OC Registry: California’s College Corps shapes local students into future public leaders

By Hanna Kang, Published November 6, 2023


Three days a week, 19-year-old Katie Vo heads over to Garden Grove for several hours to volunteer at a local nonprofit that aims to solve food security in Orange County.

Once she arrives, she goes straight to the kitchen, puts on a red apron and gets right to work chopping vegetables, cutting deli meats, packing Caesar dressing and scooping hundreds of containers of soup.

Vo, a second-year student at UC Irvine, is part of College Corps, a state initiative that provides undergraduate students at 45 public and private colleges and universities across California the opportunity to earn $10,000 for committing to one year of service focused on three key issue areas for the state: K-12 education, climate action and food insecurity. The program, which began last school year, is slated to run until 2026, according to the Governor’s Office.

At UCI this year, 91 students were chosen as fellows; 42 of those spots filled by undocumented students. That’s a slight increase from last year’s inaugural cohort of 75 fellows, said Student Affairs deputy chief of staff Sherwynn Umali, who helms the program at UCI.

“Our community partners ensure that they have sites where students are learning and developing. They’re not there to just stock shelves,” Umali said.

Recent In the News posts