Over $160,000 Raised for Study Abroad Scholarships for Minority, First-Generation, and Community College Students at Sold-Out Gala of the Fund for Education Abroad

Holland America Line Donates $20,000 for Students Studying Travel and Tourism

Read the full press release here.

WASHINGTON, DC, December 5, 2019 – Nearly 350 supporters of international education gathered last month at the House of Sweden, raising over $160,000 for scholarships for minority, first-generation and community college students for the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA). Combined with donations made during Giving Tuesday, funds raised at this year’s Scholar Gala – the first to sell out in its nine-year history – marked the third year in a row that FEA raised over $160,000 during the annual fundraising events.

Holland America Line announced a $20,000 FEA donation earmarked for students studying travel and tourism. Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford was honored during the Scholar Gala as the 2019 Fritz Kaufmann Champion. This award celebrates the legacy of Fritz Kaufmann, founder of Academic Travel Abroad, and honors leaders in international education making a positive impact on the world of study abroad.

“Every year we benefit from the passion to increase diversity and inclusion in study abroad that is shared by professionals from higher education, government, industry and non-profits – many of whom are motivated to share the benefits of their own experiences studying abroad or who regret not having had the funding when they were students,” said FEA Executive Director Jennifer Calvert. “We are particularly moved by the FEA Scholars who return to give back.”

Over 40 returned FEA scholars traveled to Washington to share their experiences with gala attendees and to participate in the second annual Alumni Conference that was held earlier in the day at Howard University. Designed to provide ongoing support to returning scholars, industry and higher education professionals attend the conference to speak on career readiness after study abroad, and provide professional mentoring, resumé review and LinkedIn coaching. The FEA Scholars who participated include:

  • Crystal Alcala – Martha and Jeff Johnson Scholarship recipient, Dominican Republic, summer 2019;
  • Marell Alvarez – Spain, fall 2018;
  • Noor Alyasiry – Greece, summer 2019;
  • Gerard Avelino – Rainbow Scholarship recipient, France, 2018-19;
  • Isis Barnes – China, summer 2019;
  • Felipe Bautista – South Korea, spring 2019;
  • Adannaya Bititi – Spain, spring 2019;
  • Ingnacio Carmona – Rainbow Scholarship recipient, Italy, summer 2019;
  • Selena Chambers – SIT Access Partner Scholarship recipient, Jordan, fall 2018;
  • Louis Chavez – Ecuador, fall 2012;
  • Dominique Cozza – The Intern Group Access Partner Scholarship recipient, UK, fall 2018;
  • Monica Curiel – Italy, fall 2018;
  • Leyanis Diaz – Hiliary Echo Douglas Memorial Scholarship recipient, Cambodia, Thailand & Vietnam, summer 2015;
  • Leana Frankul – Switzerland, summer 2018, and FEA Alumni Council member;
  • John Gabelus – BASAA Scholarship recipient, Chile, summer 2016, and incoming FEA Alumni Trustee;
  • Felix Gonzalez – DC Area Scholarship recipient, Spain, summer 2019;
  • Maya Harris – Jordan, summer 2019;
  • Lasha Hicks – Cyprus, summer 2018, and FEA Alumni Council member;
  • Mohammed Islam – Morocco, summer 2019;
  • LizaMarie Jimenez-Ojeda – IFSA Access Partner Scholarship recipient, Costa Rica, spring 2019;
  • Kourtney King – NAFSA Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship recipient, Spain, summer 2019;
  • Kylie Kinion – Rainbow Scholarship recipient, Japan, fall 2016;
  • Lindsay Lebel – Morocco, Argentina, India and South Africa, 2011-12, and FEA Emeritus Trustee;
  • Mendy Lee – China, summer 2019;
  • Alexis Llamas – Jan Kieling Rainbow Scholarship recipient, Germany, summer 2019;
  • Derek Luna – School for Field Studies Access Partner Scholarship recipient, Bhutan, summer 2019;
  • Dimetri Lyons – NAFSA Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship recipient, France, summer 2019;
  • Kaevyn Maple – NAFSA Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship recipient, South Korea, summer 2019;
  • Kevin Pham – Rainbow Scholarship recipient, Jordan, spring 2018;
  • Binh Phun – Costa Rica, spring 2019;
  • Cecilia Quach – IFSA Access Partner Scholarship recipient, New Zealand, spring 2019;
  • Jessica Ramos – USAC Access Partner Scholarship recipient, Chile, spring 2019;
  • Hector Santiago – Japan, fall 2012;
  • Paisley Sato – Russia, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Malaysia, 2017-2018, FEA Alumni Council member, and incoming FEA Alumni Trustee;
  • Tshering Sherpa – Spain, summer 2019;
  • Carlos Ssenyonjo – Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, England, Austria, Italy and France, summer 2019;
  • Reuben Tang – Taiwan, summer 2018, and FEA Alumni Council member;
  • David Vargas Puga – Spain, spring 2019;
  • Lucía Villarruel – Texas Scholarship recipient, France, fall 2015, and FEA Program Manager;
  • Madison Wilson – CIEE Access Partner Scholarship recipient, South Korea, summer 2018;
  • Joanne Yao – DC Area Scholarship recipient, UK, 2017-18; and,
  • Sarahann Yeh – China, spring 2014, and FEA Emeritus Trustee.


FEA Scholars (from l-r) Dimetri Lyons, Mohammed Islam, and John Gabelus at the 2019 Scholar Gala.

About the Fund for Education Abroad

The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population, making life-changing, international experiences accessible to all by supporting minority and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs. FEA Access Partners participate on the FEA Access Advisory Board (AAB), establish best practices in international education and actively engage in FEA’s mission to increase the number of Americans studying abroad. FEA is a Guidestar Platinum participant, and has won the 2019 Scholarship Provider of the Year Award from the National Scholarship Providers Association, the 2015 Diversity Abroad Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award and GoAbroad.com’s 2015 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.  Follow FEA at www.fundforeducationabroad.org, on Facebook and LinkedIn at Fund for Education Abroad, and on Twitter and Instagram: @FEAScholarships.