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Two SMC Students Headed to Washington DC

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By Lookout Staff

May 16, 2023 -- Two Santa Monica College (SMC) students are headed to the nation's capitol this summer to participate the inaugural Community College Global Affairs Fellowship program, college officials announced this week.

Aerospace engineering major Daniel Mejia and political science major Jarod Lopez are among 30 community college/transfer students selected for this "fully-paid enrichment and mentorship program."

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More than 140 "exemplary applicants" from 22 community colleges nationwide were in the running for the fellowship that "seeks to expand access to global education opportunities and international affairs careers."

The fellowship offers "evidence-based skill-building, mentorship and one-on-one coaching, as well as ongoing access to networks and career supports" needed to "become decision-makers on the world stage," officials said.

“This remarkable opportunity signifies a tremendous leap toward my passion for global affairs,” said Lopez. “It fuels my eagerness to learn, expand my knowledge, and contribute meaningfully to the international community."

Lopez’s said he hopes “to work as a conflict resolution specialist in areas affected by political turmoil.

"This fellowship will equip me with the necessary skills, cultural competence, and field experience to effectively mediate conflicts, promote dialogue, and contribute to the creation of a harmonious global community," he said.

Mejia said the fellowship will further his goal as an aerospace engineer/astrophysicist to investigate "new avenues toward renewable energy and leveraging the power of the sun for a brighter future.”

The virtual mentorship program -- which consists of online weekly workshops -- will begin on May 30 and run through August 16.

The Summer Enrichment Program will take place in Washington, DC from June 18 to July 1 and includes "an interactive diplomatic skills training course" and "briefings on how U.S. foreign policy is made."

It also includes "career panel discussions, site visits to federal agencies, networking sessions, visits to cultural institutions and an evening reception."

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