The Richter Center Student Leaders

Service. Community. Integrity. Growth.



Picture the Change: Free Speech Area 10/30/12 Now Posted!

Check out the awesome pledges made by Fresno State students here!


See your picture? Share it on Facebook, Tweet about it, post it on Instagram, or comment on our blog! Let’s get the word out about Picture the Change, and make a difference. Encourage your friends or campus organizations to make a pledge. If everyone made a pledge, picture that change!

-The Ambassadors 

Service-Oriented Certificates on Campus

If you are looking to take your passion for service from a hobby to a career, there are many certificate programs on campus to help you do just that! A certificate is very similar to obtaining a minor although it is more focused and requires fewer courses, usually about 12-15 units. As a campus with a commitment and a love for serving those in our local and global community, Fresno State offers many opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and views regarding service through these programs. You get to learn more about how to make an impact and get units for it in a really fun and compelling way. It’s a win-win!

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Here are some of the amazing certificate opportunities on campus:


Conversational Sign Language

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies

Learning sign language opens the door to many possibilities for serving within the deaf community.


Global Awareness

Social Sciences

For those who are interested in international service, a certificate in Global Awareness could certainly help you learn about the needs and cultures of         people all around the world. This certificate includes a global issues course    and a study abroad experience.


Serving At-Risk Youth

Recreation Administration

This certificate provides you with the knowledge and hands on training to work with troubled youth. It pairs course work with a community placement to help students gain practical experience.


Humanics Certificate Program in Administration and Leadership for Community Benefit Organizations

Sociology Department

The Humanics Certificate allows students to learn what it is like to work for and run a Community Benefit Organization (formerly known as Nonprofit). The word humanics itself means the education of the whole person for leadership in service to humanity. Through relevant coursework, mentorships, and service hours students gain extensive knowledge, networking opportunities, and invaluable real world experience.


-Ambassador Emily

Take Time to Serve this Holiday Season

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It’s finally that time of the year again! Golden leaves are piling up on lawns and the cool weather is perfect for enjoying that warm cup of coffee in a sweater.  We can even expect snow soon! Well, maybe not in Fresno, but regardless, the holiday season is here!  This time of year is one that allows us to reflect on the important things in life, like family, friendships, and community.  It is widely known as the season of giving, but instead of checking up on Amazon’s lightning deals for cheap presents, why not give in a different way this year?

Yes, here at the Richter Center we like to promote community service, and what a great gift it can make!  The impact of service is huge to needy families in our community.  This is especially true during this season, when high seasonal unemployment, colder weather, and an increase in need take a toll on many families.

So what can you do to help?  Why service, of course!  Volunteer with the Bulldog Pantry, located just across the Fresno State campus, or donate some canned food items to the Community Food Bank or the Bulldog Pantry.  Perhaps you can join the Salvation Army in the effort to help the needy by volunteering to ring bells for the Kettle Program or donating for the Angel Tree.  In fact, you can visit their website here ( for more local volunteer opportunities.

It doesn’t matter in which way you give this holiday season, so long as you do it sincerely.

Happy holidays!

Ambassador German

Random Acts of Kindness: Pay it Forward!

“I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are—even if they’re bad—to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.”  -Trevor McKenney from Pay It Forward

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From Nov. 13 to Nov. 16, Fresno State had its first ever Random Acts of Kindness Week. The week was designed to not only promote kindness throughout our campus in simple acts like opening the door for people or saying thank you, but also to encourage people to “go out of their way to make someone’s day.” I heard of several instances of people purchasing coffee for the person behind them in line, students baking cookies or passing out treats for those they regularly see, and small notes given to express appreciation.

On Wednesday, the Richter Center hosted a movie night for students to watch Pay it Forward. The movie showed how a boy with an assignment to change the world tackled the task and trusted people to do it. The quote above captures the importance of not being stagnant with how things are, and emphasizes how each of our actions brings about consequences.

Fresno State students, I propose a challenge for each of us. Let’s try to start our own kindness chain. With each kind act you receive, pay it forward to three other people. These acts, for example, may be too difficult for one to accomplish alone, but with help, could be accomplished. We will see the effects of this not only in the people or causes we choose to partake in, but also a change in our lives. Are you up for it?

-Ambassador Amanda

Serving Fresno Day: Romain Park


“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.”  -Mother Teresa 

The city of Fresno and surrounding population centers in the Central Valley are home to more than one million people.  If all of those people took a few hours to give back to the community that they call home, it isn’t hard to imagine the profound benefits for the region.   A group of approximately 50 Fresno State student and staff volunteers were able to lead the charge for this kind of change last Saturday, November 17th, at Romain Park in downtown Fresno.

Serving Fresno Day was a chance for us as citizens of the San Joaquin Valley to show our pride in our community and do our own small part to make our home that much nicer.  At our work site, the volunteers played an instrumental role in beautifying the area and instilling new life in the surrounding neighborhood; the scouring of bleachers and restrooms in the gymnasium and the digging of trenches for irrigation lines where trees will be planted proved to be wonderful projects for the volunteers.  At the end of the day, there was tremendous excitement over the work that had been completed and seeing the grateful looks on the faces of the staff at Romain Park and the children that were there for a karate class made the whole day worthwhile!

