Students from California campuses were selected in Fall 2021 to participate in California Campus Compact’s Community Engagement Student Fellowship (CESF) program, a 4-month initiative specifically designed to support student leaders advancing service, service-learning and community engagement at California Campus Compact member campuses throughout the state.
Ebony Beyah is a second-year student at College of the Canyons. She has always had a passion for helping and understanding others. In order to foster this passion, she began studying psychology in college. Additionally, she became a member of the PLACE Project at College of the Canyons where she focused on combating housing insecurity and establishing a greater sense of belonging for the citizens of Santa Clarita. To improve her community and college campus she and other members of the PLACE Project started a Student Advocate internship at College of the Canyons. This internship trains students to help fellow students that struggle with financial insecurity and mental health. Ebony strongly believes that even the smallest actions can make a big difference in the world. Working with the PLACE Project and Student Advocates has intensified this belief and inspired her to keep making a difference in any way that she can.
Angela Chen, a recent graduate from The Webb Schools, is a current freshman at Occidental College and is planning on majoring in economics. As soon as she entered her college career, she was elected as the Vice President of External Affairs for the student senate. During the pandemic, she noticed the difficulty of communicating with students and especially freshmen who are new to the school. In hopes of building a community whilst in a virtual setting, she is determined to seek out the best way to communicate with Occidental students. Angela will be working with the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLICE) office to increase student community-building and service-learning/community participation. The project, while creating a multi-layered ‘Social Identity Support and Networking’ experience, will serve to connect students with each other and with leadership development opportunities on and off-campus.
Genevieve Egbunno is the creative Director of Sovieve, a ready to wear fashion brand with a Social Enterprise model, through which she organizes various trainings and mentorship to young, disadvantaged girls, women, and youth to breach the gender gap and give women and youths access to financial sustainability. She has over eight years’ experience in community development and is passionate about building community and strengthening women’s participation in leadership and business through social inclusion and resilience for a smart economy through engagement in vocational skills acquisition, Business development and mentorship programs for young girls, women, and youths in rural communities. Genevieve is a Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Humanities at UC Merced and this semester she will be working alongside Dr. Maria Martin to create a program called 3CL that will launch in Spring of 2022. 3CL, short for Changing Cultures, Changing Lives, will be mentorship program focused on Black youth in Merced. Genevieve’s role will be to recruit UC Merced students as mentors and outreach to local middle and high schools to identify mentees.
Aniah Francis is an Afro-Trinidadian, who moved to America in 2017. She is a senior at University of San Francisco, who is currently majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology, Law, and Society. She also has a triple minor in African American Studies, Public Service and Community Engagement, and Legal Studies at the University of San Francisco. At the University of San Francisco Aniah serves as an accountability partner with the PACT program, a peer educator for off-campus living, a sociology ambassador, and a research assistant for Dr. Stephanie Sears. She is a teacher assistant for the Community Empowerment Activist program through which she is a part of the CESF fellowship. Outside of school, Aniah was recently an intern for the California Department of Education: Equity division and a Young Scholar Ambassador for the African American Policy Forum. Aniah hopes to continue engagement in equity work that seeks to center the voices of the most marginalized and disrupt institutions of power.
Katherine Gamez is an honors pre-law student at College of the Canyons. As a political science major, she hopes to transfer to a four-year university and become a successful lawyer. As an individual who is passionate in serving as an advocate for others in need, she joined the COC PLACE Project and began working on the Affordable Permanent Housing and Landlord Engagement subcommittee. In these projects, she worked with Santa Clarita community leadership, implementing innovative solutions for fellow students experiencing housing insecurity. Later, she began volunteering at Bridge to Home Homeless Shelter feeding meals to their clients. Katherine recognizes that the best way to reaffirm a person’s humanity and uplift their prospects is to take the time to care about their needs and listen to them attentively. Katherine’s long-term goal is to improve the housing insecurity crisis not only within College of the Canyons, but in the Santa Clarita Valley by helping those in need to go back on track to being rehoused and employed. At the beginning of the 2021 fall semester, Katherine began noticing her peers struggling with unemployment, educational instability and mental health issues due to COVID-19. Therefore, she wanted to take her leadership experience a step further and help launch the COC Student Advocacy Program. Once the program is implemented, appointed student advocates will be used as an information resource for their classmates regarding COC’s resources for food, housing and economic insecurity. This service will go the extra mile to foster an inclusive, welcoming and approachable environment. Additionally, Katherine is involved in COC’s Engage the Vote where she campaigns for higher voter turnout amongst the student body. By collaborating with local artists, Katherine became a student representative on campus by educating students on the importance of being engaged political citizens. Katherine was recently voted Director of Academic Affairs in COC’s Associated Student Government. With this new position, she hopes to improve the academic and social environment for students by implementing solutions to improve student graduation and enrollment to COC, particularly amongst minority groups. Leading with a confident, gritty and determined spirit, she hopes to make Santa Clarita a place of inclusion and empathy by making everyone feel involved, belonged and supported.
