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Boys Club Official Opens the Door to Girls

When Andrea Levitt of Santa Monica signed on as a counselor four years ago, the organization she worked for was called the Santa Monica Boys Club.

Things have changed. In November, Levitt, 28, was named assistant director and the organization underwent a significant name change: It is now the Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club.

Levitt has been instrumental in bringing girls into the program in recent months. The club, on Lincoln Boulevard, has 1,856 members ranging in age from 7 to 18. It provides recreational programs, counseling, homework help and, for many children, a comfortable and friendly place to gather.

“We have a very special program, she said. “Without it, kids might not otherwise have these opportunities.”

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Part of the reason for its continued success is the dedication of staff members like Levitt. “We have kids that come back day after day, year after year and it’s the familiar atmosphere that makes a difference,” she said.

The club tries to meet as many of its members’ needs as possible, Levitt said. Whether it’s discussing family problems or helping with homework, making friends or playing sports, Levitt and her colleagues try to offer a program that lets children grow physically, mentally and socially, she said.

Levitt hopes to increase membership and expand the counseling program. “There is a lack of social services available to these kids,” she said. Trying to fill that gap with a limited budget, she said, “has been the hardest thing” about her new job.

A UCLA professor of medical humanities is one of three nationwide winners of a new scholarship from the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation.

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Dora B. Weiner will receive $30,000 a year for three years to write a book on patient-centered medicine in Paris during the French Revolution. Weiner is a professor of medical humanities in the university’s Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science.

Based in Stamford, Conn., the Culpeper Foundation is a private, nonprofit charitable foundation established under the will of the late Charles E. Culpeper, one of the founders of Coca-Cola. It gives more than $6 million a year to support activities in health, science, technology and related fields.

Arnold Schiebel has been named director of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute.

Schiebel, a professor of anatomy and cell biology in the university’s School of Medicine, has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1955. He is a leading researcher in brain anatomy and functions, according to UCLA Medical Dean Kenneth I. Shine, who announced the appointment.

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Founded in 1958, the Brain Research Institute sponsors brain research and is involved in training teachers and investigators in the neurosciences.


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