scholar_stories

Ellie Freeman

Study Abroad

Study abroad is a requirement of Ellie’s major, but studying in Mexico offered her the opportunity she most craved while also developing her foreign language skills: cultural immersion and meeting uniquely different people. Ellie says, “As our world becomes more globalized and connected, I believe it is very important to make our greatest effort to seek, to understand and to relate to people that may seem very different than us.”

Changemaker Update

Ellie is also working on becoming fluent in Arabic. Using her language skills, she hopes to someday work on international issues critical to national security. Until that day, Ellie is pursuing a far more personal issue. She is providing the means for an orphaned Rwanda boy to receive health care and education. It is this effort — individually connecting with those so uniquely different from us — that may very well be the key to long-term national security.

Home University
Texas A&M University

Major
Spanish & International Studies (‘16)

Studied In
Cuernavaca, Mexico

Wesnide Edouard

Study Abroad

A Haitian born immigrant to the U.S., Wesnide says that all things America filled her early childhood dreams.  The U.S. was seen as “the threshold to wealth and prosperity,” she says. Upon moving to the U.S., she dreamed new dreams, bigger dreams. She dreamed of studying abroad in Spain.  Studying and living in Spain allowed her to see the value in other cultures and other ways of living, specifically appreciating cultures beyond the lore of the U.S. on which she grew up. Although similar in prosperity, says Wesnide, Spain provided an example of  Western prosperity without the emphasis on wealth accumulation.

“This scholarship has enabled me to dream beyond my cultural understanding of America and to really see the value in other cultures and other ways of living.”

Changemaker Update

“As a Haitian American, growing up in immigrant neighborhoods where single parent families are working two jobs to provide not only for their immediate families but also for family members in Haiti, it’s clear that the path for success may be blurry for the youth in the Haitian American community.”  Blending her life experience and accounting education, Wesnide feels compelled to be a teacher to those in her community, not just a ‘good example.’  “I aim to have workshops” Wesnide reports, “and spread the knowledge of money management so that single parent families won’t have to work two jobs to provide for their families.”

Home University
University of Florida

Major
Accounting (‘16)

Studied In
Madrid, Spain

Socorro Lopez

Study Abroad

Socorro reports that her few months in Africa were “a catalyst for unparalleled personal growth.” After four months, Socorro came to better understand a culture, religion and people that initially seemed very foreign to her. “Through the relationships that I was able to establish during my time abroad, I ultimately found a home in East Africa.” “My time in Tanzania was a catalyst for unparalleled personal growth, an experience that was largely made possible by the support that I received from the Foundation for Global Scholars,” says Socorro.

Changemaker Update

Socorro grew up in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in this Western Hemisphere. Today, there are few opportunities for business owners and future leaders in Honduras. “When I have the resources, I would like to find a way to empower young Hondurans.” To get there, Socorro is actively developing her own leadership capacity. This past summer, Socorro participated in a ‘Collegiate Leaders’ internship with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.

Home University
George Washington University

Major
Environmental Studies (‘15)

Studied In
Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zola Glassman

Study Abroad

Zola’s study abroad experience demanded that she engage with her new community.  Her film program in Seville – hosted classes at a media lab with local film professors – immersed her in the Spanish culture and strengthened her filmmaking skills.  The outcome of this immersion and developed skills was a documentary that explored a distinct aspect of Sevillan culture — the night life.  In particular, Zola defined “the perception of youth in the context of ‘la fiesta (the party)’ from a variety of different perspectives.”  In the process of creating the documentary, she conducted a series of interviews with Spanish locals, from a DJ and bar tender at a discoteca, to taxi drivers and Spanish youth on the street.   She says the process led her outside of her comfort zone and prompted her to “interact with the [Spanish] culture through a different lens.”

What’s Next

Having broadened her understanding of the scope of the Spanish media, language, and community, Zola says she was “excited to return to the States with a cross cultural understanding of my focus and new found sense of independence.”  She screened her documentary at a California film festival.

“Since returning from my semester abroad, where I immersed myself in a different culture and cultivated strong ties to a faraway place, I have been experiencing life the States through a new and inherently worldlier pair of eyes. My exposure to different customs and ways of life has manifested in a newfound sense of possibility and openness to trying new things, new paths, new thoughts.”

“By fully immersing myself and exploring a different culture through the creation of a film, my hope is to ultimately use my experience and the power of the media as a way to break down global divides,” says Zola.

Home University
Hampshire College

Major
 Media Business and Production (Film) (‘15)

Studied In
Seville, Spain

Amelia Davis

Study Abroad

Amelia undertook a service-learning internship with Consultorio Baron in Valparaíso, a public clinic which provides many free services for low-income Chileans.  The experience fulfilled two goals she had set for herself: one to improve her Spanish fluency and two, do so by directly engaging with the community in a service learning/internship setting.

Of her time abroad, Amelia says, “Life often presents us with amazing opportunities, and I am so thankful to the Foundation for Global Scholars for giving me one such opportunity in studying abroad. My experience in Chile gave me so much more than I expected. I was able to speak Spanish constantly, make connections with wonderful and warm people, explore the stunning landscapes of the country, and learn more about healthcare in a different country.”

Changemaker Update

Amelia is now a member of the AmeriCorps Community HealthCorps, serving with Salud Family Health Centers in northern Colorado. Daily, she interacts with patients.  These daily interactions have taught Amelia a great lesson. “We can have an impact in each individual’s life, whether that impact lies in assistance in navigating insurance and the healthcare system, a referral to a behavioral health specialist, or simple conversations for support and morale.”

Of her experience with AmeriCorps, Amelia reflects, “I’m finding that all communities need education, awareness, conversations, and even support in many facets of life, not just healthcare.”

Home University
University of Denver

Major
Biology & English (‘14)

Studied In
Valparaiso, Chile

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