Service Learning Institute

Community & Alumni Impact

If you've ever purchased produce from Everyone's Harvest Farmer's Market in Marina, CA; or if you've watched the Salinas-based César Chávez Futból Academy team compete in a state-wide match, then you've experienced a few examples of how service learning at CSUMB impacts community members, students, and alumnae.

Each year, CSUMB service learning students contribute over 100,000 hours of service to over 400 schools, non-profit organizations and government agencies in our region. Our service learning community partners tell us that CSUMB students bring valuable new energy and new ideas to their organizations.

After a semester of service learning, many students are invited back to work as interns or in paid positions. And for a number of students, their service learning partner becomes their first employer after graduation. Many of our partner organizations are staffed by former CSUMB service learning students. And for some students, their service learning leads to the creation of brand new community organizations. Two outstanding examples are the César Chávez Futból Academy & Everyone’s Harvest Farmer’s Markets.

Everyone’s Harvest was founded in 2002 by Iris Peppard building on her capstone project as a service learning student at CSU Monterey Bay. Since then, the small nonprofit has grown into a robust, values-driven 501(c)3 organization. It operates five certified farmers’ markets and is a catalyst for health-related programs across Monterey County. The mission is to provide access to healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables through certified farmers’ markets and community food programs. The vision is for every community to have a fair and sustainable food system.

The César Chávez Futból Academy (CCFA) was born with the vision of two CSUMB Service Learner college athletes who wanted to offer more to the community, Anthony Velazquez and Craig Sterling. After completing their service learning at the Cesar Chavez Library, they continued to offer after school soccer and homework help for the children of the neighborhood. Today, ten years later, CCFA has four teams that compete state-wide at the highest level, and run clinics and afterschool support for boys and girls of ages 5 to 18. The mission of the César Chávez Futból Academy is to provide opportunity for community youth and families to enhance their lives through academic success and the game of soccer.

Everyone's Harvest

Sunday Morning at Everyone's Harvest Farmer's Market, Marina, CA

Iris Peppard, Founder, Everyone's Harvest.

Iris Peppard, Founder, Everyone's Harvest. Major: Environmental Studies, Class of 2002

Cesar Chavez Football Academy

At César Chávez Memorial Park in east Salinas, CCFA Program Director Anthony Velasquez uniforms Heidi Rodriguez, 5, with a brand-new CCFA t-shirt.

CCFA study session

An evening study session finds the group’s highest level players doing homework and going over college application plans with CCFA’s Anthony Velasquez. From left, they are Osvaldo Avalos, Miguel Alvarado, Emmanuel Galvan, George Aquino, and José Caudillo.

Alumnae Speak: How Service Learning Translates to the "Real" World (2015)


Nationally, AmeriCorps is known as the domestic Peace Corps and provides a huge array of services to those in need. The AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Project (VIP) is designed to address the significant challenges faced by California communities due to the recent economic downturn. [Click to read more]

Chinatown Renewal Project

The 12-square blocks that form Salinas’ Chinatown are, literally and figuratively, cut off from much of the rest of the greater community. The area is blocked from a main thoroughfare by railroad tracks, and blocked from full participation with the rest of the City because of its reputation as a haven for illicit activity.

But change is happening! [Click to read more]