Campus: CSU Northridge -- August 6, 2004
Work-Study Program Offers CSUN Students Chance to Get Paid
for Keeping Kids Out of Gangs
Thanks to a federal grant aimed at keeping at-risk youths from gangs, Cal State
Northridge work-study students will have an opportunity to earn school credit and
financial aid by serving as tutors and mentors in local after-school programs
this coming academic year.
MOSAIC (Mentoring to Overcome Struggles and Inspire Courage), now in its second
year, will send 40 CSUN students to work with young people between the ages of
seven and 17 in the Los Angeles Police Department's Jeopardy program or at Soledad
Enrichment Action, an alternative charter high school for teens on probation or
who have been unsuccessful in traditional high school settings.
In addition to their work at the anti-gang program sites, MOSAIC students will
enroll in a special three-unit sociology internship class taught by sociology
professors Patricia O'Donnell-Brummett, Michael DeCesare and communications studies
graduate student Justin Weiss.
"Last year, MOSAIC proved to have a positive impact on many of our community's
high risk young people," said Maureen Rubin, director of CSUN's Center for
Community Service-Learning, which oversees the grant. "CSUN students helped triple
the attendance by troubled youth in the programs and helped double the enrollment
in caregiver parenting and family literacy classes. There's no telling what can
happen this year."
The work-study students will serve a minimum of 10 hours a week at either Soledad
Enrichment Action or Jeopardy sites throughout the San Fernando Valley. They will
take part in "study-buddy" programs offering after-school homework help; enrichment
activities such as art, music, computer literacy, creative writing and photography;
and in programs promoting leadership activities.
Additional Northridge students, majoring in educational psychology, will provide
parenting classes and individual counseling to the young people. MOSAIC program
coordinator Jennifer Roman said she believes the program, though only in its
second year, has already touched many lives.
"Our mentors have not only helped the youths with math, literacy and other homework,
they have given them positive role models and people who listen and care," she
said. "The grades, attitudes and hopes of the young people they have touched have
all demonstrated dramatic increases since our students entered their lives."
MOSAIC is funded for three years at $125,000 per year by the Corporation for
National and Community Service's Learn and Serve America program.
Launched in 1998, CSUN's Center for Community-Service Learning aims to inspire,
encourage and support students and faculty in their pursuit of academic excellence
through involvement in meaningful community service.
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,