IIE Passport Awards presented to students around the U.S.

Press Release

Building the Next Generation of Globally-Minded Students

High School Juniors Receive IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad


NEW YORK, June 16, 2014—The Institute of International Education has presented IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad to thirteen students who attend high schools in Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York and Washington DC. The Institute established these awards to encourage students from inner city high schools to enroll in college and make plans to study abroad during their undergraduate years.

Through the IIE Passport Awards, IIE aims to create a path to study abroad for high school juniors so that they can acquire global skills and expand personal and professional opportunities as part of their college education. Recipients will be provided with an IIE toolkit on study abroad and will be paired with a study abroad alumni mentor. In addition, each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship to be used towards the costs of studying abroad once they are enrolled successfully in college and have an approved study abroad plan.

The students and schools that were selected for the inaugural IIE Passport Awards for Study Abroad are: Chicago: Adrienne Arnold, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy; Niambi Smith, Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School; Stephanie Aranda, Eric Solorio Academy High School; Veronica Morrissette, King College Preparatory; Briana Garrett, Lincoln Park High School; Denver: Gabriel Douglas, Denver Center for International Studies; Houston: Ana Azua Sanchez, Jefferson Davis High School; Anisha Thronabar, Sharpstown International School; New York City: Grevelin Ulerio, Bronx Leadership Academy II High School; Elisabeth Hyde, Academy of American Studies; Washington, DC: Deonya Greene, Anacostia High School; Robert Gross, Cardozo Education Campus; Tiera Leonard, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School.

The students will be paired with study abroad mentors who are alumni of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs, who have returned from an education abroad experience and are now in graduate school or working in their chosen professional field. The Gilman Program seeks to increase American global competitiveness and engagement by diversifying the destinations and populations of American students who study and intern abroad. The program provides need-based scholarships to U.S. undergraduates who have been traditionally underrepresented in education abroad, including financially disadvantaged students, ethnic minorities, and students with disabilities.

International experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education,” said IIE president Allan Goodman. “Globalization is changing the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and experience. Through the IIE Passport Awards, IIE aims to open doors to study abroad to outstanding students who may not have been planning to study abroad, and to make high school teachers and students aware of the opportunities.”

Select schools from Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York and Washington DC, all cities where IIE has offices, were invited to nominate students for this award. Schools were encouraged to nominate students who had little or no previous international travel for educational purposes; eligible students included high school juniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Participating schools were chosen by educational leaders in the community and members of the Institute of International Education’s Board of Trustees, based on school performance, diversity, and socio-economic profile. The list of schools will be reviewed annually and the Institute hopes to expand participation in future years to other cities.

Each IIE Passport Award winner’s school will receive a copy of IIE’s new book, A Student Guide to Study Abroad and a subscription to IIE’s “Global Resources for Teachers” newsletter and will be invited to become an associate member of the IIENetwork.

According to a Council on Foreign Relations Task Force report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, “It is critical that children in the United States be prepared for futures in the globalized world. They must master essential reading, writing, math and science skills, acquire foreign languages, learn about the world, and—importantly—understand America’s core institutions and values in order to be engaged in the community and international system.”

With lead gifts from IIE Chairman Thomas S. Johnson and IIE Treasurer Mark A. Angelson, IIE created the IIE Passport Awards in the belief that we need to build a pipeline of students who plan to study abroad when they get to college in order to make “international” be part of every student’s experience. Research shows that students who study abroad have better grades and more confidence, and are more likely to graduate from college at higher rates than students who do not study abroad.


About Generation Study AbroadTM

Generation Study AbroadBuilding on its nearly 100-year commitment to study abroad, the Institute of International Education launched Generation Study Abroad because the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. According to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange released by IIE last November with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 295,000 students studied abroad in 2011/12 in credit-bearing and non-credit programs.

Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade. IIE will lead the Generation Study Abroad coalition in creating an ongoing dialogue about the need for students to gain international experience. This will include mobilizing 1,000 high school teachers to make their students aware of study abroad. Visit the Generation Study Abroad website for details on how to join the campaign.


About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

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Sharon Witherell
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