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Sac State contingent among thousands sent forth by Gov. Newsom into College Corps service

More than 100 Sacramento State students were among the 3,200 college students sworn in as the inaugural members of the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps fellowship program. In attendance at the swearing-in ceremony in downtown Sacramento were Herky, the Sac State cheer team, and Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a podium on stage during an event for the inaugural #CaliforniansForAll College Corps class.
Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke at the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps fellowship program inaugural class ceremony, saying, “You don’t have to have formal authority to move the needle on important issues.” (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

More than 3,200 college students, including 103 from Sacramento State, began their journeys on Friday as California’s first College Corps members, committing to projects that will pay them to uplift their communities and build their futures.

In a festive swearing-in ceremony for the inaugural #CaliforniansForAll College Corps class, Gov. Gavin Newsom praised the student Fellows for taking part in a program that will address some of the state’s most pressing concerns.

“You don’t have to have formal authority to move the needle on important issues,” Newsom said during the event at the California Natural Resources Agency building in downtown Sacramento. “You’ve got moral authority.”

Hundreds of participating students attended the event in person, while others took part virtually. University administrators, the campus cheer team, and Sac State’s mascot Herky the Hornet also attended the live ceremony.

Tia Rowe, a Fellow who is studying Social Sciences at Sac State and plans to become a teacher, was one of the day’s featured speakers.

“You and I are going to be part of a movement toward change,” Rowe told the gathering. “We’re going into our own communities and playing an active role in building them up.”

For the next 10 months, Rowe and other Fellows will participate in community service projects across the state addressing issues such as climate change, educational equity, and food insecurity. Upon completing their fellowships, students will receive $7,000 for 450 hours of community service, plus a $3,000 education award.

Sac State is working in partnership with UC Davis, Sacramento City College, and Woodland Community College as the Sacramento Valley #CaliforniansForAll Consortium. Fellows will tutor and mentor K-12 students, work on flood mitigation and other environmental projects, and engage with residents who need food and nutritional support, among other projects.

Josh Fryday, chief service officer in Newsom’s administration, said the project is an opportunity “to be part of something bigger than ourselves,” and to “begin a life of service” to others. More than 600 community organizations are part of the effort.

“California is saying that, because you are working to serve your community, we are going to help you pay for school,” Fryday told the Fellows, who include undocumented students known as Dreamers.

“We believe in you,” Fryday told the audience. “We value you.”

Through the unprecedented, $146 million campaign, California is working to create new leaders and “reinvigorate active citizenship,” Newsom said during his address.

“Leaders can be found anywhere,” he said. “Look around you.”

Newsom said College Corps is a “passion project” for his administration, and urged each Fellow to use the experience to “discover who you are.”

“Discover your ‘why,’ ” he said. “Why am I here? What’s it all about? What is the purpose of my life?”

“The happiest people I know are people who are contributing and volunteering,” Newsom said. In a politically fractured and intensely divided society, “You are the antidote to all of the cynicism and anxiety.”

Sac State student Tia Rowe speaks at a podium on stage during an event for the inaugural #CaliforniansForAll College Corps class.
Tia Rowe, a #CaliforniansForAll College Corps Fellow who is studying Social Sciences at Sac State and plans to become a teacher, was among the speakers at the program's inaugural class ceremony. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)


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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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