Alexis Marquez

California State University, Channel Islands, sociology major Alexis Marquez has received a spot in the first class of the Principal Community Scholars, a pilot program designed to encourage student leadership, for her work in fighting hunger among university students. Marquez, 21, jumped at the opportunity to head a food pantry where her peers could visit and select five items. Marquez says she was moved by a yearlong study that found 24 percent of students in the California State University system may be going hungry.

“Volunteering has contributed greatly to my learning and life perspective, a raw and transformational feeling, one I could not experience by reading a textbook or watching a documentary,” Marquez said. Scholars will receive a $1,000 scholarship upon completion of their community service projects.