SEASIDE, Calif., Jan. 27, 2017 -- Daisy Leon Melendrez, a CSUMB service learning student leader, has been selected as a Principal Community Scholar for her community project to provide information to immigrant communities about their constitutional rights.
Twenty college students from Iowa and California have been selected for the first class of the new Principal Community Scholars Program.
The recipients were selected by Principal, Iowa Campus Compact and California Campus Compact after being nominated by faculty or staff from their college or university and a rigorous review process. Daisy Leon Melendrez of CSUMB was among those selected. Daisy is a collaborative health & human services major and a service learning student leader with the Service Learning Institute, and has been the liaison to the Central Coast Citizenship Project in East Salinas.
This semester is a pilot of the Principal Community Scholars Program, which is designed to encourage student leadership to meet community needs. Selected students will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Principal upon completion of a service project.
“We were impressed by the caliber of the community projects students will be taking on as a part of this scholarship,” said Iowa Campus Compact Executive Director Emily Shields. “It is clear they have a deep commitment to their communities and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”
This semester’s scholars proposed projects designed to engage their peers and their institutions in meeting community needs. These projects tap into a variety of skills that can be offered by college students and will impact causes ranging from education to environmental sustainability.
“We are excited that Daisy has been selected as a Principal Community Scholar for her community project to provide information to immigrant communities about their constitutional rights,” said Pamela Motoike, who is a professor at the CSUMB Service Learning Institute and program adviser for this project.
This project addresses fears and anxieties of those in immigrant communities about impending changes to immigration policy. Partnering with community agencies, the Principal Scholar will provide information and referral to Spanish-speaking community members of Watsonville, Salinas and Castroville, Calif. regarding their constitutional rights, affordable legal advice and pathways to citizenship.
This project addresses the anxiety and fear facing immigrant communities with the advent of the new Presidential administration. Many in immigrant communities are concerned about deportation, the repeal of the DACA initiative, and possible separation from families.
In this project, Melendrez will collaborate with organizations such as the Watsonville Law Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center to obtain accurate information about legal options, referrals and legal rights. Melendrez will prepare informational handouts and "red cards" which contain information about what to do during interactions with immigration officials. She will set up informational booths every other Friday in these three communities and make this information available to community groups. It is estimated that 400 persons will benefit from direct contact with this project and many more will be impacted through agencies, friends or family.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.
All selected students nationwide will came together virtually on Jan. 24 for a retreat designed to introduce key concepts related to community engagement and service. The students will have the opportunity to continue working with each other, Campus Compact staff, and their on-campus adviser throughout the semester as they complete their projects.
As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. Our resources support faculty and staff as they pursue community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change.