"I was touched by the many Panamanians and Costa Ricans for their warmth and hospitality while we stayed in their community and provided care. Even with the language barrier, the people were able to laugh and find a way to relay their medical and health concerns. We were able to care for 140 people during our two-week trip, which is outstanding. In those cases where we were not able to alleviate their health concern directly, we educated and referred them to other care so that they could reach wellness or comfort. I am so thankful for this trip and for the opportunity. If it weren’t for the Rich and Dwayne Berrett and Friends for Civic Engagement project, this experience would not have been such a success!"
~Kathleen Farrell, Fresno State Nursing Student/International Service-Learning in Panama and Costa Rica, Summer 2012
"I take pride in the mere chance that I can directly impact a child through my service.... This experience has provided me a renewed commitment to my educational and professional goals because I realize that my academic and professional success can, and will, eventually contribute to the success of children with disabilities.... My service at Exceptional Parents Unlimited has enriched both my commitment to academic success and my passion for helping improve the lives of children."
~Leah Rath, Student
"For a long time I have believed that the perfect college experience is one where
you just finish and get your diploma. After this service-learning experience, I believe
that there are some things every student should do before graduating. One of the
most important would be to get involved in the community. It really opens your mind
to new things, different people and places, and it teaches you to manage your time.
My service was only thirty hours, but in that short time I learned more about children
than I would have in any traditional class. I have been so caught up in the adult
world for so long, I had forgotten what beauty there is in children and what a joy
it is to interact with them."
~Martha Velazquez, Student
"In the end, we all should take note: be the one. Be the one that makes the difference
in someone else's life and enables him to accomplish things he never thought possible.
Both parties benefit and, with this philosophy in mind, we can create an environment
in which all people are more satisfied with their lives. I know I definitely feel
more proud and satisfied with the person I am. I attribute this to the service work
I was involved in this semester. I feel so fortunate to attend a university that
has such a wonderful commitment to service and I hope to be part of this effort for
the semesters to come."
Community Service 101
(Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”) “…is a representation of my feelings about community service and service-learning in general. I think that the most important thing you can ponder when you’re feeling without direction or in need of a push is not “What am I doing with my life” or “What do I want to be” but “What can I do for others?” If everyone takes that stance, I really believe we can change the world. I’m so glad Fresno State offers service-learning classes, and I think all students should be required to take at least one before graduating.”
Drama 136, Fall 2011
Click here to view a thank you letter from a Fresno State student, Daniel Ward, regarding the value of his service experience and the benefits Friends for Civic Engagment provided to his educational experience.
(The remainder of this section is under construction. Please check back for additional testimonials in the coming months.)
They came on time. They came prepared. They came with professional demeanor. They
came with tools when we couldn't provide them. They came with smiles and a "can do"
attitude. They worked like troopers.
They loaded our blocks, turned in our compost, built our compost bins, weeded our grounds, fetched and carried, moved our pavers, deconstructed our fencing, fertilized our trees, unloaded our top soil, spread it out, built 6 of our 4'x20' redwood planter boxes (with precision); and stole our hearts.
In four short days, they left a legacy on a little piece of land that will long be a blessing to our community.
We, in our garden and church community, are so proud of these fine young men and women (from Fresno State) and of the work they did so selflessly. And they certainly may justly take pride, themselves, in a job well done and in the spirit of community service they exemplified so well.
You may be justly proud, too, not only of these fine young people and the work they have done, but also of the (Fresno State) program which enabled such a beneficial event to occur.
Please accept my heartfelt thank yous which I give on behalf of myself, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno and The Alluvial Community Garden.
The Alluvial Community Garden
"The Public Relations students from Professor Hays' course did an outstanding job developing a newsletter for our organization. The day we sent it out, I began receiving numerous compliments from community members and staff who received the newsletter. We at Catholic Charities - Diocese of Fresno are so thankful for the contributions the Fresno State community makes to our organization and the larger community through their service initiatives."
~Kelly Lilles, Executive Director
Catholic Charities - Diocese of Fresno
"... having your students at the (American English Institute) has not only provided
our students with invaluable cultural experiences, but has also given them the opportunity
interact with the campus community. Moreover, I believe that it was beneficial for your students to meet our international students and learn how to work with and around cultural expectations and differences. Thank you for your help in facilitating this project."
~Cheryl Chan, Director
American English Institute
"Having completed the fall semester of enrichment and mentoring programs at the SMILE Center, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the $1800 grant from the “Friends for Civic Engagement Fund” at California State University, Fresno. Your generous grant has made it possible for us to continue to provide these services for 25-30 at-risk children at Vinland Elementary School. The first through third grade children involved in the program have met each afternoon with their Fresno State tutors/mentors, and in many cases the results have been dramatic. These children have thrived because of the consistent and caring involvement of the Fresno State students.
In addition to the enrichment and mentoring activities that took place at the elementary school this past semester, the SMILE Center partnered with the Bulldog Pantry to provide a variety of service-learning opportunities for Fresno State students. These opportunities included a book distribution for children from low-income families, a workshop for parents on the importance of reading to children, and even an early morning breakfast with a literacy theme.
Over the past semester, I have once again been encouraged by the deep level of commitment that the Fresno State students have to help improve the quality of life for children and families in our community. Your grant for the SMILE Center has helped keep that commitment alive. Thank you!"
Lutheran Campus Ministry/SMILE Center
(The remainder of this section of the website is under construction. Please check back for additional agency testimonials in the coming months.)