Educating Students To Change Our World
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Social Innovation Generation: Student Leadership Initiative (SIG:SLI) is part of California Campus Compact’s three-year initiative that is catalyzing and mobilizing colleges and universities to aid in the state’s recovery and renewal. SIG:SLI encourages and supports change-making student-led service and service-learning projects that will not only aid those hardest hit by California’s economic crisis, but also help California emerge from the crisis with a more innovative, green and sustainable economic future.

Recipients of subgrants for January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 are:

Marymount College. Despite their own resources being strained by current economic challenges, the Boys and Girls Club in the greater Los Angeles region is working to fill a gap in after school programming caused by deep budget cuts in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Student leaders at Marymount College in Palos Verdes, California, will partner with local chapters of the Boys and Girls Club to provide services and programming to the more than 2,200 at-risk youth these chapters serve each day. Student leaders will mentor high school students, provide tutoring and coaching on exam taking, and aid with computer literacy and the college application process. Marymount students also will provide specialized instruction to youth in dance, fine arts and music.

Moreno Valley College.  To address the shortage of health care providers delivering  comprehensive primary health care to rural and migrant workers and their families in California, Moreno Valley College Physician Assistant Program will provide Spanish cultural and linguistic preparedness to Physician Assistants (PAs) who will serve in rural and urban areas. In addition to increasing access to these communities, this program will integrate cultural awareness, sensitivity and a deep understanding of the needs of this population; and provide exposure to future employment opportunities for PAs.

Notre Dame de Namur University. Public schools throughout California continue to face significant budget cuts. For schools in Northern California’s San Mateo County, these cuts have resulted in teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, reduced art, music and drama programming, and closings of school libraries. Students at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California, will learn and practice the social change model of leadership as they “adopt” a local public elementary school and work with the principal, teachers, students and parents in addressing the school’s currently unmet needs. Students also will organize a community dialogue to discuss the effects budget cuts are having on K-12 education.

Saint Mary’s College of California. Oakland, California, is struggling with many challenges, including high unemployment, widespread poverty and significant crime. Declining taxes due to home foreclosures and real estate transfers have led to a nearly $50 million reduction in the city budget. Student leaders at Saint Mary’s College of California will work to expand their direct-service efforts in Oakland and explore ways to strengthen the college’s community partnerships and contributions to Oakland’s economic and community development.

Stanford University. One Hundred Thousand Cheeks (100K Cheeks) is a Stanford-based student group dedicated to registering 100,000 people with the national bone marrow donor registry by June 2012. Due to shortages in volunteers caused by the economic downturn for charitable organizations such as Be the Match, venues for fresh volunteers are in high demand.  As a result, by hosting drives and providing the volunteers, 100K Cheeks will be able to offer a cost-effective means to advance the collective goal of their community partners to help save lives. They plan to harness social media, combined with on-the-ground efforts, to achieve the goal of getting one hundred thousand individuals into the National Bone Marrow Registry this year. To design and execute the effort, they plan to work with OpenIDEO, which will allow them to tap into a community of designers to solve this specific challenge.

University of California, Riverside. Riverside, California, is one of the nation’s cities that have been hardest hit by the recession. During the two-year period from 2007 to 2009, the poverty rate grew by 31 percent, and a recent news article described Riverside as on “the front lines of the Great Recession.” The demand for social services, particularly related to food assistance, far exceeds the support that nonprofit organizations and city and local government agencies are able to provide. Student leaders at the University of California, Riverside, will work in partnership with these entities to develop and manage sustainable community gardens on uncultivated plots of land throughout Riverside. These gardens will become community spaces that generate edible and medicinal plants for nonprofit organizations, citizen groups, clinics and businesses that provide assistance within their surrounding communities.

University of California, San Francisco. The South of Market District in San Francisco, California, has the city’s largest percentage of people living below the federal poverty level (23 percent). The majority of residents are Filipino individuals with limited English language proficiency. Many have significant health needs, but poor health literacy and inadequate resources to get the medical care they need. To meet the health needs of this community, a team of student leaders from the University of California, San Francisco, Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing will establish a bilingual health center at a local community center and nearby elementary school to provide health screenings, health education, health coaching and individualized patient care.

For more information, please contact Piper McGinley.

Learn and Serve logoCalifornia Campus Compact gratefully acknowledges the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America Higher Education for its significant support in making the Social Innovation Generation grant initiative possible.