Service Learning Institute

Updates and News

2021 Service Learning Student Awards by College

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Ariana Balderrama

Cinematic Arts & Technology

Ariana Balderrama

San Gabriel Valley, CA

Community Partner: Palenke Arts, Seaside, CA

“The most meaningful thing I gained from my service learning experience with Palenke Arts was being able to make the creative vision of my students come to life while teaching them a new way to express themselves and their own stories.”

Eileen Lewis

Global Studies

Eileen Lewis

Sacramento, CA

Community Partner: Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong 

“Working with AMRC gave me insight into the labor movement in Asia. It allowed me to see the common struggle of workers fighting for their dignity and respect globally, from the agricultural laborers in the fields of Salinas to the garment workers in the cities of the Philippines. It was a very eye-opening experience!”

Marissa Boni

Humanities & Communication

Marissa Boni

Morgan Hill, CA

Community Partner: Nordstrom Elementary, Morgan Hill, CA

“The best thing about working with my community partner was seeing the kids' faces light up when they talked about their writing or finally grasped a new skill. As a former student of Nordstrom Elementary School myself, I loved being able to give something back to the school and the teachers that gave so much to me.”

Grant Kelly

Japanese Language and Culture

Grant Kelly

Gilroy, CA

Community Partner: Community Partnership for Youth, Seaside, CA 

“The most meaningful thing I learned from serving my community with CPY is the importance of community. Having a supportive community has such deep, and seemingly unseen effects on our lives.”


J.P. Mackey


John-Paul Mackey

San Francisco, CA

Community Partner: Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Grove, CA 

“The most meaningful thing I gained from serving with my community partner was a greater appreciation of my natural surroundings.”

Sol Rivera


Sol Rivera

Piedras Negras, Veracruz, MX

Community Partner: Immigration Task Force, Pacific Grove, CA

“The most meaningful thing I gained was community. I’ve never felt like I belonged anywhere. I can now proudly say that Monterey County is my home.”

Sean Slayton

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Sean Slayton 

Marina, CA

Community Partner: Monterey County Historical Society, Salinas, CA 

Laura Galvan

Spanish Language & Hispanic Cultures

Laura Galvan

Salinas, CA

Community Partner: California Rural Legal Assistance, Salinas, CA 

“My service learning at CRLA gave me a greater understanding of the civic and social responsibility that is needed to better serve our community.”

College of Business

Laura Salgado Perez

Business Administration

Laura Salgado Perez

Isla de Cedros, Baja California, MX

Community Partner: Dorothy's Place, Salinas, CA 


“Working at Dorothy's kitchen provided me the opportunity to serve my community, and at the same time allowed me to gain experience in the management of a non-profit agency.”

Camille Parker

Sustainable Hospitality Management

Camille Jazmine Parker

Alta Loma, CA

Community Partner: Return of the Natives, Seaside, CA 

“I was able to see how easy giving back can be incorporated into everyday busy life. It is something I plan to make time to do for the rest of my life.”

College of Education

 Monte Rey

Human Development and Family Studies

Arianna Hernandez

Palmdale, CA

Community Partner: Spreckels Elementary School, Spreckels, CA 

Guadalupe Gonzalez

Liberal Studies

Guadalupe Gonzales

Greenfield, CA

Community Partner: King City Union School District, King City, CA

“The most meaningful thing I’ve learned from serving with my community partner every voice matters no matter how big or small.”

College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Mireya Diaz

Collaborative Health & Human Services

Mireya Diaz

Salinas, CA

Community Partner: Gathering for Women, Monterey, CA

“As a case management intern, I learned how domestic violence, the lack of affordable housing, and unemployment contributed to homelessness among women on the Monterey Peninsula. One of the most meaningful takeaways was supporting program participants in reclaiming their lives through individualized support. It was an honor and privilege to be a part of their transition from homelessness to permanent housing.”

Monte Rey


Damian Michelson

Santa Cruz, CA

Community Partner: Center for Community Health Engagement, Seaside, CA  

College of Science

Rosanna Toledo

Molecular Biology

Rosanna Toledo

Salinas, CA

Community Partner: Social Bridging Project, Monterey, CA 

“I was able to connect with others online despite the pandemic and provide them with aid and or information regarding natural disaster preparation and COVID-19 resources.”

Victoria Matelli

Communication Design

Victoria Matelli 

Salinas, CA

Community Partner: Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, Watsonville, CA 

“The most meaningful thing I learned from serving with the Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop was seeing how these kids were benefitting from the science projects and how the community came together to help teach them.”

Ethan Herndon

Computer Science

Ethan Herndon 

Calistoga, CA

Community Partner: City of Gonzales, Gonzales, CA 

“Being proud with my team to deliver a product that would significantly help their community.”

Monte Rey

Environmental Science, Technology & Policy

Riley Ransom

At Home Service

Yvette Diaz Samayoa

Environmental Studies

Yvette Diaz Samayoa

Vallejo, CA 

Community Partner: Napa County Resource Conservation District, Napa, CA 

“Working with the Napa RCD taught me that change happens with the help of others. I want to make a change within my community and they helped me achieve the first step of my goals.”

Emily Tate

Marine Science

Emily Tate

Walnut Creek, CA

Community Partner: Bureau of Land Management, Marina, CA 

“Doing service learning during the COVID-19 pandemic taught me flexibility. I am grateful to have served the Bureau of Land Management in a virtual format.”

Krissi Alari


Krissy Alari

Hayward, CA

Community Partner: Bureau of Land Management, Marina, CA 

“Through my service learning course, I gained experience working in statistical consulting. This was very valuable to me as it allowed me to combine my love for math and statistics with my passion for helping others and serving the community.”

Service and Civic Action Award 

The Service and Civic Action Award was established three years ago to honor and celebrate civic action in the context of service learning. Additionally, this award was created to highlight the exemplary collaboration between our students and community partners. Each year one student and service learning site supervisor is recognized for the exceptional role they play in their organization's success.  

Lily Vang

Lily Vang 

Service Learning Student Leader

Spreckels Elementary School

Linda Mendoza

Linda Mendoza 

Remote Service Coordinator 

Spreckels Unified School District