If you weren’t able to join the Richter Center on November 17th for a truly wonderful opportunity to share your time and love in the community that we call home, unfortunately, you missed out!  But the good news is that the Richter Center is planning on partnering with Romain for service projects in the spring, so be sure to sign-up when those dates are announced.

Ready to learn more about volunteering at Romain Park next semester?

Join the Ambassadors as we make Fresno, our home, a place full of love for all; see you in the spring!

-Ambassador Daniel 

Make A Difference Day: Storyland

On Oct. 27, I volunteered with a group of Fresno State students at Rotary Storyland for Make a Difference Day.  Storyland was putting on a Halloween party for children in the community that night, and we helped decorate. I really enjoyed getting creative with the decorations. It was a great experience meeting other student volunteers and helping out the employees of Storyland.

I had never been to Storyland, and it was nice to see its different displays of childhood stories, such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “The Three Little Pigs.” While we were there, the park was open, so I was able to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they would recognize the displays.

I pledged with Picture the Change to diversify my service experiences this year, and I am exited to say I am on my way.

-Ambassador Miguel 

Step Up for Down Syndrome

On October 13, 2012, I was happy to participate in the largest Down Syndrome awareness event in the Central Valley. The event is a huge effort to not only bring awareness, but also fundraise money for all the programs and services the Down Syndrome Association of Central California provides.

The event took place in Hoover High School, and it worked similarly to walk-a-thons: you pay a small registration fee, get an awesome, free T-shirt, and then you just show up to the event to walk in support of the cause. There are some unique things about this event that made it even more fun. For example, during the walk I got to see the Step Up Walk of Fame! poster section. These posters had several pictures of beautiful children with Down syndrome shown as superstars for all to see. After the walk, there were performances by people with Down Syndrome, and it became a place of celebration. There was food, live music, and a lot of lively people that were happy to be there.

This was my first time participating in Step Up for Down Syndrome, and I was happy to see various Fresno State students come to Hoover High School and support the cause. I would like to propose a challenge, and have Fresno State break the event’s record of attendance of 1,500 people next year. Can we do it?

-Ambassador Amanda

A Case for International Service


We serve because we want to trade in our time, money, and talents for the knowledge and satisfaction that someone’s life was bettered because of our gifts. We want to share what we have to make a difference to get some warm fuzzies. Many of us want to give back to our community and impact the area that has impacted us, creating a local service focus. Our country, our state, and our city are all far from perfect, and it is very understandable and very noble for individuals to want to direct their efforts to create improvements in these areas. It is a common sentiment that we need to fix our country before we can begin to think about giving globally. While I wholeheartedly support, encourage, and participate in local service, I also want to encourage people to zoom out a little bit and take a look at the bigger picture. Local service and global service do not have to be mutually exclusive, being involved in both offers wonderful experiences and multiplies the possibilities for meaningful change.

We are constantly reminded of all of the problems our local areas have ranging from poverty to poor health care to pollution. While these issues do exist and are important, it is also important to take note that compared to many areas of the world we are incredibly blessed. Being an American is such a beautiful privilege as we have the freedom to sustain our own beliefs and the opportunity to pursue them. Sure, we are far from a utopia, but we are certainly much closer than other parts of the world.  Whether you believe it was luck or a divine act that got you to this country, it is something that should not be taken for granted for it is important to remember that we all could have just as easily been born into a third world society. I say this not to impose guilt or a sense of obligation, but rather as a reminder that we all have been granted with an incredible opportunity. We have been given an ability to give that is larger than most. This is a gift that allows us to help both our local neighbors and our neighbors around the world if we so chose. So next time you are considering where to serve or give, don’t rule out the global community. Your impact will still be felt and you can still get warm fuzzies even from across the globe.

Here are some neat global service organizations to check out:

West African Vocational Schools:

Charity Water:

Amor Ministries:

International Student Volunteers:

Or consider purchasing some goods that benefit global communities (It’s a win win! You give support and get some cool stuff in return):

Toms (Shoes and Eyewear):

Krochet Kids (Crocheted goods):

Global Mamas (Tons of handmade items):

-Ambassador Emily

Picture the Change: Free Speech Area 10/15 Now Posted!

Check out all the pledges that were made in the Free Speech Area on Oct. 15 here!

Find your picture and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to inspire your friends to make a pledge!

How are you going to follow through with your pledge? Comment here and let us know. If you need help completing your pledge, come visit the Ambassadors in Thomas Administration Room 107. We are happy to help!

Be sure to keep your eyes open for the Picture the Change booth around campus for your chance to make a pledge to better our community!

-The Ambassadors

PS: Like this guy’s pledge? Check out Movember and how they are planning to generate awareness about men’s health here!

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