Carmen Crusoe (Courtesy photo)

By Sentinel News Service

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) launched a social media campaign – #CIEEmpower #MSInspirational #FrederickDouglassGlobalFellows – to share the personal reflections of 20 extraordinary students who have studied abroad in the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program,  which is sponsored jointly by CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Each year, the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship awards 10 students from the nation’s 600-plus Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) full scholarships to a summer study abroad program designed to enhance their leadership and intercultural communication skills.  Named in honor of Frederick Douglass, the renowned African American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer and international statesman, the Fellowship was launched in 2017.

A goal of this social media campaign is to showcase the diverse stories of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, in the hopes that students of many different ethnic, socioeconomic, and academic backgrounds will see someone like themselves who has had a life-changing study abroad experience and will be inspired to apply for a 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. The campaign launched with a video testimonial from Carmen Crusoe, a junior at Howard University. The public is asked to view and share her inspirational video.

In addition to Crusoe, the campaign will also highlight the experiences of the following students:

2018 Frederick Douglass Fellows – Studied in Cape Town, South Africa

  1. Chiagoziem Agu, Albany State University
  2. Joshua Blackwell, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  3. Andres Colmenares, Miami Dade College
  4. Darielis Cruz, Mercy College
  5. Juan Jose Duran, California State University, San Marcos
  6. Kloe Harris, Lincoln University, Missouri
  7. Malena Her, California State University, Sacramento
  8. DeVon Jackson, Virginia State University
  9. Jorian Reeves, Xavier University of Louisiana

2017 Frederick Douglass Fellows – Studied in London, England

  1. Georgina Aguilar, University of California, Santa Barbara
  2. Brennan Edwards, Lincoln University of Missouri
  3. Trey Hawkins, Howard University
  4. Chinwendu Maduegbunam, Fayetteville State University
  5. Vincent Owoseni, Paul Quinn College
  6. Mayra “Kahori” Vidana Sanchez
  7. Zakiya Smith, University of Texas in El Paso
  8. Meghan Sowersby, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
  9. Meghan Sowersby, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
  10. Katherine Tran, University of Texas at San Antonio
  11. Peire Wilson, LaGuardia Community College

Data recently released by the Institute of International Education found that less than 30 percent of the 332,727 students who studied abroad in 2017 were students of color, and only 6.1 percent were African Americans. The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship was designed to break down barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to make study abroad programs more accessible to students traditionally underrepresented in study abroad.

Students selected for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship will participate in an intensive four-week, three credit summer study abroad program at CIEE’s London Global Institute. New this year, all qualified students who apply for the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship but are not selected as Fellows will still receive $1,500 grants toward select study abroad programs.

Chiagoziem Agu, a 20-year-old student at Albany State University, called his experience as a 2018 Frederick Douglass Fellow in Cape Town, South Africa, “nothing short of amazing, intellectually challenging, and overall enlightening.”

“In a four-week span, I was afforded the opportunity to engage in some of the most necessary and thought-provoking conversations I have ever had with some of the brightest minds,” Chiagoziem said. “Every day, I was exposed to something different.”

Online applications for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship are due by February 14, 2019, and can be found HERE.  Applicants must be freshmen or sophomores from MSI institutions listed HERE and the additional requirements are HERE.

Student’s interested in applying should reach out to the Penn Center’s Associate Director for Programs, Paola Esmieu, at pesmieu@gse.upenn.edu with any questions.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel.

Ciee Launches Social Media Campaign Celebrating the Brilliance of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows and The Benefits of Studying Abroad

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