Inspiring young people to believe in themselves and to know that they can make a difference.
The Cesar Chavez Service Clubs provides leadership development programs in public and private schools across San Diego County, building confidence, competence and a sense of community within young people. Through teaching the ten values Cesar Chavez embodied, and carrying out service projects that benefit local communities, the Clubs inspires students to believe in themselves. These students learn by experience that they can make a difference.
Making A Difference
In 2000, when the State of California named March 31st Cesar Chavez Day, Carlos and Linda LeGerrette, who had known Cesar Chavez and served within the movement he founded, sought a way to engage young people in the community service that characterized his life. They created the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, a highly successful leadership development and community service program active in many local schools.
Cesar Chavez Service Clubs teach students the ten values that Cesar Chavez embodied in his life and work. Our Club members are called "Chavistas" who meet weekly at their school and plan and carry out service projects to benefit the communities where they live. The Clubs work to inspire students to believe in themselves and to learn through the Club experiences that they can make a lasting difference in our world.
Our clubs provide leadership and service opportunities to over 1,000 members guided by 4 Club Coordinators. This year, the Chavez Clubs combined will hold 800 meetings totaling 25,000 club member hours. Including the total time of the Chavistas, Club Managers, volunteers and staff, the Clubs will invest 31,000 hours in leadership development activities. We have a waiting list of additional schools that want a Club at their school.
Research demonstrates that Chavistas’ reading scores on standardized tests improve markedly. Educators embrace the Clubs’ work because of its positive effect on students’ attitudes and behavior. The dropout rate among program participants is low, while their retention of information and attendance at school are high. Many go on to be leaders in class, at work, and in the community.
Who Are Chavistas?
The Chavistas, as the Club participants proudly call themselves, range from third grade through college age. Chavistas learn how to accomplish their goals by embodying the values of Cesar Chavez, like nonviolence, sacrifice and service. They form habits that will serve them a lifetime, like determination and innovation. As they will tell you, “Si Se Puede! Yes We Can!”
Who Are Our Club Managers, Coordinators, and Interns?
The Club Managers, many with years of working with the Chavez Clubs, are fulltime staff with the responsibility of directing multiple Club sites. Club interns are college students, many of them funded by the Price Philanthropies, selected and trained by the Club's founders. They serve for two years facilitating the Clubs’ activities and teaching the Clubs' curriculum. The interns themselves are often transformed by this experience and pledge to give back to their community.