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CSUF Alumna Strives to Make World a Better Place

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Cal State Fullerton alumna Jessica Zamora ‘16 (B.S. health science) has a goal of working for UNICEF. If her dedication to community service is any indicator, she will one day achieve her goal.

Zamora is applying for master of public health programs and gaining additional experience with community health organizations. A Gianneschi Center for Nonprofit Research Student Fellowship in Nonprofit Leadership helps support her efforts.

“The fellowship is designed to jumpstart the nonprofit career of a graduating student by providing them a paid summer employment opportunity,” said Susan Cadwallader, Gianneschi Center director. “Jessica was chosen based on her experience and desire to work in a leadership position for a community-based organization.”

Zamora decided on her career focus when she took an introductory health science course and “fell in love.” She immediately changed her major and took elective courses in global health.

Zamora had a positive experience during her practicum with Planned Parenthood, working in community outreach, promoting good health care practices and working health fairs.

“I had the same positive experience with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Garden Grove,” where she developed and implemented a health and fitness program for elementary school-age children. “One week we would have a lesson on better dental hygiene, the next, we would discuss emotional health and well being.

“Right now, I’m in a long-term internship with the American Heart Association,” Zamora added. “I’ll be working there until December, working health fairs, teaching hands-only CPR, conducting blood pressure readings.”

She also is working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Anaheim, recipient of a Gianneschi Host Organization Fellowship.

“Our clubs have moved toward working as a family resource center. We provide programming for kids on healthy lifestyles, academic success and good character and citizenship. For parents, we offer resources such as parenting classes, dental and eye services, tax assistance, monthly food drives and child and family therapy,” explained John Machiaverna, the organization’s executive director. “Jessica has been a huge asset to our clubs and our mission. Our members look up to her and admire her calm and nurturing character.”

“All of these experiences solidified my vision on what I want to do in my career,” said Zamora. “I want to continue my education so I can better serve others. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the courses and hand-on experiences I had at CSUF, and the support I have through the Gianneschi Fellowship.”

The Gianneschi Center for Nonprofit Research supports and encourages the work of Orange County’s charitable organizations. Its vision is to be the leading resource connecting nonprofit organizations, philanthropic foundations, businesses, the university and the larger community by facilitating meaningful discussion — through education and research — of issues affecting the nonprofit sector.