Campus: Fresno State -- October 4, 2006

Fresno State student community service valued at $10.4 million in 2005-06

When Fresno State students get involved, they make a difference.

The more than 6,300 Fresno State students participating in organized community service-learning during the 2005-06 academic year logged 485,300 hours that provided an economic benefit to the community estimated at more than $10.4 million.

Research by Fresno State's Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning has shown that community service and volunteerism has a positive impact on the students, organizations they serve and the community as a whole. The student volunteers set an example in the community that inspires others to serve and develop lifelong habits of community service, the research shows.

"These figures confirm what I know from my contacts with Fresno State students: they are passionate and energetic about addressing needs they see in our community," said President John D. Welty.

"Our students want to be part of the solutions, and as they volunteer they also are learning how to work with others to make a difference," Welty said.

One of the ways the university involves students in service to the community is through student internships, through many university departments. For the 2005-06 school year, nearly 785 students from numerous academic departments completed over 283,000 hours in service-oriented internships.

Students in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, for example, provided more than 139,128 hours to Central California schools. College of Health and Human Services' Department of Social Work Education interns provided 61,776 hours to nonprofit and government agencies.

Members of Fresno State's 200 clubs and organizations also help meet community needs. These organizations, including fraternities, sororities and many cultural groups, provided over 12,500 hours of service.

Many of the university's service efforts are focused on addressing the educational needs of our region's children. One is Jumpstart, a national early education organization, dedicated to inspiring children to learn, adults to teach, families to get involved and communities to progress together. More than 75 Fresno State Jumpstart participants committed over 26,855 hours and $271,434 in financial support to the community.

Fresno State also is engaged in establishing leadership to meet community challenges, including the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) program, run through the student activities office. Participants attend monthly workshops and a retreat; participate in a group service project; spend at least 20 hours in service; interview a business or campus community leader, then reflect on what they've learned in a culminating paper.

Last year, over 124 service-learning classes were offered at Fresno State by 25 departments and resulted in 3,660 students providing 68,217 hours of service.

In a survey of community organizations served by Fresno State students, 83 percent of responding organizations said service-learning was vital to fulfilling the organization's mission.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster, (559) 278-5292 or (559) 593-1815

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