WKU student receives $ 25,000 Boren scholarship
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Western Kentucky University student Jayden Thomas majoring in political science and international affairs from Glasgow has won a David L. Boren scholarship of $ 25,000 to fund intensive language studies at the abroad during the 2021-2022 academic year.
This is the latest in a series of nationally competitive scholarships that Thomas has earned as he pursues a career in the federal public service.
In addition to taking courses in East Asian politics and the Japanese language, Thomas appealed to staff at the Scholar Development Bureau to apply for scholarships to study the language abroad. In his second year at WKU, Thomas was awarded a Fully Funded Critical Language scholarship to study in Japan, as well as Gilman and Freeman-ASIA scholarships to fund his third year abroad at Kansai Gaidai University d ‘Osaka.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic not only brought him home early from Japan, but also canceled the US Foreign Service internship program – another national competitive opportunity he had won.
Thomas again applied in a different direction, however, and completed a Virtual Federal Student Service internship with the US Consulate in Naha City, Okinawa.
In the summer of 2021, he will be studying on a second Critical Language scholarship (virtual this time).
Travel policy permits, in October 2021 he will begin his final year of undergraduate studies abroad in Japan with a Boren scholarship that will help pave the way for a career in the federal service.
âOne little thing leads to another,â says Thomas. âSoon you are riding and you are feeling unstoppable! I would tell students to go ahead and apply for things even if it seems out of reach. Thomas was the first in his family to attend university, among the first in his family to travel by plane, and the first in his family to travel abroad. When he graduates, he will have spent nearly two years in Japan developing his skills for a career in helping the United States and Japan solve common challenges.
The Institute of International Education (IIE), on behalf of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), awards Boren Undergraduate Scholarships and Boren Graduate Scholarships to add important international and linguistic components educating students through study abroad in areas of the world critical to U.S. interests. .
Since 1994, more than 7,000 students have received Boren Awards and have put their essential skills to the service of careers in support of essential missions of agencies across the federal government. “To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that future American leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world,” said former US Senator David Boren, the lead author of the legislation that created the National Security Education. Program and the scholarships and scholarships that bear its name. âAs we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding other cultures and languages ââis absolutely essential.â
Thomas worked with Melinda Grimsley at the Scholar Development Office to conceptualize and refine his Boren scholarship application.
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