Tanu Henry | California Black Media
California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday and other education advocates around the state are encouraging college students to apply for financial assistance through the Californians for All College Corps program.
Over the next two year, 6,500 California students who qualify will receive stipends of $10,000 each year to pay for college expenses. In return, the students will be required to participate in community service projects tackling issues related to climate change, education, food insecurity and more.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in January that the state was investing $146 million in the work service effort that his office says would help low-income students graduate on time and with less debt. Selected students will also receive academic credit for the work they do in their communities.
“Students are graduating with crippling debt. This service and career development program helps create a debt-free college pathway while promoting service. If you are willing to serve your community and give back in a meaningful way, we are going to help you pay for college,” said Fryday.
Fryday, who Newsom appointed in 2019 to oversee volunteering, civic engagement and service initiatives in California, was speaking at the launch of the “College Corps” program in Merced earlier this month.
Officials from the University of California Merced, California State University Stanislaus, and California State University Fresno joined Fryday at the kickoff event.
“This is a win-win-win: Helping to pay for college, gaining valuable work experience, and having a meaningful impact on your community,” Fryday continued.
Universities across the state will collaborate with local government, community service organizations and non-profits to assign students to projects that are priorities in their region.
The College Corps program is being launched at a time Newsom is initiating several programs organized to address skyrocketing inflation as Californians recover from economic challenges brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 12, Newsom announced an $18.1 billion package with relief funding in tax refunds, childcare assistance, a minimum wage increase, help with utility bills, health insurance subsidies, stimulus payments for health care workers, and more.
“We enacted the most comprehensive economic stimulus program in the nation last year, getting billions in immediate relief to millions of Californians. But many folks are still struggling, especially with high costs due to inflation, so we’re leveraging this historic surplus to get money back into the pockets of Californians,” said Newsom when he announced the relief package.
“This inflation relief package will help offset the higher costs that Californians are facing right now and provide support to those still recovering from the pandemic,” the governor continued.
The College Corps program requires students to complete 450 hours of community service over the course of the school year to receive the funding.
“The College Corps initiative is not only an important way for California to show that it values the efforts of our students, but also another significant advancement in helping more students complete college without financial stressors that can follow them into their early careers,” said Juan
Sánchez Muñoz, University of California Merced Chancellor.
Inland Valley News coverage of local news in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support minority-owned-and-operated community newspapers across California.