Justin Grider, a senior at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., is photographed on Sunday, July 31, 2011. He recently returned from a six-week service project learning fellowship with the Valley Christian Conference in Palmer, Alaska. (Jim Stevens/Staff)The Contra Costa Times profiles the experience of SMC senior Justin Grider who spent six weeks in Palmer, Alaska working with homeless and marginally housed individuals to help provide access to basic needs such as food, shelter, jobs, and health care. The 22-year-old Concord resident, and soccer player for the College, is one of four Saint Mary's students who participated in CILSA's social service immersion fellowships this summer.

The Times' article also focuses on the "real world" experience of 19-year-old Brenda Martinez who, along with two other SMC students, spent a month and a half in an under-resourced community in West Oakland. A sophomore, Martinez commuted to San Francisco's Tenderloin district, where she worked with the General Assistance Advocacy Project as an advocate for homeless and mentally ill individuals.

Read the Contra Costa Times story "Saint Mary's student from Concord spends summer in Alaska helping homeless."

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