Wanted: More Students Ready to Work in Public Service While They Study
By Kris Lovekin
The San Bernardino Community College District is recruiting 80 students to take on paid public service as a way to receive up to $10,000 toward school and living expenses. The deadline to apply is May 31 at https://sbccd.edu/college-corps/index.php.
This is the second year for College Corps, a statewide program that asks students to serve part time in climate action, youth development, and food insecurity. In turn, the students earn stipends of up to $7,000 for living expenses and up to $3,000 as a final reward after completing the program.
“College Corps is opening new doors of opportunity for our students,” said Diana Z. Rodriguez, Chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District. “We can tell from the stories of our students that this is working for them to gain relevant job experience as they continue in school.”
Muhammad Zubair, 21, said he felt useful. He helped set up beds for a shelter at the Rim of the World High School, just before the big snowstorm closed down the roads. He passed out food to families in need through the Sahaba Initiative. He cleaned up a beach and a park on a day for climate action. And he staffed the bloodmobile at Red Cross blood drives.
He has finished his 450 hours of service, but he decided to keep going, working with several organizations, including Sahaba Initiative, the Red Cross and Rotary Club.
“They still call me,” Zubair said. “College Corps gave me a lot of ideas. People need our help. We are all human beings and we need each other to help.”
A business administration major from Loma Linda, Zubair came to the U.S. in middle school with his family. He said College Corps has helped him connect with people and get work experience while he studies online at night with classes from both San Bernardino Valley College and Crafton Hills College.
When he transfers to Cal State San Bernardino in the Fall, he wants to continue on with College Corps through that campus, since the program is statewide at select college campuses. “The people you help, they give you a lot of respect,” he said.
A low to moderate income student has the chance to attend college debt-free. The program is open to all students who meet the requirements, including those who have enrolled in college as “dreamers,” under AB 540.
The money comes from California’s share of the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, as well as some money from the state’s general fund.
Other partners who are working with College Corps members include:
- Akoma Unity Center
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters
- Blu Educational Foundation
- Catholic Charities
- Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice
- Habitat for Humanity
- Huerta del Valle
- Inland Congregations United for Change
- Mesa View Middle School
- Park View Middle School
- Pacific High School
- Project Fighting Chance
- Rotary Club #5330
- Sahaba Initiative
- Tree People
- Uplift San Bernardino
Information sessions have been set in March, April and May for students who are interested in learning more. For more information, go to: https://sbccd.edu/college-corps/index.php.