CSU Honors Two CSUF Shining
‘STARS’ for Community Service
by Debbie Wilhelmi
Updated: May 13, 2003 :: No. 232
| Corinne Veiga and Algele “Cid”
Sumulong are STARS in the California State University system.
They are among 43 students honored from CSU campuses as “Students
That Are Recognized for Service,” an annual program that
recognizes the important roles students play in strengthening
the California community. Veiga was honored for establishing
a counseling group for teens dealing with depression. Sumulong
a campus-based program in which volunteers work with hospice
Cal State Fullerton seniors Corinne Veiga
and Algele “Cid” Sumulong are “Stars” in
the California State University system.
Forty-three students from CSU campuses were honored
recently as “Students That Are Recognized for Service,”
an annual program that showcases the important roles students play
in strengthening California communities.
Veiga, a child and adolescent development major who
plans to become a school psychologist, received the STARS award
for creating a community counseling group for teens dealing with
depression. She also marketed the services of the group, which operates
out of the Child and Family Development Center in Azusa.
“I’m really glad I did it,” said
the Whittier resident about her initiation of the teen counseling
program. “I know that I want to help teens. I want to understand
their background to enhance their future. It was a really good experience.”
Veiga’s volunteer work was part of a service-learning
seminar led by Kari Knutson Miller, assistant professor in child
and adolescent studies, who nominated Veiga for the award. Both
Knutson Miller and Jaime Mendoza, director of the Child and Family
Development Center, said Veiga’s efforts went well beyond
the requirements for the course.
Through her experience, Veiga was able to apply her
classroom knowledge to a professional project, which had a significant
impact on her professional development and benefited the community
organization she served.
“High quality service-learning experiences enhance
campus-community relationships,” said Knutson Miller. “In
this context, students gain deeper understandings of course content,
while meeting needs articulated by community partners.”
Mendoza noted that although the course is over, Veiga
remains involved in the project.
“She continues to help the center by working
with low-income families, and adolescents in particular,”
said Mendoza. “She is becoming aware of her interpersonal
process and how that fits with her academic development.”
gift of your time, the gift of yourself.”
Cid Sumulong received his award for initiating a campus-based
community service organization known as Project Grace. This collaboration
between Cal State Fullerton and Heartland Hospice connects volunteers
with clients at Heartland centers in Orange County.
Sumulong, a Yorba Linda resident, created the program
after witnessing a physician diagnose his aunt’s disease in
what he felt was an apathetic manner.
“He did not show her dignity and respect. I
wanted to start Project Grace, which is named for my aunt, to promote
patient dignity,” said the biological sciences major, whose
goal is to become a physician. He resolved to help other young premed
students like himself learn to treat their future patients with
Project Grace is composed of nine volunteers who have
received 15 hours of training and spend two hours each week at a
hospice with terminally ill clients.
“Right now, society thinks of death as a taboo
subject,” said Sumulong. “I want people to walk away
from this project with a renewed sense of the value of life. I find
that only by being placed in a position where death is imminent,
do we realize just how valuable life is. I want people to realize,
especially premed students, that patients are more than patients:
they are people.”
Sabrina Sanders, coordinator of the Volunteer & Service Center,
describes Sumulong’s project as a great success.
“The impact of Cid’s leadership in developing
and coordinating Project Grace has been immeasurable,” said
Sanders, who nominated Sumulong. She described Project Grace as
being extremely beneficial to both hospice clients and student participants.
“[The clients’] quality of life increases
as a result of that one-on-one connection with a compassionate volunteer,”
she said. “The experience for students not only gives them
a whole new attitude about the significance of life, but provides
them an exceptional learning experience that their classroom lectures
could never provide.”
“There is something that goes beyond the value
of a dollar,” explained Sumulong about the importance of Project
Grace. “It’s the gift of your time; the gift of yourself.”
||Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at 657-278-4852
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