Center for Community Learning


    Civic Engagement and Community Service at Research Universities
Civic Engagement and Community Service at Research Universities: Engaging Undergraduates for Social Justice, Social Change and Responsible Citizenship features a chapter written by the Center's own Dr. Kathy O'Byrne (Director), Dr. Douglas Barrera (Associate Director), Lauren Willner (Civic Engagement Minor Coordinator), and Troy Lau (Graduate Student Researcher). Now available on AMAZON!

    Meet Jasmin Salas, Jumpstart Corps member and Civic Engagement Minor participant
Jasmin Salas is a senior Anthropology major, Civic Engagement Minor and Education Studies Minor. Through the Center for Community Learning’s Jumpstart AmeriCorps Program, she has spent the last 2 years working in local preschools, building early literacy skills and helping children develop a love of learning. Here’s what Jasmin had to say about what motivates her to engage in the diverse communities of Los Angeles:

"Coming into UCLA as a first generation transfer student, I felt very much out of place in the Westwood bubble and ivory tower of academics. I needed a space to not only engage in community, but also learn and practice the skills I could take into the workforce upon graduation. I feel that the Center for Community Learning has given me just that. There are many spaces on campus that enable you to volunteer and outreach to underserved communities, but the Center gave me the language to explore what service, social justice and diversity means, how people talk about it and what it should look like. Being able to work with a non-profit organization while being given the tools to critically question the work we do and why we do it, has given me the confidence to keep questioning the status quo at UCLA and beyond."

    Meet Sandra Para, Astin Scholar Civic Engagement Minor Graduate
Sandra Para is a senior Dance major. Through the Center for Community Learning Astin Scholar's Program, she has been working with Godinez Fundamental High School to teach an integrative Hip Hop Dance Program that engages students in learning about the historical and cultural emergence of the street dance as well as it creates a space for students to be active discussion leaders in self-reflective prompts about community, identity, and power in today's social context. When asked to describe what motivates here to engage in the diverse communities of Southern California, Sandra said:

“Empowerment of youth and diversity is what inspires me to engage in the community of LA. As a sophomore at UCLA, I took a course that expanded my career and artistic goals. The Arts in Communities class introduced me to community based art making. I fell in love with this approach to art making because artists and individuals who don't identify as artists can unite to create a creative and critical process of storytelling of issues that the community addresses. Engaging with students at Godinez Fundamental High School was an incredible experience. The students' drive to participate in a new dance genre (and excel in it) as well as their courage to share their personal narratives and address the barriers that marginalize their empowerment was truly inspiring. Having fostered a genuine connection with the students, I am motivated to continue investigating and challenging the barriers to positive youth development.”