Santa Monica Lookout
|Family’s Donation Helps Santa Monica College Students Study Abroad|
By Lookout Staff
April 14, 2015 -- Ten Santa Monica College students traveled to South Africa this past winter to study, thanks to the generosity of the family of a former faculty member, SMC officials announced.
The 10 students who received grants of $500 each to help with the costs of their travel to study in South Africa were Natalie Arrigotti, Mark Biedlingmaier, Alberto Bravo, William Buckner, Ana Castellon, Sally Chang, Karla Duarte, Kelly Malmloef Sandgren, Janessa Tenille Serate and Raquel Shapiro.
“These grants made a real difference to our students’ travel experiences,” said Kelley Brayton, SMC’s dean of international education. “The Verge scholarship was granted to recipients just prior to their trip, which was a wonderful surprise for them.
“It enabled students to experience local life during their free time, from venturing to a local café, socializing with locals, or just picking up souvenirs to remind them of this special time in South Africa,” Brayton said.
“My dad was a huge supporter of traveling and exploring different cultures, and he loved leading groups of SMC students to new places, new experiences, and broader perspectives on the world,” Verge said. “He worked hard to help make SMC’s Study Abroad Program one of the best ones out there.
“My dad also believed that the opportunity to study abroad should be available to all students, regardless of their background, so we decided to give the grants to students with a 2.5-3.25 GPA.”
It was Verge’s brother, Arthur, who teaches history at El Camino College, who suggested the family use proceeds from the restaurant to help SMC students live and study in other nations, he said.
Brayton said the opportunity to study abroad can be life-changing for students.
For more information about SMC’s Study Abroad Program, visit www.smc.edu/studyabroad. For more information about the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, call 310-434-4215.
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