The Foundation for Global Scholars Donates $100,000 to the Fund for Education Abroad
Global education business leaders strive to increase access to study abroad
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WASHINGTON, DC, October 25, 2018 – The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) received a generous gift of $100,000 from the Foundation for Global Scholars (FGS), continuing the foundation’s legacy of advancing access to international education. Since the inception of FGS in 2008, a Colorado non-profit dedicated to helping support international education for U.S. students, Co-founders Cynthia Banks and Shelia Houston, both leaders in global education and former executives of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, have worked to provide scholarships for students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to study abroad.
“FEA’s success sending high-achieving, underrepresented students abroad is highly valuable and critically needed,” said FGS Co-founder Cynthia Banks, who is also co-founder of The Global Leadership League and serves on the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder and the FEA Board. “These experiences help cultivate strong global leadership skills, which is critical for business and economic success—of equal value to the individual and the organizations they grow to lead.”
The Foundation for Global Scholars was created in 2008 by Cynthia Banks and Shelia Houston in response to growing need for funding for study abroad. The organization’s executive director, Nancy Kepner, was a seasoned non-profit manager, and over $2 million in scholarships were awarded during her tenure. The Foundation currently supports other non-profit organizations with similar missions.
“We are pleased to give this donation to the Fund for Education Abroad so that underrepresented students can have an amazing international education experience,” said FGS Co-founder Sheila Houston, currently co-owner of Cross Cultural Encounters. “FEA is a great partner to keep the FGS mission alive.”
The gift is an early donation in FEA’s recently launched capital campaign, “Bringing the World Home.” The donation meets the $100K fundraising challenge set out by FEA’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee Member Michael R. “Mike” Bonsignore, former chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell.
“A gift of this magnitude is game-changing for FEA,” said Martha Johnson, FEA Board chair and Assistant Dean, Learning Abroad, University of Minnesota. “We are deeply honored and grateful for the gift from FGS, an organization that shares our mission and commitment to supporting deserving students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study abroad.”
The gift follows an earlier donation of $10,000 from FGS that funded five scholarships. The FEA Scholars who benefited from the generosity of FGS are:
- Eunice Melendez, CUNY-Hunter College, Costa Rica ($5000 scholarship Spring 2019)
- Maha Ouni, Temple University, France ($1250 scholarship Summer 2018)
- Candy Melara, Northern Illinois University, Tanzania ($1250 scholarship Summer 2018)
- Donald Williams Jr., Mercer University, Spain ($1250 scholarship Summer 2018)
- Wei Wei Chen, Emory University, Hong Kong ($1250 scholarship Summer 2018)
FEA Scholars come from a variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and represent higher education institutions across the country. Students study across the globe, from a minimum of four weeks to a full academic year. FEA funds scholarships of up to $10,000 for study abroad.
About the Foundation for Global Scholars
Headquartered in Denver, the Foundation for Global Scholars is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to inspire and equip young adults to tackle global challenges through international experience, leadership skills and cultural competence. Over $2.5M in scholarships have been distributed since its inception. The Foundation for Global Scholars was created in 2008 by Cynthia Banks and Shelia Houston in response to growing need for funding for study abroad. The Foundation currently supports other non-profit organizations with similar missions.
About Cynthia Banks
A prolific entrepreneur, an expert in in global education and leadership development, and educator, Banks was Founder and CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad from 1990 to 2014. She also recently co-founded The Global Leadership League for women in higher education, and she serves on the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder as an instructor in the Leed’s College of Business Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. A Board member of FEA, she has also held a variety of leadership roles with the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, including as a member of the Board of Directors and a trainer for the NAFSA Management Development Program.
About Shelia Houston
Shelia Houston has been actively involved in the field of International Education for more than 20 years. She co-owns Cross Cultural Encounters, a boutique company that creates cultural, short-term, custom, faculty-led programs in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, working with many of the larger universities in the US. Through CCEncounters Shelia is able to create and lead volunteer programs into Fiji with a view to women’s leadership and training in areas that will continue to provide for the families in the remote villages of Fiji. She also sits on the University Council for CQ University. Previously, she owned and operated AustraLearn, one of the world’s largest study abroad companies, which later became GlobaLinks Learning Abroad. She served as CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad – South Pacific.
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 U.S. 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 under-represented students in study abroad programs, including minorities, first-generation college students, community college students and those choosing to study in non-traditional countries. FEA is a Guidestar Gold participant, and won 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, and on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and on Twitter: @FEAScholarships.