A new program announced on Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom will help create a debt-free pathway to a college education for low-income Fresno State students. At the same time, the program will provide thousands of hours of service to address some of the most pressing problems confronting the state.

The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps is a college service program led by California Volunteers, Office of the Governor to help students who commit to serve for an academic year. Up to 6,500 students at 45 California colleges and universities will receive up to $10,000 to help pay for college. Fresno State was selected as one of the grantees.

Chris Fiorentino, director of the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Fresno State, said the program will benefit about 70 Fresno State students and 50 Fresno City College students and should generate about 54,000 hours of service to the community.

“The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program will provide some of the most financially needy students with in-depth service experiences that will benefit them personally, professionally and academically,” Fiorentino said. “Working with our partners at Fresno City College and across the community, these students will not only earn money to help them pay for college, but it will also help them develop the leadership and career skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.”

Selected students will be expected to perform a total of 450 community service hours throughout the academic year. Participants will help communities tackle critical issues focused on K-12 education, climate action and food insecurity.

Because this is a state service program, it will also be available to AB 540 eligible Dreamers, undocumented students who qualify for in-state tuition at California campuses.

Students who complete 450 hours of service with College Corps will receive the following benefits:

  • $7,000 living allowance, plus a $3,000 education award.
  • Academic credit. 
  • Real-world job experience and skills to add to their resume.
  • Extensive training, networking and professional development opportunities.
  • A sense of pride and accomplishment in working toward a common purpose alongside young leaders from across the state.

The first-year cohort will begin in August.

For more information about the program, contact Mellissa Jessen-Hiser at mjessen@csufresno.edu.