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About The Arete Fund

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The Arete Fund is a non-profit, charitable organization that supports education locally and acts globally to encourage greater cultural understanding by means of humanitarian, educational and artistic projects. Arete makes annual contributions towards the first year of college on behalf of needy and deserving high school seniors who exemplify Arete — an ancient Greek word for virtue and excellence — and in turn, seeks to rekindle its ancient meaning for the modern day as a means of fostering mutual respect and good will. The fund was founded It in 1996.

Arete has done humanitarian work in Darfur, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Bethlehem, Mongolia and Amdo, Tibet. We greatly appreciate the help of the Amistad Foundation and the Rita Zneiber Foundation in facilitating two of the projects. Educationally, the fund provides ongoing scholarships annually for deserving individuals who aspire to attend college or trade school at Menlo-Atherton High School, in Atherton, California. This is thanks to the support and dedication of Alice Kleeman for the past 17 years. With a special thanks to Jeannie Kokes and Sandra Pursell, Arete supports 14-20 students who attend La Escuela de los Sordos (The School for the Deaf) in Quetalzenango, Guatemala. Arete also provided scholarships at Hopi High School in Polacca, Arizona, for seven years.

In 2016, The Arete Fund provided "Ta Mike's Friendship House" to the Modesto, California chapter of World Relief. World Relief ( uses the house as temporary housing for incoming refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. To date, over 50 families have stayed at the Friendship House and are now becoming productive members of American society. We are grateful to WF for the opportunity to work with them on this very important project. 

Our priority has been two fold: to support education locally and to defend our shared humanity in a time of religious strife with humanitarian projects and cultural outreach abroad. Arete’s next step in the long road ahead is to move more forcefully on behalf of the education of women and the protection of children.

Arete Fund Founders Dianne and Steve de Laet underwrite the operating costs of the fund.  To date, almost 100 percent of donations goes directly to benefit recipients. We deeply appreciate the contributions of donors who help to support specific projects sponsored by the fund. 

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