Jessica Bamaca ’21 and Dallas Blackwell ’23 have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study abroad during the spring and summer 2021 semesters.
The Gilman award is presented annually to 850 American undergraduate students nationwide. This is the fifth year that the award has been given to an Oglethorpe student.
“After having the wonderful opportunity to travel abroad in 2016 and 2018, I knew I wanted to study abroad in college,” said Blackwell, a sophomore. “As someone who’s interested in foreign languages, studying abroad would allow me to build my language skills and explore new cultures.”
The senior is part of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, an association that fosters and cultivates the development of Buford Highway by amplifying the voices of families and immigrants, creating future leaders, and preserving distinctive features of the area.
Assistant Dean and Director of Global Education Marisa Atencio introduced both students to the scholarship opportunity.
“Mrs. Atencio was extremely helpful. I would go to her office every week with questions, doubts, and concerns,” said Bamaca about the scholarship application process. “Her doors were always opened. She was always willing to meet and explain things as best she could. She is absolutely amazing!”
The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program encourages students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions and encourages them to study languages, especially critical need languages deemed important to national security. By supporting undergraduate students who have high financial need, the program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad.