Four SMC students selected for Dale Ride Internships

When determination and hard work are mixed together, not only success comes along but doors open to golden opportunities. If you doubt it, ask Anthony Allman, Hailey Gilmore, Ethan Lacey and Mariana Horta-Capelli.

They are the four brilliant Santa Monica College students who have been recently selected to be the prestigious 2005 Santa Dale Ride interns. This summer they will be sleeping in the dorms of the George Washington University, located four blocks away from the White House.

During their eight-week summer internship program the interns will be working in different government offices on Capitol Hill at no expense - airfares, transportation, housing to other expenses will be covered through stipends.

Such a program is believed to be unique in a community college. "I am not aware of any college that has a program like this, it is a very competitive program, some of the students never come back from Washington D.C.," said Political Science Professor Alan Buckley, who is the Dale Ride Internship Program Coordinator.

The Santa Monica College Foundation's Dale Ride Internship program was created fifteen years ago, as a tribute to the memory of Dr. Dale Ride who was an illustrious SMC administrator, Political Science Professor and activist for more than 33 years until his death in 1989.

The Ride family along with former SMC President Dr. Piedad F. Robertson, SMC Foundation President's Circle, Stratton-Petit Foundation, the SMC Associates and others have been sponsoring students over the years to enable them to acquire a tangible sense of how the state and national legislative, administrative processes and politics operate. "Students get an up-close look at the government in a way that no other students do," said Buckley.

The program targets outstanding students committed to public service to represent SMC. Applicants are interviewed and selected by a committee of faculty, Foundation representatives and Dale Ride family representatives.

For Ethan Lacey, one of the interns who had always been passionate about politics and wishes to be in public office later on in his life, the Dale Ride internship will be a decisive experience. "This will be a deciding experience. It will drive me one way or the other," said Lacey. The 24 year old Political Science major will serve the House Committee on International relations. Lacey looks forward to making solid contacts in Washington D.C. and hopes to leave Capitol Hill being "more an optimist than a cynic".

Another privileged Dale Ride intern and excellent SMC student is Anthony Allman.

At 22 years old, Allman already has rich credentials. The political science major is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Kuwait in support of the war in Iraq. He was supposed to be stationed for a year.

Allman has been enrolled in SMC for one year. He is the director of college outreach for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Allman is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the SMC Scholars Program. He has received the William & Clyde Stieb Memorial Leadership Scholarship as well as the SMC Foundation Scholarship in Social and Behavioral Sciences. "I'd rather have multiple scholarships and graduate two years later than others and get a lot of experience, this is what education is about," said Allman.

In the past, Allman financed his internship within the U.S. House of Representatives. This summer Allman will be in the office of the Californian U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. "The only way to learn about government is through internship - being there and experiencing the Washington environment," said Allman.

The two other interns, Hailey Gilmore and Mariana Horta-Capelli will be serving in the House Committee on Government Reform and the American Council for Voluntary International Action, and with U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano, a Californian Democrat and chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, respectively.

Students interested in the program are invited to apply at the beginning of each calendar year. For more information call 310-434-4215.