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Creating a Scholarship for Low-Income/Minority Students to Study Abroad

September 25, 2012

Monika and I in Kenya!

Hey everyone!

In addition to our usual posts of the week, I wanted to update you all on some cool developments. I mentioned earlier in “Changing the Face of International Travel”, that a scholarship to help low-income/minority students travel abroad would be beneficial to help correct the disparity in international volunteer demographics. I believe that travel and studying abroad should not just a luxury for those who can afford it, but a neccessary experience in today’s world. If we hope to educate the next global leaders, we all need the opportunity to go abroad. Not really knowing how to start it, I contacted the WWU Scholarship Office, thinking that it would be easier to start something like this on WWU’s campus and then grow it from there.

Monika and I met with the WWU Alumni Association and they were very enthusiastic about the idea. While there are challenges to this idea, finding a donor, choosing a department to go through, etc, they are interested in helping us out! There is a lot of work on their end and many conversations to be had, but also things that we, the students can work on in the meantime!

Spread the Word: The more people that know, the better! I will keep everyone updated on our progress via The Passport Epilogues so sharing our blog and message through social media would be a great help! Also, if you know of anyone who might be interested, pass them on to us.

Tell Your Story: Would you be interested in applying if one was created? Have you traveled before on financial aid or scholarships? Have you not traveled for money reasons? Are you interested in a career in international affairs, but feel held back? Did you have a fantastic study abroad/travel experience? We want to hear from you and the more students on board, the easier it will be to convince donors!

Get Involved: At this point, we are unsure of the work load, but we know there will be plenty to do. Currently, we see a need for people to research volunteer demographics, especially at WWU, contact the study abroad office and other relevant organizations, look into the demographics of the language programs on campus, write fundraising letters, create a video, as well as program events.
Everything is still up in the air and quite possibly a donor will be difficult to find. But the more student interest, the more convincing our argument will be! We are waiting further news from the alumni association but until then, let us know if you want to get involved in any of the above ways, including your email if I don’t already have it. You can email us at passport.epilogues@gmail.com or twitter, facebook etc if you are friends with me. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or if you want to talk about this further!

Thank you for your support!

Maddy

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