Navmit Dhesi is a third-year Fresno State student who is passionate about service. Through the project-based program Humanics@FresnoState, she has served as a consultant for several organizations in the Central Valley, including Catholic Charities and Habitat for Humanity. By focusing on CBO administration, governance, and funding, her work has allowed her to promote organizations and community leaders to think and serve in more mission-centered, sustainable ways. Navmit has also put into action what she has learned from Humanics as a founding member of Camp Kesem at Fresno State. In January 2014, Fresno State became the first CSU campus to establish a chapter. As one of Camp Kesem's current volunteer directors, Navmit leads with passion and inspires other Fresno State students to serve. Camp Kesem, operated by student volunteers, provides a week-long summer camp experience and year-long peer support for children whose parents have or had cancer, serving 26 campers ages 6-16 at its first camp in August 2015. The goal is to serve 35 Central Valley children at the 2016 camp.
My journey with social issues and promoting social justice began in high school when I became an advocate for Invisible Children. Through my work with this international organization, I learned the power of the youth in bringing about change, the importance of standing up for those whose voices have been suppressed, and the practice of being a global citizen who stands up for others, regardless of geographical boundaries that separate us. The desire to make a difference and to serve has followed me to college and led me to my current work with Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs). Humanics@FresnoState has given me the knowledge based, skills, and opportunity to work to strengthen the CBO sector by promoting organizations to be advocates for social change and not just providers of social services. In the past three years, I have served various CBOs as a funder, grant writer, program evaluator, and consultant and have urged each of these organizations to embrace the role of advocate for their constituents. By creating a culture of sustainability, community, and advocacy in the CBO sector, I hope to create a strong network of people and organizations, who'll work together and address the root causes of social issues.