Girls Seek Support from Ministers For Study Abroad Experience

KALAMAZOO (MICH.)- As six girls from Michigan plan to experience the culture and geography of Europe and earn three college credits, they have plenty of work to do. The cost of this all-inclusive educational experience  is $4,500 per student. While this price seems astronomical to the families of each student, the priceless experience is worth it.

The girls began 2017 on a mission to experience Europe debt free. Their first “ask” was to  nearly two dozen ministers of the Northside (Kalamazoo) Ministerial Alliance. Each presented a different aspect of the program, what they’ve learned, and what they hope to accomplish in their European study. Girls will visit such places as Paris, France, and Venice and Florence in Italy, in addition to hands-on experiences that they will remember for a lifetime.

For the first time, the Explorers will partner with Kalamazoo Public Schools for this experience headed by high school art teacher, Cindy VanLieu. VanLieu, who has traveled around the world through the program, will guide the nearly 25 participants from area schools and the Explorers, through the process. Weekend language and culture prep classes will be held in addition to group-wide fundraising efforts.

Through upcoming fundraising luncheons, garage sales, snack sales, and plenty of hard work, this will be the second European study abroad opportunity funded in part by the Merze Tate Explorers. The first in 2015, allowed Explorers Natasha and Claire the opportunity to study in France for 30 days. During this experience the Explorers participated in daily language courses, visited historic landmarks and museums, and experienced French cuisine.

Please help the girls as they prepare for a life-changing experience! Donate on our Paypal button above! Contact Sonya Hollins, executive director of the Merze Tate Explorers for more information at: 269-359-7895, or email: