California College Corps Welcomes Second Student Cohort

Thousands of students across the state have joined the second cohort of the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps to serve their communities while earning money to pay for their education.
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Margaret Attridge is a news reporter for BestColleges focusing on higher education news stories in California. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2022 with a BA in journalism and government and politics....
Published on October 26, 2023
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  • #CaliforniansForAll College Corps is entering its second year of providing participating students with service opportunities in their communities.
  • Areas of service include climate action, K-12 education, and food insecurity.
  • Forty-six colleges and universities across the state have the program on their campus.
  • After a year of service, participating students receive $10,000 for academic and living expenses.

Last year, 70 students from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) were chosen to serve as fellows in the inaugural cohort of the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps. They completed over 25,000 hours of service and training hours at 20 community host partner sites focusing on climate action and food insecurity.

Now, the university is offering 91 slots in its second cohort for students to serve the community — and earn money for school.

"Their impact on the communities they served has been tremendous, and we look forward to [the] continued growth of the program as we begin our work with cohort 2," UCI Student Affairs Deputy Chief of Staff Sherwynn Umali said in a press release.

The first #CaliforniansForAll College Corps cohort included 3,250 students at 46 California Community College, University of California, California State University, and private college campuses across the state. Participants receive $10,000 — $7,000 in living expenses and a $3,000 one-time scholarship — after completing 450 hours, or one year, of service.

The program focuses on Pell Grant-eligible, first-generation, and undocumented students.

According to the governor's office, the first cohort of fellows included more than 500 undocumented students. Additionally, over two-thirds of the first cohort were Pell-eligible, and 64% were first-generation college students.

"We are so proud of these students who've stepped up to serve their communities," California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday said in the release. "These are our future leaders, and that's why California is investing in them. Our hope is that College Corps sparks a lifelong commitment to service."

The program has three focus areas: K-12 education, climate action, and food insecurity. UCI focused on climate action and food insecurity.

Bracken's Kitchen in Garden Grove, Mercy Housing homeless shelter in Costa Mesa, and the Newport Beach Bay Conservancy are three of the community organizations that UCI fellows worked with.

Fourth-year anthropology major Matthew Margrave focused on climate action at the Newport Beach Bay Conservancy and reapplied to the College Corps program to return for another year and continue his work.

"I also participated in community days to host the public and get them involved and show them biodiversity aspect," Margrave said in a UCI press release. "Working in the group at the bay showed me I could be a leader and helped me have the courage to apply to become a resident assistant and be a leader at school. That's in part due to College Corps."