Dominican University of California has been named a School of National Service by AmeriCorps in recognition of the University’s commitment to public service as a way to help pay for college.
AmeriCorps launched Schools of National Service on December 15. This new initiative is designed to help more AmeriCorps alumni achieve their higher education goals. By participating in the program, colleges and universities can gain access to the more than 1.2 million AmeriCorps alumni who have earned Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.
Dominican’s Civic Action Fellowship offers incoming first-year students substantial scholarship support and an Eli Segal Federal Education Award in return for service in the community.
“AmeriCorps has a long history of partnership with higher education and this new initiative will continue that legacy by highlighting schools that are committed to the public good,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of AmeriCorps, when making the announcement.
In 2020, Dominican partnered with California Volunteers and AmeriCorps to launch the Civic Action Fellowship, which integrates service and academic work with a focus on career preparation and community engagement. Dominican led eight California universities in developing this first-of-its-kind program, which is modeled after the Reimagining Citizenship initiative that began in 2018 as a partnership between Dominican and the City of Novato while California Volunteers CEO Josh Fryday was serving as the city’s mayor.
Meet Some of Dominican’s Civic Action Fellows:
- Isa Ferris ’24, a first-year student from San Anselmo, came to Dominican to major in International Studies and run on the Penguins’ cross country team, but the biggest attraction was becoming a Civic Action Fellow with an opportunity to make a difference in the community. “I was drawn to Dominican because of the strong Service-Learning program and community outreach focus,” Isa says. “I felt like only at Dominican could I continue a high level of community involvement while also being a full-time student.” This fall Isa worked with Canal Alliance, tutoring ESL students.
- Noah Pascual ‘24, a first-year student from San Francisco majoring in Political Science, is adjusting to his role at SPAHR LBGTQ Youth Group, his Civic Action Fellow's assignment. He is honored to participate. “I was inspired to be a Civic Action Fellow because I felt that helping others in the local community would be really beneficial for me. Learning to foster change in an environment that’s new to me is exciting,” Noah says.
- Oswaldo Calderon ‘24, a first-year student from Chula Vista majoring in Business, is a Penguins’ soccer player whose Civic Action Fellows’ partner site is at Canal Alliance in workforce development. He is inspired assisting and guiding hard-working people in the process of acquiring their construction license. He was also inspired by AmeriCorps’ motto and goals. “I wanted to be a part of a program that truly worked to make a change in the community,” he says “Being a part of this organization is truly honorable and a big responsibility. I plan to use this achievement to grow as a person and help as many people as I can. I hope to use my skills that I’ve learned and the experience to be able to make a change in our community in the future.”
- Alyssa De Casas ‘21, a Biological Sciences major from Windsor, wants to give back to her hometown for the way the community has supported her and her success. Her fellowship role is in the Canal Alliance’s University Prep where she is supporting fourth through sixth graders with their distance learning and homework, specifically in STEM classes. “I am becoming a part of something amazing and I am taking on great responsibility to help communities,” Alyssa says. “I plan on finding a way to incorporate everything I've learned from the Civic Action Fellowship into my career. I plan to continue trying to find new ways to help and better my community."
Civic Action Fellows are eligible to receive a substantial scholarship per academic year for incoming first-year students and the Eli Segal Federal Education Award after the completion of their service term. Students also receive 10 units of academic credit for the internship that is embedded into their service and six units of coursework designed to increase civic knowledge and effective practices in community engagement.