Gilman International Scholarship Program Expands Partnership with the Shawn Carter Foundation

NEW YORK, September 3, 2014—The Shawn Carter Foundation (SCF), founded by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter and his mother, Gloria Carter, has increased its support for study abroad scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with financial need through the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. Six Shawn Carter/Gilman International Scholarship recipients have been selected to study abroad in the summer and fall 2014 academic terms, an increase from the spring 2013 pilot initiative. New for this year, a mentorship program will pair each of these recipients with a Gilman Alumni Ambassador to provide additional support and guidance from an experienced study abroad student.

The 2014 Shawn Carter/Gilman International Scholarship recipients are:

  • Merissa Anderson, a first-generation college student from Glenwood, Illinois, who is majoring in biology at Eastern Illinois University, studied in Beijing, China during the summer.
  • Jazmin Gonzalez, a first-generation college student from the Bronx, New York, studying history and Arabic languages and literature at Bard College, studied in Rabat, Morocco during the summer.
  • Clinton Langston Jr., a first-generation college student from the Bronx, New York, who is an arts student at CUNY, Hostos Community College, studied in Paris, France this summer.
  • Adrian Morris, a first-generation college student from Los Angeles, California, studying political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, studied in Madrid, Spain this summer.
  • Elvia Ramirez-Vidal, a student from Washington, D.C., studying political science and Latin American/Caribbean studies at Temple University, studied in San Jose, Costa Rica this summer.
  • Sydnee Leuellyn, a student from San Marcos, California, who studies sociology at California State University, San Marcos, will be studying in Johannesburg, South Africa in the fall semester.

The collaboration between the Shawn Carter Foundation and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program supports the State Department’s goal of expanding opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds to study abroad and builds on the foundation’s efforts to broaden the horizons of its scholars.  

The Shawn Carter Foundation-Gilman International Scholarships are implemented by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Under the Gilman Program, U.S. undergraduate students with significant financial need take classes, learn foreign languages, and prepare for careers in the global economy through study abroad.  The program reaches diverse audiences including ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, and those attending a wide range of U.S. colleges and universities. Nearly half of Gilman scholars are the first in their families to attend a college or university.

The Gilman Program was established by the U.S. Congress in 2000 and was named in honor of former Representative Benjamin A. Gilman. It is supported through an annual Congressional appropriation to the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Since its inception, the Gilman Program has awarded nearly 17,000 scholarships to students from more than 1,100 U.S. institutions for study in over 140 countries around the world.  

The Shawn Carter Foundation was established by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter and his mother, Gloria Carter, who serves as the Foundation’s CEO. The foundation’s mission is to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning. By removing some of the financial burdens associated with going to, surviving in, and graduating from college/post-secondary institutions, the SCF plays a vital role in increasing college access and success for many motivated yet underserved youth and young adults. The SCF issues individual grants directly to institutions of higher education on behalf of selected first-time undergraduate college and vocational school students between the ages of 18-25, to cover tuition and related supplemental educational expenses. SCF is also working to increase the ways in which it can expand and strengthen its scope of work around education, economic advancement and service.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State sponsors a wide range of academic, professional, and cultural exchanges that include approximately 40,000 participants annually, including the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program, with the goal of increasing mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. ECA promotes the increase and diversification of U.S. and international student mobility through its programs, outreach on U.S. study abroad, and management of the EducationUSA network of advising offices, which provides information to students around the world who wish to study in the United States. 

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.


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