Katherine Garcia is a graduate student at Fresno State studying English literature, having recently earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in psychology, also from Fresno State. She was raised in the small town of Delano, California, and came to Fresno wishing to attend the university since she was in fourth grade! She is the middle child of two older sisters and two younger brothers. She is currently serving as a team leader and AmeriCorps member in the Jumpstart Fresno program. She has a passion for volunteering, with her latest volunteer project sending care packages to soldiers posted overseas. She has also tutored others since she was in high school and has a passion for teaching. In her free time, Katherine enjoys playing games with her brothers or finding new books to fill her library shelf. Through this fellowship, she is serving as co-director of the LIFT Conference, which brings together student service leaders from around the state of California.
Kailyn Goodwin is a fourth-year at the University of San Francisco majoring in Biology with a minor in Health Studies. As a teaching assistant for the Community Empowerment Activists (CEA) Program, she focuses on supporting the instructor with the creation of assignments and co-teaching classes. With a growing background in community organizing and advocacy, she continues to apply her knowledge in the CEA program, helping to foster a space of growth, accountability, and student-empowerment that are essential for reimagining a just world and achieving global liberation. She is currently pre-med with a personal focus on “Community Health” to identify and eliminate root causes of oppression. With aspirations to bridge the gap between the science/medical field and communities of color, she wants to eliminate racial health disparities in the Black community with education, love, and understanding.
Addison Smith is a fourth year communications major here at Sonoma State University and is originally from San Diego. During his fourth year at Sonoma State he hopes to work closely with both the Center for Community Engagement and community partners to bring the county’s issues to the forefront of students’ minds. Addison Smith hopes to accomplish many things in his final year at Sonoma State but his main focus is journalistic integrity. He hopes to become a journalist after college and settle down in California.
Angela Soghomonian is a third year Fresno State student studying biochemistry and minoring in Armenian Studies. A lifelong resident of Fresno, she lives with her family, which includes her older sister, Olivia, and her twin brother, Mark. She currently serves as a Richter Center Student Leader and helps to encourage volunteerism among her peers at Fresno State. She has a passion for serving her community and has volunteered as a tutor to grade school children with Every Neighborhood Partnership and Fresno Area Community Enterprises. Angela is also involved in research with Fresno State chemistry faculty and studies algae. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and playing board games with her family. Through this fellowship, she is serving as co-director of the LIFT Conference, which brings together student service leaders from around the state of California.
Khalid Stewart is freshman at Loyola Marymount University. During the summer of 2020 Khalid attended a six-week coding summer intensive called All Star Code, it is a technical program that honed his skills in various coding languages. During High School Khalid was a part of the Varsity Tennis team and Video Production Club. During the summer of 2021 he was a part of Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) where he learned various computer languages and created various projects. Khalid was also a part of The Learning Community (TLC) which was a pre-college summer bridge cohort based cultural immersion that extends through the undergrad. The program taught young African Americans Leadership skills, people skills, survival skills and black excellence. Khalid now serves as the Programs Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and a Committee Member of the Latinx Student Union. Khalid is a part of many clubs which include the Black Student Union, African Society Association, Association for Computing Machinery, Animation Club, Bali Club, Club Tennis, and Club Volleyball.
Alexa Walls is an undergraduate student at Loyola Marymount University pursuing a B.A. in Dance with a minor in Public Relations. Alexa’s interests include: social media marketing and coordination as well as diversity, equity and inclusion, social justice and advocacy, and women’s empowerment. Alexa’s work in public relations has afforded her many leadership opportunities, internships with several community agencies, a coveted spot on the Dean’s List for her 3.6 GPA and membership in two premier campus organizations working for women’s empowerment. Alexa is a member of the first historically Black Greek Letter Organization for women where she is chapter President and works in a regional leadership capacity overseeing the affairs of collegiate women across the span of nine states. She is also immediate past president of a Black led justice-oriented organization for women and non-binary individuals for the promotion of community growth and inclusion.
Stanbridge University successfully secured donations to fund their students to serve as CESF Fellows.
