KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University junior Alexis Lenderman, of Flint, is among just 1,000 undergraduate students across the country to receive a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to learn overseas.
Lenderman, an entrepreneurship and global and international studies major, plans to use her scholarship money to study Spanish in Quito, Ecuador, this summer.
The Gilman Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad.
"As a first-generation college student as well as a former foster child, I've always had the dream of getting away, traveling and seeing something beyond my circumstances," says Lenderman, who plans to graduate in spring 2019 and then pursue a master's degree and a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.
In addition to the program in Ecuador, she previously studied in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, India, South Korea and Italy.
As part of the Gilman program, Lenderman will serve as a study abroad alumni ambassador when she returns to WMU in the fall.
"International education is critical to bridging differences and alleviating ignorance, and I am delighted to help expand the impact of the Gilman Scholarship Program," says Lenderman. "I believe my gifts and skills are not for me; they are to serve other people. I look forward to connecting students to services on- and off-campus to ensure the best college and life experiences. I want to see beyond the short distance that I've traveled thus far, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually, and continue to challenge myself each day to be the best form of myself."
WMU offers application advising for students who would like to apply for a Gilman Scholarship.
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