Students from California campuses were selected in Spring 2022 to participate in LEAD California’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 LEAD California member campuses throughout the state.

Gabrielle Concepcion is a senior 1st generation student at Chico State majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. She is from Redding, California and has known that she wanted to go into the mental health field since she was young. She is passionate about providing at-risk populations with the tools and resources they need to improve their circumstances, and hopes to be able to use that passion in her future career. Through this opportunity, Gabrielle hopes to improve her interpersonal communication skills as well as gain insight into how she and others can help serve their community through forms of activism.

Brianne Jonas is a 1st year BSN student at Stanbridge University and is a new member of the Stanbridge University Students’ Nursing Association. Brianne became interested in pursuing a career in the medical field because of her love for science and medicine. More importantly, her passion for serving and helping others became the driving force for her becoming a nurse. Her career fields of interest include Labor & Delivery and Hematology, and she plans on furthering her education by receiving an MSN degree and eventually become a nurse educator. Brianne is a wife and a mother who strives to work hard for her family and show her daughter that dreams are achievable with hard work and faith. In her free time, Brianne enjoys spending time with family, trying new foods, and traveling when time permits.

Hayley Mongeon is a first-year student at College of the Canyons working towards an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies. She plans to transfer to university, and upon graduation attend law school. Hayley is dedicated to advocating for accessible housing, and through the PLACE project she can work with the citizens of Santa Clarita Valley to highlight housing services and give voice to needs of the people not yet met. She believes everyone deserves access to stable housing and is determined to provide awareness to the community.

Daniil Oxyuk is a senior at Cal Poly Humboldt studying criminology. He hopes to use his degree to work in the security sector for the government, but his mind isn’t entirely set yet. Through being a student fellow, he wishes to gain an understanding of resources that the community needs, hoping to apply this opportunity to work for a local government after university. In addition to school, Daniil works in the campus bike shop as well as the City of Arcata, his college town.

Dagmar Ramirez is a senior at Cal Poly Humboldt, majoring in Criminal and Justice Studies. Dagmar is a fellow with the Community Engagement Students Fellowship program with the Center for Community Based Learning and is excited to see what opportunities get presented and what kind of asset she can be to the community. To be able to work with all sorts of folks is an exciting journey where Dagmar is willing to help others and see what kind of things there are to learn. Fun fact: Dagmar loves sports, especially basketball! And playing guitar, which is a getaway from the world and finding peace within music!

Julia Shapiro is a second-year student at California State University Channel Islands. She has always had a passion for math and problem solving, and she is currently using these skills towards a degree in business with an option in finance. She has always loved helping those close to her, as well as helping her community. In high school, she served as the Vice President for the Teen Coalition Committee of Agoura Hills, where she worked with her peers to plan events that benefited various individuals within the neighboring communities. Additionally, she has always enjoyed learning about the environment and the causes and effects of climate change, as well as teaching others about the topic. Therefore, she is excited to be a member of the CSUCI Climate Corps program and to be working towards a more sustainable future. 

Collin Shneour is a student at College of the Canyons. He has developed a passion for civic engagement after going through a rough childhood. Collin’s experiences taught him that if we do not have each other’s back, no one will have our own. There are millions of people in America suffering from homelessness at no fault of their own and what they need most is someone to be part of their support network and provide resources to provide much needed safety and security. For these reasons and more, Collin has been working with the SCV PLACE Project to help bring as much stability to those facing housing insecurity as humanly possible. When we work together, we can be the change our community desperately needs.

Karissa Smathers is a junior at CSU Channel Islands completing her Bachelor’s in Anthropology and Psychology. Prior to CSUCI, Karissa was a Senior Lead Compost Intern with Moorpark College’s Compost Project while completing her Associate’s in Environmental Studies, Psychology, and Anthropology. There, she studied and led various projects about hot composting, vermicomposting, and food waste diversion. She volunteers for the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, Sea Center, educating guests about the diversity and importance of the Santa Barbara Channel and works for Island Packers, the boating concessionaire for the Channel Islands National Park. Karissa is passionate about the environment and is now a Climate Corp fellow for her campus, where she is looking to assist the Center for Community Engagement and Office of Sustainability to launch a food waste recycling program on campus to reduce environmental impact and help curb climate change.”

Meryl Wenger is in her final year as a Hutchins Liberal Studies major at Sonoma State. Through her experiences in the major, she has learned the value of dialogue and the importance of perspective. After she graduates, she is considering attending graduate school to pursue further education in an area like gender studies or public health. She is also interested in reproductive rights, disability rights, environmental activism, and food literacy. She is excited and grateful to be a part of Sonoma State’s Center for Community Engagement and hopes to use the opportunity to create deep and meaningful connections with communities wherever she goes, and to help her peers do the same.

Sara Yusi is a first-generation college student pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at Stanbridge University. Sara was drawn to occupational therapy through its ability to help others participate in everyday life and do what is meaningful to them. One thing Sara values is giving back to the community. She does so by serving in her church, volunteering at local organizations, and participating in school clubs. She hopes these projects will impact those around her and the next generations ahead.”