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Faculty grant made trip possible

Leigh Perkins’ trip to Afghanistan was paid for through the McVey Fellowship, a $10,000 grant awarded annually to a Brooks faculty member.

According to Dean of Faculty John Haile, the grant is the school’s top award for professional growth, and has been used in a variety of ways in the past — for travel or study.

The grant is named after John McVey, who taught history here from 1958 to 1997, and has been handed out annually since the 1997-98 school year.

When Perkins applied for the grant, she explained how her trip would benefit not only her work with SOLA, but also the students at Brooks.

“The bottom line is that I am committed to expanding the experiences our students have with their peers around the world … I am absolutely certain that every Brooks student who has the chance to interact with kids who are so like them yet so different comes away from the experience changed for the better. I have seen it. I'd love all of our students to have that opportunity, and think this experience would help inform my work on this going forward."

Head of School John Packard and Haile make the decision in consultation with other faculty members, when appropriate.

Haile said what helped Perkins win the grant was the fact that it would further her work to bridge relationships between girls in Afghanistan and Brooks students — as evidenced in the virtual exchange she set up between Brooks students and Afghan students in the Lamia Shaheed School in Kabul.

“Leigh’s proposal was about continuing and deepening the work already in progress. This will have a direct impact on her and on her Brooks students,” said Haile.

Haile and Packard also knew that the scope of a trip to Afghanistan was pretty big.

“Travel to Afghanistan is not cheap. In order to make it happen, she needed a big grant. We knew this was worthy of supporting and worthy of supporting in a pretty big way,” said Haile.

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