Santa Monica College Students Selected for Community College Global Affairs Fellowship
June 8, 2023
SMC is One of 22 Community Colleges Nationwide to Have Students Selected for Inaugural Fellowship in Washington, D.C.
Two Santa Monica College (SMC) students have been selected to participate in the inaugural Community College Global Affairs Fellowship program in Washington, D.C. this summer. 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, out of over 140 exemplary applicants. SMC is one of 22 community colleges in the nation to have a student selected for this fellowship.
Jarod Lopez said it was "an overwhelming moment" when he discovered he'd been granted the fellowship. "This remarkable opportunity signifies a tremendous leap toward my passion for global affairs," Lopez said. "It fuels my eagerness to learn, expand my knowledge, and contribute meaningfully to the international community. I am truly thankful and eagerly await the transformative journey that lies ahead!"
Lopez's personal goal is "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."
Daniel Mejia stated that as a first-generation immigration student, he is "optimistic and excited about the opportunity." "The CCGAF fellowship will provide me with the mentorship, skills, and perspective to achieve my goal of working in the research development field as an aerospace engineer/astrophysicist, investigating new avenues toward renewable energy and leveraging the power of the sun for a brighter future," he added.
The Community College Global Affairs Fellowship (CCGAF) seeks to expand access to global education opportunities and international affairs careers to community college, transfer, and non-traditional students. A partnership between Meridian International Center, Global Community College Transfers (GCCT), and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID), the CCGAF provides evidence-based skill-building, mentorship and one-on-one coaching, as well as ongoing access to networks and career supports that global affairs students and professionals need to grow in their work, advance to higher levels of leadership, and become decision-makers on the world stage. It is funded through the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Community College Global Affairs Fellowship has two primary components: a virtual 1:1 mentorship program and a two-week in-person Summer Enrichment Program.
The virtual mentorship program will begin on May 30 and run through August 16. This component of the fellowship is organized by Global Community College Transfers. Fellows are paired with current international affairs practitioners, many of whom were community college/transfer students themselves. The mentorship program consists of online weekly workshops on topics like resume writing and networking skills, routine mentor-mentee meetings, and completion of several small assignments contributing to the fellow's professional and personal development.
The Summer Enrichment Program will take place in Washington, DC from Sunday, June 18 to Saturday, July 1. This component is organized by Meridian International Center. Activities will include an interactive diplomatic skills training course, briefings on how U.S. foreign policy is made, career panel discussions, site visits to federal agencies, networking sessions, visits to cultural institutions, an evening reception, and more.