NAVCAL was founded in the Spring of 2018 through the Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders Fellowship. The first official class took place in Fall 2018 with a cohort of 12 students and 2 mentors. The program since its inception has grown to hold more than 60 students and mentors per semester and has helped support hundreds of non-traditional students within the Cal Community. 

NAVCAL empowers students to advocate for their community, address challenges, and ultimately ensure that more students are educated on how to access and maximize available resources. Students are challenged not only to acquire resources for themselves, but also to be able to show others the path—as assisting other students is a main pillar of this fellowship. 

NAVCAL's foundation is made up with four principle pilars: Each one Teach one, Togetherness Approach, Community not Competition, and Occupying Space on Campus.