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Redlands Community College students selected for state-wide, international study abroad experience

El Reno, OK – Two Redlands Community College students were selected to participate in an innovative cooperative of 14 Oklahoma community colleges to increase awareness of global, community service opportunities.

Hollie Skibstead and Stormy Vaughn will be traveling this summer to the Dominican Republic. They will aid in community-based, service work. The students were selected based on their commitment to academic studies and dedication to community service work.

“Redlands is happy to make this service-learning opportunity available to our students,” expressed President Jack Bryant. “The partnership established between the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges and Global Education has enabled Redlands to become part of a faculty led, study abroad project that provides an excellent intercultural focus on service learning.”

Skibstead’s first experience in community work was as a volunteer with Care Corps Homeless Shelter. She plans to graduate from Redlands and transfer to a four-year institution to major in a field related to sustainable agriculture and environmental science.

“It is my goal to incorporate the skills and experiences I gain while serving as a community service volunteer and advocate with the knowledge and skills I continue to acquire as a dedicated and successful agriculturalist,” said Skibstead.

Vaughn’s community services experiences began in the fourth grade when she first worked as a volunteer for an animal shelter in her hometown of Edmond, Oklahoma. She is studying animal science at Redlands and is a member of the Equestrian Team. Vaughn plans to transfer to a four-year institution and apply to a veterinarian medicine program.

“I have learned that these trips not only help students broaden their horizons but what a difference this makes in the communities visited,” said Vaughn. “That is exactly what I want to be a part of.”

Oklahoma Study Abroad representatives are required to be students in good academic standing; enrolled at their respective colleges for the 2014-2015 school year; attend the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges Conference, and submit a 250-word, personal interest essay and two reference letters.

A major objective of this service-learning program is to provide deserving students, who have not previously traveled internationally due to financial reasons, the opportunity to participate. The cost of this travel-abroad opportunity is being funded by the Redlands Foundation, with minimal expense to each student.

“This is such an amazing opportunity for our students,” said Karla Mueggenborg, coordinator of service-learning for Redlands. “Hollie and Stormy will get to say they were the first from our college to participate in this state-wide coalition as well as gain experience that will last them a lifetime.”

For more information contact Amanda Evert, Associate Vice President for Communications and Research, 405.422.1445 or amanda.evert@redlandscc.edu