On Tuesday, March 24, Rebekah Thorne, a Shoreline Community College student, was awarded over $1,800 by the Fund for Education Abroad. More than 1,600 students from across the United States applied for the scholarship; only 36 were selected as recipients. The money will be used to cover more than half of the cost of Rebekah’s trip to Cape Town, South Africa, with Shoreline’s summer study abroad program there, led by Dr. Ernest Johnson, a Multicultural Studies instructor.
Dr Johnson writes that the program, titled The Challenge and Promise of a Multicultural South Africa, “will examine the social and cultural history of South Africa and the current efforts to create a democratic, multicultural nation.” Rebekah first became interested in the program when she was in Dr. Johnson’s Multicultural Studies 105 course in 2012.
Rebekah, who is in the Career Education Options (CEO) program, isn’t what many people think of when they think of study abroad students. She’s not rich. She’s a first-generation college student. Her educational path hasn’t been a traditional one: the CEO program is for students who have not received a high school diploma; Rebekah earned her GED after taking classes at Shoreline.
“[Studying abroad] was a dream, but I didn’t think it was ever going to happen. When I heard about the South Africa program and saw the posters for it, I was really envious of the people in the pictures.” It was only after John Tankersley, an International Student Advisor, told her about study abroad scholarships that she ever thought of studying abroad as a possibility.
Rebekah plans to finish her studies at Shoreline in 2016 and hopes to transfer to Mt. Holyoke or Smith University to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a minor in Gender or Women’s Studies. She hopes one day to earn a Master’s degree and work in the field of animal sciences.