Casey Smith wrote -
Dear Friends and Members of Wesleyan Community,
Higher education has the power to transform communities. Students obtaining higher education gain the skills they need to become future leaders, and their families and communities benefit from their skills and knowledge as well. As Wesleyan students, we have had an immense privilege to access an interdisciplinary, holistic education that has afforded us the ability to develop ourselves and build hopeful futures. We believe that we have a responsibility to help others access these invaluable opportunities.
All semester, the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) has been volunteering with refugee communities locally and internationally, increasing awareness about refugee issues on campus, and advocating for refugee resettlement. One issue that we’re particularly concerned about is that refugee youth, especially those living in camps, have extraordinarily limited opportunities to attend higher education. WRP is excited to announce the first in a series of efforts to help refugees and displaced students access higher education.
WRP is working to crowdfund enough support for one Syrian refugee student to attend college in Jordan for four years. With The Amal Foundation*, we will:
• identify a student living in Zaatari Camp, the largest refugee camp in Jordan, who wants to and is qualified to pursue an undergraduate degree the nearby Al Albayt University starting in Fall 2016
• extend this opportunity to women, individuals with disabilities, and students whose families need them nearby; Al Albayt University is close to Zaatari Camp, making this scholarship accessible to a variety of college-age students
• target students who have demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership within Zaatari Camp, thus serving as positive role models and agents of change within the camp
• pay for all of their expenses, including tuition, transportation, food, textbooks, and a living stipend for four years
• work to provide them with other educational resources that we have access to as Wesleyan students
• form a partnership and ongoing dialogue between the Wesleyan Refugee Project and this student, bringing more intercultural awareness to both Wesleyan students and the student
Our funding goal, which would cover tuition, textbooks, a living stipend, food, and transportation for this student for four years, is $16,000. The first step is to raise $5,000 -- enough to fund one year of university for the student. We hope you’ll join us in this effort and contribute what you can.
Many thanks for your support,
Casey Smith, class of 2017
Sophie Zinser, class of 2016
Cole Phillips, class of 2016
*This scholarship will be managed by our partner, the Amal Foundation Inc., a registered 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting refugees and their host communities. All contributions are tax-deductible.