Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship winner faces trip delays
Despite her postponed study abroad trip to South Africa through the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, psychology junior Hana Mohamad plans to continue making the most of the other opportunities that come with the award.
The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship was created by The Council on International Educational Exchange “to honor (the) African American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer and international statesman,” according to the program website.
“And highlight the characteristics that today’s young leaders need most: a keen intellect, a strong work ethic and a global perspective,” the website continues.
Each year, students from the nation’s Minority Serving Institutions compete for ten scholarships that cover program fees and travel costs for a study abroad experience lasting four weeks and that they can receive academic credit for. This year, the program was set to take place in South Africa.
Mohamad decided to apply for the opportunity after hearing about it at the Learning Abroad Fair. Due to her interest in global health as a future physician assistant, she found this fellowship to be a good opportunity to learn more about health disparities outside of the United States.
“I am aware that the health disparities (in South Africa) are much more obvious and leave a larger gap in the social classes when compared to the U.S.,” Mohamad said. “I wanted to be able to experience that and learn more about it. How do they tackle health disparities? How is their society built to accommodate?”
One of the more personal parts of Mohamad’s application was her video, in which she demonstrated her passion for serving underrepresented and minority populations. Other components of her application included a personal essay and a letter of recommendation.
Mohamad’s trip was moved to 2021 due to the current coronavirus pandemic, but she says she was “too shocked that (she) was accepted into the program to be disappointed in the delayed trip.”
Mohamad views this as an opportunity to learn more about South Africa. This summer, she will be taking a course offered by the CIEE to further prepare, and she looks forward to connecting with the nine other fellows.
“This is just an opportunity for me to better prepare for my trip and ensure that I learn the most I can while I’m there,” Mohamad said. “I want to be able to understand their culture, society, politics and traditions before diving in.”