Jordan Buntich completed her undergraduate degree at CSU Chico; where she majored in Kinesiology, minored in child development, and minored in adapted physical education. She is currently a graduate student at Stanbridge University, pursuing her master’s degree in occupational therapy. Jordan is passionate about helping make a difference in the lives of others and hopes to work within pediatrics.
Courtney Boutwell is currently a student in Stanbridge University’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Prior to attending Stanbridge, Courtney received her Bachelor of Arts from UC Riverside, majoring in dance. Courtney’s love of movement led her to become a passionate dance teacher, serving students in non-profit programs throughout the Riverside and Orange County areas. While working as a dance teacher, her interest in injury prevention and rehabilitation deepened. Upon graduation, Courtney hopes to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy.
Evelin Cifuentes is a second-year student at Stanbridge University studying to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Volunteering has been a big part of her life and through volunteering she discovered her passion for occupational therapy. She has volunteered at different nonprofits and hospitals throughout the LA community. For her Spring Breaks at Mount Saint Mary’s, she volunteered in soup kitchens in skid road and Habitat for Humanity. She was also an Americorps member where she got serve as a tutor for low-income youth in South LA. She strongly believes that everyone has a purpose and everyone deserves to fulfill that purpose and reach their full potential. As long as there is hope anything is possible.
Victoria Esposito is a second-year student in the Registered Veterinary Technician program at Stanbridge University. She has always had such a strong passion for the ocean and life within it at such an early age. As a child, she grew up with five dogs, two guinea pigs, an iguana, and a cat which also inspired her to find a path with animals. Before finding Stanbridge University, she worked for the Aquarium of the Pacific, while also working for an Animal Hospital for small animals. She then finally realized she wanted to work directly with marine life as a RVT after experiencing how to handle fish, rays, sea turtles, and even sharks! After the season was over, she began her journey to obtain her RVT license along with her scuba diving certificate. She then proceeded to volunteer with the Save Our Beaches in Seal Beach, as well as volunteer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in their husbandry program. Victoria’s favorite part of her week is helping restrain and rehabilitate the local pinnipeds until they are ready to go back home. Her dream goal is to work with marine life as a registered veterinary technician and learn more about ocean conservation and how she can help change the world!
Joelle Houston is soon to become a Registered Nurse in March of 2021. She attends Stanbridge University in Irvine, CA where she discovered her passion for mother-baby care and plans to pursue a career as a labor and delivery nurse after graduation. In her opinion, nothing is more fulfilling than to be a part of bringing new life into the world and to help foster the tender care of these little ones and their mothers. It was years of community service that drove Joelle’s passion to become a Registered Nurse. She desires to better reach individuals in need through skilled and purposeful care and hopes to make even a small difference in the lives of those she cares for.
Jacqueline Marroquin is currently a student at Stanbridge University pursuing her Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program. Jacqueline is passionate about nursing, creativity and understanding those patients in need, which led her to this journey. Jacqueline has patience, love, and cares for children. Jacqueline is dedicated to contributing her education in nursing to become a midwife and to serving individuals of all ages and abilities to improve her nursing skills.
Lisa McManus is a Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) student at Stanbridge University. Although she is a first-generation college graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University, this is not her greatest achievement. She chose to dedicate the last 25 years to raising her 4 children and serving her community. Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a now single mom, Lisa has chosen to go back to school and fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She has continued to volunteer with foundations and charities helping support our veterans, the homeless population, and domestic violence shelters. She is an active member of her church and has consistently maintained the Dean’s list since starting at Stanbridge. After graduation Lisa hopes to continue to care for others in the capacity of a nurse, as to continue to show that no matter what life hands you, at any age, to always follow your dreams and continue to move forward.
Olivia Moscoso is a 19 year old first-year student at Stanbridge University. She is a graduate from Trabuco Hills High School, and was raised in Rancho Santa Margarita. She is currently studying to become an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). She is excited and passionate about being able to have an impact on the medical world and taking on every opportunity. Occupational therapy has been a fascinating field for her and she is constantly ready to learn more about what the field has to offer. Outside of school she enjoys going to church, working out, watching movies, and spending time with her family.
Chelsea Rock is a nursing student attending the ADN program at Stanbridge University in Los Angeles. She obtained her Associate’s degree in the science of pre-nursing at Mesa College in San Diego. While obtaining her Associate’s degree, she also became a certified nursing assistant and worked to provide care for patients in acute and long-term settings. As a child, she had spent time in the hospital and was overwhelmingly inspired by her nurses. This, in addition to spending a part of her adolescence in the foster care system, contributed to her aspirations of working in pediatrics. She developed a passion for caretaking and advocacy after seeing many go without. Chelsea plans to combine her passion with her clinical experience to become a pediatric bedside nurse.