Monterey Bay: AmeriCorps VIPs Bring Support to Nonprofits
The Service Learning Institute at CSU Monterey Bay supports students at their community placements through an AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Project (VIP). For the past three years, VIPs annually have increased the capacity of partners such as Everyone's Harvest Farmer's Markets, the Monterey County Boys and Girls Club, the National Steinbeck Center, Dorothy's Kitchen and Return of the Natives to recruit, train, supervise and celebrate the service of CSU Monterey Bay service learners and other community volunteers. This year's VIPs have coordinated more than 4,700 volunteers who have served nearly 109,000 Monterey County residents through more than 46,000 hours of service. CSU Monterey Bay graduates who serve a year as AmeriCorps VIPs view this full time experience as a way to delve more fully into community building while building their own resumes. In coming years, CSU Monterey Bay's VIP program will bring and support even more highly qualified volunteers and educational mentors to their community partners.
“I have gained so much through this class. I’ve learned that I can make a difference, and that what I say and do affects people’s lives in both small and large ways. I have realized that I am effective and that I am capable of creating positive things for individuals and my community. The amazing growth and learning that were gained through this course will not benefit anyone unless we continue to move forward and ensure that in future situations it is our priority that our actions reflect our pedagogy, our words are used to empower, and our hearts remain open.””
—Meghan Elise, CSU Monterey Bay student taking SL 492S: Participatory Action Research Service Learning
community needs through public service:
California State University Maritime Academy's Martin Luther King National Day of Service took place in spring of 2013. While helping to restore part of Vallejo's local history, students interacted with community members, established a strong camaraderie with each other and were inspired to continue the work they were doing until projects were completed several months later.
Nineteen CSU Chico participants arrived in Lafayette, Louisiana, to begin work for Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) Alternative Spring Break (ASB), in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Their ingenuity and hard work pay off, as volunteers build homes for economically disadvantaged families.
In April 2013, CSU Dominguez Hills hosted the 3rd annual Pow Wow honoring Native American victims of crime and violence. Pow wows are a critical component of American Indian society; the arenas serve both social and spiritual functions, bringing people together to celebrate, dance, pray and honor Native American tradition and culture.
CSU East Bay has taken a new approach in introducing first-year students to the first few weeks of college. Through an intentional one-day community service experience, students explore and give back to the community through Freshman Day of Service.
“Change the Status Quo” is a social justice conference with a ten-year history at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Workshop topics range from environmental issues, to homelessness, fair trade, sexual assault, mental health, and sexuality, and are presented by students, faculty, staff, and community partners.
Shadow Day is an annual event at Sonoma State where students enrolled in University 222 serve as mentors for juniors from Roseland University Prep (RUP). The purpose of this event is to prepare RUP juniors for college, whether it is at Sonoma State or another university.