Greeners Beyond Borders: Scholarship Winners Heading Abroad

January 22, 2018
Scholarship Article

Nine Evergreen students are making sure their passports are up to date and getting ready for study and internships abroad, as new recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship.

Students Alexa Sharrett, Caressa Nguyen, Danzig Norberg, Elizabeth Flynn, Joseph Seymour Jr, Ryan North, Sierra Zambrano, Sophia Anderson, and Thalia Flores Perez were selected for awards last month, competing with students across the nation for the federally funded award.

Applicants from Evergreen submitted proposals to study through faculty-led academic programs, Individual Learning Contracts, and consortia programs in Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Italy, Vietnam, Japan, Chile, Denmark and Bolivia.

“I’m incredibly proud of the efforts that Evergreen students made this past fall in applying,” said Michael Clifthorne, the assistant director of international programs at Evergreen.

The purpose of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship is offer students with limited financial resources the opportunity to study or intern abroad.

Recipients of the scholarship receive up to $5,000, which may be used to pay for various costs associated with studying or interning abroad. These costs include tuition, room and board, transportation, insurance, and visa fees.

Clifthorne explained how much these awards mean to the students that receive them.

“What feels like a remote aspiration is suddenly within reach, with the Gilman funds providing just enough easing of financial pressure for study abroad plans to really become a reality.”

The scholarship is named after Benjamin A. Gilman, who represented Southeast New York in Congress for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. Gilman, who passed away in 2016, saw the opportunity to study abroad as greatly important to American students. With his support, the scholarship was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000.

Since its creation, the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship has helped provide funding to over 25,000 students.

During his time at Evergreen, Clifthorne has seen the impact of Gilman Scholarships on students firsthand. “[They] have made a critical difference in the opportunities for low-income students to realize their dreams and goals for a meaningful study abroad experience,” he said.

Evergreen has a long history of students receiving Gilman Scholarships; since the scholarship began, 202 of 386 Evergreen applicants have been awarded it, with their combined awards totaling over $800,000. During this time, Evergreen has consistently ranked among the top schools in terms of the number of students who receive these scholarships.

“Evergreen’s unique programming, willingness to lead programs in non-traditional destinations, [and] student commitment to interning and contributing to non-profit causes all around the world are some of the factors that make their applications stand out in the selection process,” said Clifthorne.

The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. The deadline to apply for this fall is March 6. Information on how to apply can be found here.

Photo: Thalia Flores-Perez is one of nine Evergreen students to recently receive the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship.