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CSUN Holds Fair for Nonprofit Groups

September 26, 2000|GRACE E. JANG

A penchant for community service has given Oxnard resident Michelle Lacson a sense of purpose.

The 24-year-old is a substitute teacher who has volunteered for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, but Lacson said she has always wanted to serve on a larger scale--something along the lines of the Peace Corps.

The Cal State Northridge alumna was among more than 500 students and alumni who attended the school's third annual nonprofit fair Monday.

Among the more than 50 organizations represented were Los Angeles-based Caring for Babies with AIDS, Valley Trauma Center for victims of rape and domestic violence, and the Salvation Army. Many of the organizations offered both volunteer and employment opportunities.

The Los Angeles Unified School District was also at the fair, seeking to fill hundreds of special education positions. Adele Scheele, director of the university's career center, said nonprofits are a growing sector, but people often do not realize such agencies need many of the same personnel as profit-making businesses, such as accountants, Web designers and office managers.

Lacson lingered at the Peace Corps table, poring over the material and listening to former volunteer Susana Garcia's tales of her two years in Kazakhstan. Lacson said the only deterrent to serving in the Peace Corps is the two-year commitment--but she remains steadfastly loyal to the underlying principle.

"It's about helping the community to be whole," she said. "It's very gratifying work."

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