Photo: Pacific’s 2022-23 College Corps inductees outside of Faye Spanos Concert Hall on the school’s campus (DUANE SANDERS/CONTRIBUTOR)
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Emmalina Or admitted she was very nervous as she and nearly 100 fellow University of the Pacific students were officially sworn in to the school’s first College Corps Fellowship program.
But she and the others are determined to use the opportunity to make the world a better place.
The College Corps induction ceremony took place at the Pacific’s Faye Spanos Concert Hall on Friday. Pacific is just one of four private schools in California selected for the program, which blends field and classroom learning opportunities with community outreach.
The festive ceremony included comments by Pacific President Chris Callahan, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln and Josh Fryday, California State Chief Service Officer. Or, a Stockton resident and Lincoln High graduate, said she had a bit of a case of the nerves during the induction.
“It’s amazing, I’m very nervous, as always.” said Or, a junior. “Getting to see Josh Fryday and President Callahan and the mayor, it’s a lot. I think this is an excellent opportunity to work for change in Stockton.”
The students will work with 20 local non-profits. The program goals include helping low-income students to graduate with less debt and building more equitable communities across California. The students will each receive $10,000 for college expenses when they complete the program.
“There is a lot of pride in being the first (group of fellows),” said Or, who is one of 37 fellows in the group from the Stockton Area. “I feel like there’s a lot of trust from the UOP community. I feel like it’s up to us to make a change in people’s lives.”
The California Corps program at Pacific has been building for the past three years. There was 10 students the first year, and 27. This is also the first year that the $10,000 expense incentive has been offered.
“This is the year that it has really taken off and been to scale and we have a 100 students participating,” Callahan said. “That’s the impact that we’re going to be able to have in our community. … I think it’s going to be very powerful.”
The fellows program at Pacific runs through the entire academic year, according to Francine Redada, Pacific’s College Corps program director, and will continue for the foreseeable future.
“We as just so proud,” Redada said. “This is our inaugural group, and it’s just so exciting.”