CALIFORNIA – Governor Gavin Newsom and the leaders of California’s college and university systems joined Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday to launch the largest state-level investment in a college service program in California history. California Volunteers announced the 45 colleges and universities selected as inaugural partners for the service-based college opportunity program.
“California is a world leader in both higher education and service,” said Governor Newsom. “The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians of different backgrounds with enriching service opportunities throughout the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the nation.”
#CaliforniansForAll College Corps will provide up to 6,500 college students over two academic years with service opportunities in critical issue areas such as climate action, K-12 education, and COVID-19 recovery. Students who complete a year of service will receive $10,000 while gaining valuable experience serving in their communities. This program will unite young Californians of all backgrounds in service, and, for the first time, specifically creates state-funded opportunities for AB 540 eligible Dreamers to serve their communities.
45 total campuses representing University of California, California State University, community college and private university systems have been selected as program participants via a competitive grant application process. The full list of schools can be found here.
“Today is a historic day in California. The Governor, alongside the leaders of the world’s top higher education systems, offered a monumental proposal to the next generation of Californians— if you step up to serve your community, we’ll help you pay for college,” said Josh Fryday, California Chief Service Officer and the head of California Volunteers.
Nearly four million Californians owe $147 billion in student debt with Black and Latino Californians facing the highest rates of default and delinquency. Governor Newsom has prioritized the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps as part of an effort to lead the nation in service-centered paths, relieving the debt burden on our recent graduates while moving the state forward with service-focused careers.
“The University of California is pleased to partner with Governor Newsom on this innovative program, which will help thousands of students pay for college while they give back to their communities,” said University of California President Michael V. Drake. “Providing more pathways to a debt-free degree while empowering students to pursue service-oriented career paths is a reflection of our shared commitment to access, affordability, and public service.”
“The California State University students who participated in the pilot program over the past year took their world-class CSU education and translated that into on-the-ground tutoring and mentoring in their communities,” said California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “This program is an invaluable opportunity for our students to not only give back to their communities, but also to help prepare the next generation of CSU students for success. We look forward to even greater opportunities for the students selected through the inaugural year of the Corps.”
“The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps creates service opportunities for community college graduates that support our communities while creating career pathways for our graduates,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “Community college partnerships selected in this inaugural group of grantees include deploying our students to feed those who rely on our food banks. I’m heartened to see the Governor’s initiative recognizes the value of investing in community college students, who have tremendous gifts to offer through their service and future leadership.”
“California’s private non-profit colleges and universities have prioritized student aid over the past few years as costs for students have soared nationwide. Our colleges and universities have also historically prioritized service to the communities their students live and learn in. The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps marries these goals seamlessly and helps fill in financial aid gaps faced by many of our low-income students while continuing the goal of serving our state in the areas of greatest need. We are proud to have participated in the pilot program over the past year and are honored to continue with our members as partner campuses and direct grantees in this inaugural year,” said Association of Independent Colleges and Universities President Kristen Soares.
A recording of the press conference is available here.
Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. #CaliforniansForAll is a California Volunteers service initiative launched in response to COVID-19 to establish a volunteer corps to support the state’s response to emergencies and disasters.