Jennifer Balino – Fresno City College

Jennifer Balino- Student Testimonial ’24

Community Change Program – Fresno City College

Jennifer Balino shares her amazing experience from her time in our CYLC learn-and-earn career pathway at Fresno City College. Learn more about her experience in our program and her future goals in providing  support and advocacy for folks in her local community.

I am part of the California Youth Leadership Corps at Fresno City College and it has given me numerous opportunities. Additionally, I serve as a fellow at the Central Valley Worker Center, participating in programs aligned with my career interests and passions.

One notable project involves researching the impact of agricultural practices on pollution in the Central Valley, specifically focusing on air and water pollution from pesticides and toxins. I’ve worked on researching the harms these toxins have on the human body, how it’s affecting our communities, and compiling a list of resources that are available to help increase the quality of life of those affected. I chose this project as it aligns with my major in Pre-Health and this is a subject that highly interests me. My goal is to identify programs alleviating community stress caused by pollution.. One of the programs available to the community is the Kings Water Alliance, aiding those with contaminated well water by providing weekly deliveries of safe water.

I’ve also been involved in Corazon Sin Fronteras, a program dedicated to reuniting families separated due to immigration complexities. Collaborating closely with the program director, I assist in contacting families, which helps in improving my communication skills, and building meaningful relationships. Additionally, I contribute by canvassing to disseminate vital resources like medical assistance, Medicaid, PG&E financial relief, and low-income health facilities. This involves aiding the elderly and non-English-speaking community with application processes.