Help Girls Experience the World Through Study Abroad

6 girls in Europe + 3 study abroad college credits= Priceless Experience!

MICHIGAN-Invest in the futures of six Michigan girls who will take part in a study abroad journey of a lifetime as they visit Paris and Italy. This 10-day adventure as travel writers will conclude their final assignment toward three college credits as they learn of the culture, language, history, and geography of Europe. In collaboration with students from Kalamazoo Public Schools, and Portage Public Schools, the Merze Tate Explorers will take part in their second team travel abroad experience.

Some of the upcoming fundraising events that will help provide funding for the girls include:

#1- Passport and Paint Party: This event will allow individuals or groups to participate in an interactive portrait painting project they can take home. The event will be held from 11-2 (1-hour slots), on Saturday, April 29, at Galilee Baptist Church, 1216 N. Westnedge Ave. (in their Counting to One building across the street from the church).
Wet Paint and Palette art gallery, owned by Kimberly Thorpe, will instruct the fun art project as a great gift for Mother’s Day! Participate with Mom, or create a masterpiece to surprise her! Cost is $15 per person. Purchase tickets on our Paypal Fundraising button on our Home page! Those who purchase tickets will have their name on the reservation list at the door.
Participants will also have selfie station opportunities to pose with oversized passports and fun Paris and Italian-themed costumes. Cost is $15 per person. Purchase tickets on our Paypal Fundraising button on our Home page! Those who purchase tickets will have their name on the reservation list at the door.
#2- Motown the Musical Performance: Portions of the tickets purchased through our link for the May 11, 2017 show will go toward our organization! Those who purchase tickets will pick them up at Miller Auditorium’s Will Call window.
#3-Before the Motown show, take your family to Family Night at Old Country Buffet, 5520 W. Main St., in Kalamazoo, where proceeds from your ticket will go toward our organization. Remember, during Family Night, kids eat for $1.99! So, buy your adult ticket and take your kids out for a great meal that will benefit area students! Purchase tickets on our Paypal Fundraising button on our Home page!

In 2016, 25 Explorers traveled to Canada where they experienced one of the world’s great natural wonders, Niagara Falls. In addition to travel, the Explorers, in grades 4th-12th, are trained media specialists who capture their experiences through photography, videography, and writing, to create their annual Girls Can! Magazine and video presentations. These media projects are unveiled during their annual Girls Can! Unveiling Fundraising Banquet in August.

The Merze Tate Explorers was founded in 2008 by Sonya Bernard-Hollins. What began as a Saturday program has flourished into a one-of-a-kind career exploration through travel and media. Initial excursions were day trips to meet women in various careers at places such as Stryker Instruments, headquartered in Portage, Michigan, and hands-on experiences at Best Buy as Geek Squad members for a day. Each experience is coupled with lessons in journalism, geography, and career exploration.

Over the years, the program has grow to include a week-long residential Travel Writers Academy, where Explorers visit unique places, participate in once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and write about them for their annual Girls Can! Magazine, in collaboration with Season Press, and Community Voices magazine.

Hundreds of sponsors has provided everything from in-kind to financial contributions to allow experiences students will never forget. Sponsors also allow for financial assistance to be offered to girls who qualify for the program.

Contributions from $5 and above are welcome as we continue to provide an experience that will set the foundation for students’ education and career goals.

For more information, contact Sonya Bernard-Hollins at:

Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Administrative account for the Community Voices website.