May 07, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Chalondra Garrett of Newburgh, N.Y. (left) and Raquel Rodriguez of North Baldwin, N.Y. recently received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for their upcoming study abroad experiences.
Two Mount Saint Mary College students were recently awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for their upcoming study abroad experiences.
Raquel Rodriguez of North Baldwin, N.Y., a junior Psychology major on the pre-Physical Therapy track, and Chalondra Garrett of Newburgh, N.Y., a sophomore Psychology and Information Technology double major, join 1,230 American undergraduate students from 269 colleges and universities across the United States who were granted the award for the summer of 2018.
Rodriguez was awarded $3,000 and Garrett was awarded $2,500.
The Gilman Scholarship supports American undergraduate students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad and, since 2001, has enabled more than 25,000 outstanding Americans of diverse backgrounds to engage in a meaningful educational experience abroad. The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Rodriguez will be taking part in the Mount’s faculty-led summer program to Florence, Italy, and is grateful for the opportunities that this scholarship opens for her.
“While studying abroad I hope to gain self-growth by facing challenges, experience a different perspective of the country's culture and practices, improve on being more adaptable and independent, and hopefully gain networks with individuals I meet there,” she said.
Garrett, the first in her family to attend college, will be participating in an independent program with CIS Abroad in Japan for the summer.
“The scholarship not only benefits me going abroad by giving me the funds necessary, but also sets the steps for me to take in securing my educational and career goals,” Garrett noted.
The students are looking forward to not just their time abroad, but also how they can impact their community using their experiences.
Rodriguez, who is also the first in her family to attend college, explained her intention to share her study abroad experiences with Relatives as Parents Program, a Cornell Cooperative Extension Program that mentors teenagers who are the primary caregivers for their relatives.
“My goal for this project is to not only encourage students to study abroad, but to encourage them to take a step into a life changing opportunity that could have such a positive effect on them,” she said.
Garrett hopes to encourage other Mount students to consider studying abroad in central and southeast Asian countries such as Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and China by becoming a Study Abroad Ambassador at the college, visiting classrooms and encouraging other students to take advantage of the opportunity to explore another country.
Many disadvantaged students “do not believe that they are able to go abroad due to the cost of many study abroad programs,” she said. “Students are unaware that there are many different programs and assistance they can receive to study abroad for a summer or even a semester. I am hoping to have an incredibly positive impact on the Mount in bringing to light [these] opportunities.”