$3.3M state grant to support Pacific students in community service

A student at the College Corps induction.

Chanel Page '26 attends University of the Pacific's College Corps induction ceremony in fall 2023.

University of the Pacific has been awarded a $3.3 million state grant to continue the university’s College Corps program, providing support to 200 students over the next two years to help pay for college while serving the community.

Cumulatively, Pacific has been granted $6.5 million for four years and will have placed almost 400 fellows in College Corps by May of 2026. The university also was part of an initial pilot of the program.

“We are proud of our partnership with University of the Pacific,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “The university’s impactful work with #CaliforniansForAll College Corps fellows has significantly enhanced the students’ service experience and greatly benefitted the community. We look forward to continuing this successful collaboration.”

Students who take a semester-long class and complete 450 hours of service with community agencies can earn $10,000.

College Corps at work: three siblings serve together, earn $50,000

“The program changed my life in many ways,” said RJ Rossi ’24. “College Corps was the first opportunity I had to serve people in need. There are so many positive facets that I jumped at the chance to make an impact on people’s lives.

“Of course, the money we receive is vital. Simply put, I would not have been able to attend school this year if I did not have the College Corps funding.”

A College Corps fellow volunteers at St. Mary's Dining Room.

College Corps fellow Domonick Romo '27 volunteers at St. Mary's Dining Room.

Director Francine Redada said the program is rigorous but has been embraced by the fellows.

“We pride ourselves on having a very close-knit group. The students are dedicated to the program and to one another,” Redada said. “For students who stay in the program for multiple years, you can see and appreciate the growth they experience.”

College Corps has three areas of emphasis: K-12 education, climate change and food insecurity. Fellows are embedded in schools and agencies with needs in those areas.

Chanel Page ’26 stopped by the College Corps table during an Admitted Student Day in August 2023. She “immediately was pulled” toward the program.

“I helped with community service whenever I had the chance growing up, so it was natural for me to embrace College Corps,” Page said. “My long-term goal is to be a prosecutor, and I find this work helping steer me into the right sort of development as a person.”

St. Mary’s Dining Room in Stockton has three College Corps fellows from Pacific. They were joined by others in planning a recent volunteer appreciation brunch.

“They did everything from creating the menu to the set-up to actually running the event,” said Karen Gonzales, volunteer coordinator. “They also are on our campus providing service to our guests in the kitchen or working in the women’s hygiene department. It is rewarding to see students who are so willing to be out in the community providing service.”

Redada is joined in College Corps leadership by Dari Tran, professor of political science, and program manager Marylou Bagus-Hansen.

College Corps: By the numbers

  • $10,000: The annual aid received by fellows who complete program requirements
  • 450: Hours each volunteer is required to serve during a school year to receive full funding
  • 33,263: Volunteer hours logged by College Corps Fellows at Pacific in the 2022-23 school year
  • $6.5 million: Pacific’s total state funding for two cycles.