There are at least 24,139 reasons that you should consider donating on Fresno State’s third annual Day of Giving.

That’s the number of students attending the university this fall.


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Fresno State’s third annual Day of Giving is from midnight Wednesday through 11:59 p.m. Thursday. This year’s goal is to reach 2,250 unique donors, a 5% increase over last year. A live leaderboard will track progress throughout the day, providing real-time updates on the campaign website.

Supporting First-Generation College Students

Samantha Saucedo is among them.

“Electronics were fascinating to me, so I began helping my dad build custom car sound systems every day after school. Then we started building RC (remote control) jets and planes,” Saucedo said. “After I understood how things were connected, I started building my own jets.”

Today, the 20-year-old, first-generation college student from San Jose studies electrical engineering in the Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State.

“I’ve always been interested in anything that takes flight,” Saucedo said. “Now, I’m more into complicated applications like unmanned aerial systems, and soon I’ll be working on the quad plane with unmanned systems research team. My dream is to work on electrical avionic systems, so when we had the opportunity to go to NASA this year, I jumped at the chance to sign up.”

Saucedo joined 20 of her classmates from the Lyles College and visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena this past spring. The trip was led by Hernan Maldonado, director of the Pathways: Student Services program in the Lyles College.

The program, which relies on donors to invest in student success, provides a multitude of academic and extracurricular enrichment and career exploration for students in the Lyles College as well as outreach and support to K-14 students from around the region.

Photo of Samantha Saucedo working on a drone

Samantha Saucedo is a first-generation college student who is studying electrical engineering at Fresno State. (fresnostatenews.com)

This Year’s Goals

The Day of Giving is from midnight Wednesday through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. This year’s goal is to reach 2,250 unique donors, a 5% increase over last year. A live leaderboard will track progress throughout the day, providing real-time updates on the campaign website.

In 2018, the Day of Giving raised more than $456,000 from donors in 42 states and 18 countries.

If you give, there’s a good chance that your donation will “unlock” additional funds pledged by other donors. To check out these bonus donations, go to the campaign website.

In 2018, the Day of Giving raised more than $456,000 from donors in 42 states and 18 countries.

Supporting Future Leaders, Helping Rural Communities

Here’s another example of how community support empowers student success at Fresno State.

It’s early Sunday morning and the Community Health Mobile Unit has just rolled into the parking lot of a small, quiet church in Orange Cove. Locals are already waiting in line, as a group of Fresno State nursing students prepare supplies and medical equipment inside one of two patient rooms of the mobile unit.

portrait of Paula Castadio

“Day of Giving gifts, no matter how big or small, signal that our region cares about our students and the learning experience they have through Fresno State. Every donation to Fresno State prepares our next generation of leaders for the Valley.” — Paula Castadio, Fresno State vice president for University Advancement 

Outside, Dr. Kathleen Rindahl, School of Nursing faculty, greets an older gentleman who is there to get his blood sugar checked. After checking in, he is taken inside where a nursing student gently pricks his finger to draw blood, but a reading on the blood sugar monitoring device could not be detected. They try again and still no reading. They later discover that the client’s blood sugar level was literally off the charts, resulting in an emergency referral to the hospital for treatment.

Rindahl said cases like this are common and occur at nearly each of the 25-plus mobile unit stops.

Each semester, the mobile unit travels up and down the San Joaquin Valley, visiting surrounding communities where access to health care is not readily available. In total, the mobile unit can rack up as many as 100 miles roundtrip for each visit, traveling as far as Riverdale and Reedley.

With funds from the Day of Giving,  enough fuel was purchased to be able to keep the mobile unit up and running safely, while also stocked with essential medical supplies like blood glucose meters and test strips and other equipment needed to serve the over 100 clients who are serviced each visit.

Students also benefit from the experience, gaining valuable clinical skills and community service hours. Since funds were donated, over 300 students in nursing, dietetics and athletic training, among others, have been able to gain hands-on learning in community health.

“Day of Giving gifts, no matter how big or small, signal that our region cares about our students and the learning experience they have through Fresno State,” said Paula Castadio, Fresno State’s vice president for University Advancement. “Every donation to Fresno State prepares our next generation of leaders for the Valley.”

(Fresnostatenews.com contributed to this report.)

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