University program lets Fresno State students aid community

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At the Boys and Girls Club in central Fresno, nearly two dozen Fresno State students involved with university's Students 4 Giving project gave out grant money to help local organizations invest in the community. (KFSN)

Some students at Fresno State had a chance to put their education to work Monday.

At the Boys and Girls Club in central Fresno, nearly two dozen Fresno State students involved with university's Students 4 Giving project gave out grant money to help local organizations invest in the community.

"All three organizations selected for the Students 4 Giving grants are currently working on building for tomorrow and creating solutions for today's challenges in our city and our region" Fresno State first lady Mary Castro said.

Over the course of the semester, students raised $15,000.

That grant money was divided up between the Ronald McDonald house, Warnors Theatre and Lowell Community Development Corporation. Each were presented a check for $5,000 to help their causes.

Fresno State senior Angelica Reyes says this is an investment, not only for the organizations but for the students as well.

"We're able to not only engage with different community benefit organizations and engage with capacity building aspects of these different community benefit organizations," she said. "They learn from us and we learn from them. It is a two-way street we're able to engage in."

This is the tenth year of the project that is designed to give students the "real world, hands-on" experience in the process of grant making while providing opportunities for local charities.

Reyes was part of the group that selected the Warnors Theatre.

"We recognize that these individuals who are involved with the organization cannot effectively carry out the mission and values of the organizations without a strong board of directors and staff," Reyes said.

Warnors Theatre believes the money used for staff training will be a great investment for professional development, productivity and other projects.

"An organization like ours especially with a historic building there is always somewhere where the funds need to go to immediately that we produce in house," Michelle Swift with the theatre said. "And it is nice to have a little bit extra."
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