On Saturday I had the opportunity to sit on the scholar selection panel for District 5040's first Global Scholarship as a Pilot – Future Vision District. We are one of only 100 pilot districts around the world.
We interviewed four outstanding, bright articulate students from different parts of our district, with diverse cultural and academic backgrounds. It is rewarding to meet and talk to young future leaders of our country. Their enthusiasm and commitment ensures a strong future for our community. We wish we had four scholarships to award.
We were looking for academic performance, defined objectives in a plan to achieve their goals, demonstrated work and volunteer experience, participation in school activities and team sports and the impression of the applicant during the interview.
Scholarships, by a variety of names are The Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program. The first scholarships were awarded in 1947. Since then, nearly 38,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. Today it is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. Over 650 scholarships were awarded for study last year.
The purpose of the Global Grant Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The scholar must study in one of the six areas of focus and attend university in one of the 100 pilot districts. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.
Generous contributions from Rotarians in District 5040 fund this scholarship and lay a foundation of future world leaders. We will announce the person selected in a week or two. Approval from TRF is still required and admission to the selected university must be obtained.