Child and Family Associate Students Club (CAFAS)

By Rob Flores

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Veronica Camarena, Child Development/Family Life Education major and current senior, is the president of the Child and Family Associate Students Club (CAFAS) and said, “This is a club that socializes with people in and out of our major and partner with clubs to see if they need anything, especially humanities clubs.“

Last year, Camarena served as the vice president of the club. She shared that being a club officer has strengthened her relationship with her board members; they communicate almost daily, thinking of ways to improve the club experience. A current goal of the club is to look for students who are not graduating this year that are interested in taking on a leadership role. The majority of the officers are graduating this year, so Camarena believes students can benefit from shadowing officers to make the transition easier for the next academic year.

Shanni Chen, Child Development and Family Studies major and current senior, found out about the club during Week of Welcome.

Chen said, ”CAFAS is a student organization that creates an opportunity for those who support and are interested in educating young children by supplying the with resources. We provide resources such as volunteer opportunities, CPR and First Aid for students, workshops on how to attain child center permits, and guest speakers in the field of child development and other areas of interest. “

She said her favorite parts of being in the club are the socials, fundraisers, and end of the academic year banquet. When asked what has been her most memorable experience with the club, she said she had a chance to give back to the community and also to make new friends, many of which she still keeps in contact with today. Attending social events was also fun because she was able to network with people and have fun with them.

Delta Zeta Sorority member Janelle Grant, a current junior and a Child Development major, said, ”I joined last semester, and the most memorable moment in the club for me has been the socials and it’s good to get involved in your community.”

Grant emphasized that networking is important and you should do so early because you never know if a colleague could become your future boss.

Jane Torpipat, Child Development and Family Studies major and current senior, said, “I heard about the club because last year’s president was in my class and he announced it during class and Professor Grosso was my professor and she is in charge of the club! The club focuses on working with students to do volunteer work that focuses on working or helping children and families. My favorite part has been the meetings.”

Cristina Avila, Child Development major and current senior, said, “I would say the club is not only a fun way to reach out to the community and volunteer but also a way to socialize and create friendships.”

Avila believes the club helped her break out of her shell and meet new people due to interactions such as club social events. There is also an allure to become an active member as there is a graduation cord you can achieve, which she says is special to wear at graduation because it is earned—a goal that is achievable not just for officers but for any member.

Peal Kim, Child Development and Family Studies major and current senior, says, ”The club focuses on improving the lives of children and families through volunteer work and getting connected with members of the community. We bring awareness of the importance of the development of children.”

In addition to volunteer opportunities, the club remains informed on job opportunities in the field. While most members are child development majors, the club is open to all majors, as Kim has a Consumer Affairs minor.

Eni Rodriguez, Family Childhood Studies major and current senior, joined the club in the fall of 2017 after she approached their information booth at Week of Welcome. She attended their first general meeting and won a free membership.

Rodriguez said, “My favorite part of CAFAS is having the opportunity to gain experience. Our club board is often changing due to students graduating so it gives other students an opportunity to take part in roles that help run the club. “

Professor Lydia Grosso was a member of the club when she was a student here at CSULB from 1990 to 1993, and has been serving as the Club Advisor for the past five years.

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Criteria to earn the graduation cord includes:

  • Become a member

  • Attend at least two socials hosted by CAFAS

  • Have at least eight hours of volunteer service through CAFAS

  • You can also donate an item to Ronald McDonald House one hour per item two hours max

  • Attend a fundraiser event counts as an hour with proof of receipt.

The club mission statement:

The mission of Child and Family Associated Students (CAFAS) is to improve the lives of children and families. We see the importance of early childhood as a vital stage in life and that the family that surrounds them, plays an integral part in providing an enriched, nurturing environment for them. We also see the importance of culture, community and society. CAFAS would promote commitment to these areas and create an opportunities to support all who work with, care, for and educate young children by supplying g them with multitude of resources. Resources such as job fairs, philanthropy work with organizations in the community, CPR and first aid training for students, workshops and how to attain child center permits, and guest speakers in the field of child development and other areas of interest.

The club meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

Their advisor said, ”CAFAS has been running since the late 80’s and is a great way for students to meet their peers who share the same interests in working with children and families. We welcome all students. We also offer students the opportunity to be certified for CPR and First Aid training at a reduced rate; if students are working with children and families it is required to be certified. By offering it at school we make it more convenient for the students.”

One of the clubs favorite activities is to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Beach, where they plan out a meal and cook it for the families who are residing at the house. During Christmas, they participate in toy drives for children who are also at the Ronald McDonald House.

Grosso said, “In addition, we offer fun events, CAFAS members have gone on hikes, dinners, and also offer entertaining game nights on campus. Even if students cannot make it to our meetings, we welcome them to come to our events!”

For more information on the club visit their Instagram account: CSULB CAFAS