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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: April 29, 2004


Four outstanding Santa Monica College students have been selected for the prestigious Dale Ride Internship program and will serve in the White House, U.S. Congress and National Institutes of Health this summer.

The interns – who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests – will gain valuable experience through the eight-week summer internship program, believed to be unique for a community college. Interns receive stipends to cover transportation, housing and other expenses.

The program – which in 12 years has sent 71 students (excluding this year's group) to the White House, Congress and other agencies – is underwritten by the SMC Foundation President’s Circle, Stratton-Petit Foundation, US Bank and Verizon. Other contributors are the Dale Ride Family Fund and the SMC Associates, a private community support organization that funds speakers and special programs on campus.

The interns and their assignments are:

Sanam Dabir-Babakan of Los Angeles, who will be in the office of U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.). A certified paralegal, she is a women's studies major who has made the SMC Dean’s List and is a member of the Women’s College Association and Black Collegians. A native of Iran who was raised in the United States, she volunteers with Project Angel Food, working with the elderly. She plans to become a lawyer, serving underprivileged minority women and children.

Juanett Davis of Los Angeles, who will serve in the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. President-elect of the SMC Associated Students, she is a broadcast journalism major who is active with the Venice/Santa Monica chapter of the NAACP and with student government. A recipient of the Jean Litsy O’Brien Scholarship, she has been named to the National Dean’s List. She plans to transfer to USC’s Annenberg School of Communication with the goal of working in television.

Ray Emanuel of Santa Monica, who will serve at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington, D.C. A biology major, he is the president of SMC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and has served as the Associated Students’ director of financial support. A native of Burma who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a family that could not afford health insurance, he plans to go into the field of health administration, with an emphasis on health care policy and reform.

Terez McCall of Los Angeles, who will serve her internship at The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. A sociology and women’s studies major, she is a member of SMC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Black Collegians and is vice president of the Women’s College Students Association. A native of South Central Los Angeles, Terez hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Education, concentrating on increasing post-secondary enrollment, especially among disadvantaged youth.

The internship program was established in 1991 in the memory of a man who had a long and distinguished career as an educator, administrator and public servant. Ride taught political science and served in administrative posts at SMC for 33 years until his death in September 1989 at the age of 67.

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