State grants help FPU students serve community

This year more Fresno Pacific University students are spreading the university mission of service while defraying the cost of college.

During the 2002-2003 school year FPU will receive $300,000 in state work-study funds, double the amount for 2001-2002. Federal funds also doubled to $180,000. Matching contributions of $160,000 from community agencies bring the total work-study budget to $640,000.

FPU succeeded in getting the grants because here work-study means more than stocking shelves in the bookstore. About 140 of the 375 work-study students are involved in a variety of university sponsored outreach programs. These ministries include non-profit organizations, elementary schools, tutoring centers, neighborhood youth clubs, sports programs and the university social work department.

This desire to serve was what the state was looking for. In 2000 California sought schools to apply for a work-study program aimed at placing college students in community agencies. John Navarro, university director of outreach ministries,and Bernie Ogden, director of financial aid,entered a proposal for $27,000 and FPU was one of a handful of private colleges to qualify. The university's timely reporting and success at hiring students to serve prompted the state to ask the university to compete for an additional allotment.

"We asked the state for $27,000 because that was such an unbelievable amount of money," Ogden said. "We actually got about $54,000 over the course of the year."

"This is a big program for a school our size," said Navarro. And there may be more to come. "It could easily reach $1 million," he said.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations