The Stanislaus County Insider
Study Abroad, Kalu Yala, and a Federal Financial Aid Scam?
Kalu Yala is a study abroad program that college students apply to. Tuition per semester is currently $6500 to $7,000
be paid for with federal financial aid
, or out of your own pocket. Once accepted, students live, work and study on the
premises through The Kalu Yala Institute. There are 3 semesters a year. Each semester costing $500 more then the last. Students also
receive college credit from the college or university they attend in the US. Students are required to work clearing land and
building the infrastructure needed to build Sticetown
and American tax dollars are paying for what some have called ‘slave labor’.
The Kalu Yala Institute sits directly in the middle of Kalu Yala which allows anyone to start a business and have full access to student
interns for business support, their expertise, to troubleshoot, test products, etc. One of the start ups is called ‘Media
- “a living laboratory in the middle of the jungle.” The founder and CEO of ‘Media Arts’ is Carly Schwartz.
Schwartz has been involved with Kalu Yala and founder Jummy Stice since the beginning in 2010. She's now started her own Study
Abroad program on the same Property as Kalu Yala. She was social media manager, campaign manager, and press secretary for Governor
Jerry Browns 2010 campaign. She wrote for the Huffington Post where she took the time to write many articles for Governor
, Lt Governor Gavin Newsom
, Kalu Yala
, and she founded the Huffington Post San Francisco bureau. She was aslo Editor
and Chief of Google Insider. Carly worked for the now defunct Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana
and wrote a blog
of marijuana. Media Arts charges over $5000 a semester to attend.
Kalu Yala has been captured on camera through a series called “Jungletown”.
VICELAND cameras followed a group of students in
their daily routines and included footage of the onsite rum distillery
. Kalu Yala is a place where homebrewed rum
and what seems to
be plenty of ganja allows for a free spirited display of sometimes inappropriate and dangerous behavior. Markedly different
from the typical rules and regulations underage students must adhere to in the US. Kalu Yala doesn’t seem to discriminate. Stice
doesn’t appear to be bothered with trivial things like round the clock drinking or drug use, his efforts are concentrated on selling
Kalu Yala to investors at any cost.
Stice pays a staff to oversee a group of about 80 college students that are clearing the jungle to “build a sustainable modern village.”
Students actually believe they are there to build a sustainable village but on Jungletown students discuss that the word ‘sustainability’
had been removed from the Kalu Yala website. It was evident in the first few episodes ‘sustainability’ wasn’t currently an option.
Some claim they were misled and lied to. Several people that paid for internships out of their own pocket left Kalu Yalacalling Jimmy Stice and Kalu Yala a fraud
. Stice refused to give them back any of their money, telling them to go f--- themselves
instead. This is certainly not the type of behavior one would expect from a CEO. CEO’s should model and set the culture, values,
and behavior of the organization they run. Kalu Yala brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars per semester, much of which is paid
for through federal financial aid. American tax dollars. Their website lists dozens of colleges and universities across the country
that have sent students
. Here’s a list in California. California State University Fresno, San Francisco, Chico, Berkeley, Davis,
Southern California, Long beach, and Santa Barbara.
Study abroad programs deserve scrutiny and oversight. In California that job belongs to the President of the UC System, Janet Napolitano
and the Board of Regents that include Governor Jerry Brown and Lt Governor Gavin Newsom. Kalu Yala is a private for profit
business that is using federal financial aid, and student slave labor to build a town in the middle of jungle that is
owned by real estate developers. There are too many conflicts of interest between those profitting and connected
to Kalu Yala and the Governor and Lt Governor of California.