Tilyian Morrin, a student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, ventured to the University of Cape Town in South Africa to learn more about familial integration, human and social development. During her time abroad, she participated in a program called SHAWCO. SHAWCO brought college students into low-income communities and townships throughout the Cape Town area to work with younger children. Working with this program reaffirmed Tilyian’s future goal of working in the non-profit sector, specifically with disadvantaged families and youth.
Tilyian’s experiences in South Africa, especially her involvements with SHAWCO, were further enriched through her participation with theBenjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program’s partner organization, Reach the World (RTW) for her Follow-on Service Project. RTW is a non-profit organization based in New York that aims to connect volunteer world travelers with young, at-risk students in underprivileged public schools nationwide through a highly-structured program of web-based journalism, videoconferencing and collaborative projects. As a RTW Travel Correspondent, Tilyian completed online posts weekly and corresponded with a classroom to virtually visit and interact with her assigned cohort of students. Coming from a low-income family, Tilyian grew up thinking that going to college and studying abroad were impossible.But through funding resources such as the Gilman Scholarship, Tilyian was able to accomplish both. Participating in Reach the World allowed her to share these dreams with a younger generation. She hopes that her journals and stories “inspired some of the children I worked with in Miami to keep searching for their goals, because nothing is out of reach.”
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May, 2012, Tilyian taught at a low-income, nonprofit pre-school. She is now pursuing further international fellowships and grants to teach English abroad.
“I definitely believe that participating with RTW in South Africa has encouraged me to continue working with youth and low-income communities at home and abroad. I could not be more thankful for the experiences that I have been granted through the auspices of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. They have certainly been life-changing.” - Tilyian Morrin
Watch a video of Tilyian Morrin talking about her engagement in the community
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE).