A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 7 April 2011

JFK grad hosting fundraiser at University of Portland for Cambodian schools April 20

[View Photo Gallery] [View Photo Gallery - 1 photos in gallery ] Photo By: Photo courtesy of Kurt BerningGlobal Alliance for Developing Education Cambodian schools like the one above would benefit by the efforts of Global Alliance for Developing Education, a nonprofit started by Mount Angel resident Kurt Berning and Kenny King of Snohomish, Wash. They are planning a fundraiser on April 20 at University of Portland.

Woodburn Independent
Published: 6th April, 2011

PORTLAND — University of Portland students Kurt Berning of Mount Angel and Kenny King of Snohomish, Wash., recently returned from a trip to Cambodia and are hosting a fundraiser dinner and auction on April 20 for Global Alliance for Developing Education (Global ADE), an innovative nonprofit which they founded last year.

The dinner will take place at 6 p.m. in the Bauccio Commons, located on campus at 5000 N. Willamette Blvd in Portland.

The dinner includes appetizers, a gourmet meal and an open bar.

All proceeds from the event go to support Global ADE’s work in Cambodia.

Tickets can be purchased for $50 online at www.globaladefundraiser.eventbrite.com or by contacting King at king12@up.edu or Berning at berning12@up.edu.

Global ADE has the goal of fostering educational opportunities in developing countries, starting in Cambodia. Global ADE will partner with existing organizations to fund innovative programs that address the problems of Cambodian education. This holistic approach to improving education includes expanding an existing microfinance program, building a secondary school, innovative teacher training and classroom programs and scholarships for high school students to attend university.

Berning and King recently traveled to Cambodia through the university’s E-Scholar program to begin making partnerships between existing organizations and Global ADE.

King and Berning were able to learn more about Cambodian culture and evaluate several education programs and schools. During a trip to one school, both were able to assist in the teaching of an English class and meet hard-working high school students with no money to pay for college.

“The trip has inspired me to work tirelessly to improve the quality of schools in Cambodia and offer opportunities to the deserving students,” said Berning. “The need in these schools is dire, and even a relatively small amount of money in the U.S. can make a dramatic impact on the life of a Cambodian student.”

In December, King and Berning partnered with Bon Appétit Management Co., the University’s food service provider, to have fellow students donate unused meal plan points to Global ADE. More than 200 students donated a total of $24,964 worth of points.

These points will both fund the dinner and be auctioned as packages including meal plans for students and Bon Appétit catering.

“We want to build up the whole system of education, not just help build schools, and to make sure people can find jobs and get vocational training,” said King. “We want to explore microfinance opportunities, and we see the potential for our projects to be more like community centers than just schools.”

Global ADE is focusing on Cambodia because of the opportunity for success there.

According to King and Berning, Cambodia is a country that is lagging behind in a region that is doing well. Also, they say there are many primary schools in the country but only a limited number of secondary schools available to students.

King, a global business and German studies double major, and Berning, a finance and operations management major and John F. Kennedy High School graduate, are both members of the university’s Entrepreneur Scholar program. The E-Scholar program provides classroom activity and applied experience, including travel abroad, to expose students to new and different ways of doing business and encourages students to create new business ventures or develop and implement strategies to improve existing enterprises. Through E-Scholars, King and Berning made a trip to New York City in 2010 and met with several nonprofits and developed contacts in Cambodia.

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