on November 30, 2017 on 11/30/17
Nonprofit study abroad scholarship provider celebrates seven years advancing diversity and inclusion in international education with record fundraising
WASHINGTON, DC, November 30, 2017 – Supporters of international education joined the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) at its annual Scholar Gala and during Giving Tuesday, raising over $165,000 to fund study abroad scholarships for minority, first-generation, community college, and LGBTQI American students. The record-setting giving marks the continuation of a steady, seven-year fundraising climb for FEA in support of its mission to increase diversity and inclusion in study abroad and make international experiences accessible to all.
“It’s exciting that giving to FEA has grown each year since our founding,” said FEA Executive Director Jennifer Calvert. “Thanks to the growing number of FEA supporters and their ever-increasing generosity, we are able to offer game-changing scholarships to an even greater number of deserving students. This is evidence not only of the great value placed on international education but also that our mission to change the face of study abroad resonates broadly.”
Held this month at the National Museum of Women in the Arts with over 300 supporters in attendance, this year’s FEA Scholar Gala saw a nearly doubling of funds raised year over year. Coupled with record-breaking donations made online this week during the Giving Tuesday campaign, the funds will continue to advance FEA’s goal of increasing international education opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students with the greatest financial need and from groups underrepresented in study abroad.
Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., was honored during the Gala as this year’s FEA Fritz Kaufmann Champion for his advocacy of international education and leadership of Howard University, one of America’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). FEA Founding Board Member Mark Lenhart, who is executive director at CET Academic Programs, explained, “We chose to celebrate Dr. Frederick for his proven commitment to international education at Howard. Since Dr. Frederick became Howard’s President in 2014, study abroad participation among Howard students has increased three-fold. We applaud Dr. Frederick’s efforts and congratulate him on his success.”
“To receive the Fritz Kaufmann Champion Award is a privilege, and I am deeply grateful for the recognition,” said Dr. Frederick. “This award inspires me to be a greater advocate for young people pursuing higher education who have been met with challenges and difficulties beyond their control, yet have the desire and determination to rise above those circumstances if given the opportunity.” At the conclusion of his remarks, Dr. Frederick announced a personal donation of $5,000 by his wife and himself to FEA.
By mingling with FEA Scholars during the Scholar Gala celebration, supporters enjoyed the opportunity to hear first-hand how their donations change lives. FEA Scholars in attendance who shared their transformative experiences of study abroad included:
- Astra Armstrong, a first-generation African-American business management major at Norfolk State University who traveled to Capetown, South Africa to expand her cultural knowledge;
- Eric Beeler, an international affairs student from George Washington University who traveled to China and the U.K. to advance his study of the Chinese language and international economics;
- Karon Cannon, an African-American alumnus of advertising and Japanese from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and who went to Tokyo to immerse himself in language study;
- Gabriela Fuentes, a student of Georgetown University who traveled to Quito, Ecuador to gain an understanding of how colonization and industrialization has affected modern-day society in Latin America;
- Kenyatta Irvin, a nurse who attended the Los Angeles City College and used his time in Spain to master the language in order to better communicate with his patients;
- Lindsay Lebel, a graduate of Tufts University with a degree in community health and Arabic who examined traditional medicine practices in Morocco, India, Argentina, and South Africa, serves as an FEA Alumnus Board Member, and lives in Los Angeles and works at IBM Watson Health;
- Taeilorae Levell, an African-American student of political science and Arabic at Howard University who traveled to Morocco to prepare for a career advocating for justice for refugees from the Middle East;
- Lucas Mackey, an aviation business graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who studied Chinese in Taiwan and learned about aviation markets in East Asia is a new FEA Alumnus Board Member, works at The Boeing Company, and plans to begin graduate studies at Harvard Business School in 2019;
- Ivan Olivas, a first-generation college student attending Eastern Kentucky University who studied in Argentina and hopes to become a network systems engineer;
- Tuyet Tran, a biochemistry student from the University of Texas at Austin who studied in Beijing to work in a school that serves migrants from across the country;
- Vanessa Watson, an African-American student at the Fashion Institute of Technology who traveled to France and Hong Kong to deepen her understanding of garment production and supply chain management;
- Lauren Yang, a geography and international development student at UCLA who journeyed to Accra, Ghana to further her urban planning aspirations; and
- Sarahann Yeh, an international affairs student and Charles B. Rangel Fellow enrolled at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who studied in China as a biology major from the University of Maryland and served on FEA’s Board of Directors as an Alumnus Member for the past two years.
About the Fund for Education Abroad
The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to increase the opportunities for dedicated US students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. FEA’s goals include assisting committed students in the acquisition of critical foreign language skills and cultivating U.S. students’ world awareness and appreciation of cultural differences through academic and experiential opportunities. Scholarships are awarded with a preference for underrepresented students in study abroad programs, including minorities, first-generation college students, and community college students. FEA won the 2015 Diversity Abroad Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award and GoAbroad Foundation’s 2015 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.