a College Corps member, students will receive much needed funding support and will be able to reduce the number of hours they need to work, so they still have time to participate in meaningful public service activities and have time to keep up their studies as they develop professional skills and gain valuable professional experience,” said Stanislaus State senior writer and content specialist Donna Birch Trahan. “It’s a win-win situation for all.”

According to Trahan, this program is especially important at Stanislaus State because the students, a lot of times, have multiple financial responsibilities. 

“Stanislaus State already is a campus with a dedicated commitment to service-learning by our students,” she said. “College Corps will enable students to contribute even more to their communities. More than 70 percent of our students are first generation and 60 percent are eligible for federal Pell Grants, which are awarded to students with significant financial need. Most of our students have to work to support their families and pay for college, and as a result, it is difficult for them to volunteer for public service activities as much as they would like.”

Applications are now open for the first cohort. Students must be enrolled full-time for the 2022-2023 year, be in good academic standing and have financial needs. 

If students complete the 450 hours over a year, they will receive a $7,000 living allowance stipend and a $3,000 education award, plus academic credit, real-world job experience and access to training and networking opportunities. Students will be placed at organizations targeting three areas; K-12 education, climate action and food insecurity. Applications are still open for organizations that would like to take and train volunteers.