Berkeley universities

CA Gov. Gavin Newsom launches historic college service program

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday launched a historic statewide college service program, which offers community service opportunities to students in exchange for $10,000 scholarships.

The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program aims to engage students in meaningful service for local community organizations and help students from diverse backgrounds graduate on time while minimizing debt, according to California Service Director Josh Fryday. The program will help up to 6,500 college students over two college years, and students who complete a year of service will receive $10,000, according to a press release from California Volunteers.

“The cost of higher education in California and across the country has skyrocketed, leaving students in massive debt,” Fryday said in an email. “With the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, low-income students who commit to a college year of service will be eligible to receive stipends and scholarships to help pay for their education.”

The program was organized by Newsom’s office and California Volunteers, the state office charged with engaging Californians in service and volunteerism. Fryday added that the initiative is funded by the California Comeback Plan, which includes a $146 million investment for the program.

According to the press release, this is the largest statewide investment in an academic services program.

UC Berkeley is one of 45 California colleges participating in the program, with six other UC campuses selected, according to the press release. Campuses applied through a competitive grant application process.

“The University of California is pleased to partner with Governor Newsom on this innovative program, which will help thousands of students pay for their education while giving back to their communities,” said UC President Michael Drake. , in the press release. “Providing more pathways to a debt-free degree while allowing students to pursue service-oriented career paths is a reflection of our shared commitment to access, affordability and public service.”

According to Sandra Bass, associate dean of students and director of the campus public service center, UC Berkeley students who join the program can participate in service opportunities in areas such as climate change, public health, the social welfare and K-12 education. Bass noted that the campus is developing the program and details on how students can apply will be released soon.

The $10,000 scholarship will be provided as a $7,000 stipend and a $3,000 scholarship for loans or tuition, according to Bass. Students must complete 450 hours of service over 11 months. Currently, UC Berkeley plans to select 100 students to join the program in the upcoming 2022-23 academic year.

“Community service is part of our campus DNA,” Bass said in an email. “It’s exciting to think about the kind of impact possible when universities across the state build relationships and learn from each other.”

Contact Amudha Sairam at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AmudhaSairam.