College Corps program, a place for lifelong friends

The Concordia Courier

Concordia Irvine

By Leonard Memon | 2/10/2023

The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program is not only a wonderful place to gain experience and obtain tuition assistance, but also a place to make lifelong friends.

The College Corps program offers a wide range of valuable opportunities to students. One of the many opportunities that the College Corps program affords students is the ability to create meaningful friendships.

Jennifer Sheek, Concordia’s College Corps coordinator, said, “We’ve found that those fellows [Concordia students] who are transfers, freshman or commuters have a foot in the door to an intentional community that makes forming friendships a little bit easier. Imagine arriving on campus and not knowing anyone - for extroverts and introverts alike it could be challenging, uncomfortable or intimidating. But with orientation at the beginning of the College Corps service, there are opportunities intentionally provided to assist in meeting the other fellows, connecting and growing together.”

Rylyne Lopez, freshman Psychology major, is a great example of how the College Corps program can help students make friends. “Because of the California Corps program, I was able to create a friendship with Airene,” said Lopez.

One of the best aspects of friendships made in the College Corps program are the shared values. Sheek said, “College Corps is an excellent place to meet friends because you are gathered together with like-minded people who are passionate about serving. While the specific focus areas may be different [K-12 education, climate action and food insecurity] - the underlying desire to serve others, love our neighbors and shared commitment become a deep bond.”

Lopez said her shared values with Airene is one of the best parts of their friendship. “Airene was the first friend I made at CUI. Knowing that I was not alone in the process of adapting to college life, and college workload, gave me a positive outlook on the school year,” she said. “My friendship with Airene is important to me because we are each other’s support systems at school, in our personal lives and in our relationship with God.”

Laura Gibson, a freshman, agreed. She said, “The College Corps program has helped me make friendships by bringing me closer to students who have common goals and values with me. We have an opportunity to get off campus, work within our community and get to know people we might not have otherwise met on campus.” She added, “The CollegeCorps staff here at CUI have become like another family to me.”

If you are on the fence about joining the College Corps program, Lopez suggests that you ask yourself three questions. “Do I want to serve my community and be a part of positive change on campus, in the Irvine community and in California? Would $10,000 towards my educational career be a major help in paying for my future? Do I want to be surrounded by other like-minded peers who decided that there needed to be positive changes occurring in our community and decided to turn their words into action?”

If you answered yes to these questions, consider joining the College Corps program! For more information regarding College Corps, visit

You can also reach out to the coordinators; Concordia staff that Lopez wished to thank. “I just want to say thank you to Jennifer Sheek, Mariah Lucas and Kirstie Skogerboe for being amazing coordinators of the Cal Corps program at Concordia University Irvine,” Lopez said. 

She added, “These ladies have been wonderful whenever I have questions or concerns regarding the program. If you are on the fence about the program, I would set up a time with either of these ladies to ask questions and talk about the program a little more.”



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