Fundraiser sells out for study abroad

Rita Forbes

Money can be one of the biggest obstacles in studying abroad.

But one group of Missouri Southern students, set on traveling to South America, has found creative ways to fund their trip.

Becky Gallemore, assistant professor of education, will lead students on a comparative education trip to Costa Rica in May.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the ingenuity of the students on this trip,” Gallemore said. “They all wanted to go, but everyone was broke.”

The students decided to sell sweatpants as a fundraiser. Their plan to sell the pants as Christmas presents last semester fell through when finals were canceled due to an ice storm. Instead, Gallemore sold the sweatpants out of her office this semester. As word spread around campus, they quickly sold out.

Gallemore said students also sold food items and candles through a fundraising catalog, wrote letters to area businesses requesting donations, and offered to do odd jobs for people in their churches.

The trip, which was originally planned for Brazil and Argentina, is designed to give students a better understanding of Latino/Hispanic culture. Gallemore said this is important for future teachers, as the United States is currently experiencing the biggest wave of immigration ever.

The group will visit a variety of public and private schools in Costa Rica.

“We’re going to see what’s important to them,” Gallemore said.

Students will also collect objects that they can later use in American classrooms, as they share their experiences with their students.