Four COC students chosen as Civic Impact Scholars

Lusine Tarakchyan registers to vote during the third and final presidential debate during a watch party for students at College of the Canyons on Oct. 19, 2016. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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Four College of the Canyons (COC) students were selected by the California Community College Foundation’s Civic Impact Project to serve as COC Civic Scholars for the spring semester.

The students, Jade Aubuchon, Faizul Basit, Chris Borja and Ian Martinez, were four of 25 community college students chosen throughout the state.

As Civic Impact Scholars, Aubuchon, Basit, Borja and Martinez will become student leaders on campus and will work to grow civic engagement efforts on their campus while forming connections with students and civic leaders throughout the state.

The scholar program is part of Foundation for Community College’s Civic Impact Project, which began in 2016 with 25 pilot colleges who worked to engage students in local, state and national issues and promote lifelong civics-related skills, career paths and volunteerism.

“In partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, colleges, researchers and youth advocacy groups, the project aims to incorporate civic engagement and civic literacy into the broader framework of students’ education,” the Civic Impact Project’s website read.

In the fall, this project worked to register voters and educate students about ballot measures, polling places and elections through its campaign “Be a part of it all.”

The goal of the Civic Impact Project was to ensure that students have a voice in government, to encourage student civic engagement and community service and to help colleges train informed and active citizens.

Now, the Civic Impact Scholars program takes this engagement one step further by exposing chosen students to career pathways and leadership roles and connecting them to a statewide network of students.

As Civic Impact Scholars, students will learn how to identify and articulate the importance of civic engagement, further their knowledge of the democratic process, explore career pathways into public service and gain professional, interpersonal and communication skills.

The students complete 40 hours of training and community service, participate in monthly video conference calls, host civic engagement activities on campus and create a capstone project to cultivate engagement on their community college campus.

At COC, scholars are working to organize a variety of events throughout the week of May 15 to bring greater awareness of veterans issues to the campus and community, according to Patty Robinson, COC’s faculty director for Civic and Community Engagement Initiatives.

In order to make the project a collaborative experience, COC’s Civic Engagement Steering Committee is dedicating its next meeting on March 14 to meet with the scholars and help them plan the upcoming events.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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