The mission of the Cal State Fullerton Volunteer & Service Center is to build partnerships with the surrounding community, develop civic minded individuals by providing community volunteer opportunities and cultivate leadership skills in students, faculty, staff and students so that they continue to broaden their knowledge and serve their communities. This past year a record number of Cal State Fullerton students volunteered in the Orange County community. More than 600 students performed approximately 20,000 hours of service to 5,000 community members through the Volunteer & Service Center community-based programs. This does not include the thousands of hours committed to service by hundreds of individual clubs, Greek organizations or outside partnerships.
The Cal State Fullerton Volunteer and Service Center serves as a vehicle for placing volunteers in a variety of sponsored community-based programs and volunteer opportunities. The placement serves to address issues such as illiteracy, hunger and homelessness, the environment, health and mentoring. The Volunteer & Service Center is that galvanizing force, bringing these partners together to take a proactive stance in building and sustaining the local community.
Adopting the mantra, “It’s your world, change it!” the Volunteer & Service Center is comprised of a dozen student-initiated, student-run community-based programs. Cal State Fullerton students sought out and identified partnerships with local schools, homeless shelter/resources, environmental organizations, and national and local nonprofit grassroots organizations to identify resources and both community and student needs. These actions resulted in a myriad of projects. They provided 14,000 hours of after-school tutoring with children that are considered ‘high risk,’ coordinated weekly college motivational workshops by volunteer ‘Buddies’ for more than 350 fourth graders for a all-day campus visit which included classes taught by faculty volunteers and visits to student services departments and they engaged international college students with elementary schools to share about their cultures and issues of diversity to more than 700 youth in Anaheim.
The Volunteer & Service Center has also provided in excess of 650 hours reading and mentoring children at a local homeless shelter, assisted in computer lab with low-income children as mentors at a local elementary school who expressed their desperate need and provided one-on-one weekly mentoring to junior high school students whom are struggling socially and academically. They coordinate a campus campaign on raising awareness and funds for victims of domestic violence also.
Cal State Fullerton students are making a difference and understanding that it only takes one to change the world. This indeed has been a positive example of students committing to the idea of utilizing their information learned in the classroom and developing leadership skills for the benefit of serving others.