The “scholarship of last resort” is starting to get noticed across campus, and the number of benefiting students continues to grow—totaling 72 in 2017—thanks to support from alumni and friends. The Global Opportunity Initiative’s primary focus is to help students go abroad by overcoming financial obstacles. This means that a scholarship, available up to $5,000, can ensure that no internship or study abroad program costs more than a semester in Provo.
Here are just a few students’ experiences in their own words.
Chemical engineering, Africa Business and Technology Study Abroad
I was part of an interdisciplinary team of engineering and business majors who worked to solve an important problem in Malawi. The challenge was how to design a low-cost kiln that turns agricultural biproducts into an affordable and renewable energy source: charcoal. However, the cost to attend the study abroad was beyond my financial capability, and I could never have gone without the Global Opportunity Scholarship I received.
The stakes were high; there was an entire village depending on our work. After several attempts, our BYU team designed and built a $50 brick kiln, and it was 200 percent more efficient [than alternatives]. That was a great day, but the experience hasn’t ended. I recently wrote an honors thesis proposal and am working with Professor Larry Baxter as we feel a different process—pyrolysis—could increase the energy yield.
I know my unique team experience will set me apart in a competitive job market. Searching for a solution to an actual world problem has been one of the most exciting things I’ve done at BYU.
Political science, Impact Evidence Field Study
I remember walking between government offices in downtown Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with Professor Ty Turley and talking to him about graduate school options. Minutes later we were trying to set up an appointment with the top official in the Ministry of Health, and I found myself thinking this was the epitome of development work with a political science emphasis. There I was working with a government official to create better policy in a country beset by poverty. I was a world away from Provo and my classes, but I realized my academic training had prepared me for this real-world experience. That experience, in turn, is preparing me for the research I want to do and the future career I would like as an international development program evaluator. I truly and deeply appreciate your facilitation of this journey through your generous gift to me.