Sophomore Karen Wilber Wins Gilman International Scholarship

Sophomore Karen Wilber Wins Gilman International Scholarship

Karen Wilber

Karen Wilber, a sophomore majoring in human development and psychological services, won a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study abroad in Bolivia this summer. She will work with a nonprofit on empowering families in order to prevent child abandonment.

Her international experience is through the Northwestern University Global Engagement Studies Institute. This summer program begins with pre-departure course work in community development and international leadership. Then after work abroad at community organizations, students participate in a final summit to reflect on their global engagement.

“I will be staying in a homestay family in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, and will have the incredible opportunity to intern at a nonprofit called Aldeas Infantales, which works to support the development and empowerment of communities and families in order to prevent childhood abandonment,” says Wilber. She will be working in a group with two other Northwestern students.

“I've never been outside of the United States before, and I think it's so important and exciting to have the opportunity to learn about and experience a new culture and get hands-on experience with a non-profit on a social issue that I know very little about. I'm both nervous and thrilled to see what this opportunity has to offer,” she adds.

Awarded through a selective process, Gilman Scholarships are intended to better prepare U.S. students for leadership in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. This congressionally funded program, which offers awards for undergraduates receiving Federal Pell Grants, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

At SESP, Wilber is president of Promote 360, the SESP student organization that fosters minority access to higher education and promotes minority student well-being. She also completed the SESP Civic Engagement Certificate Program.

A religious studies minor at Northwestern, she is co-president of Interfaith Hall and an executive board member of Northwestern University Interfaith Initiative. A program director of Alternative Student Breaks, she has participated in four different week-long service trips with the organization. For the past two years, she has also been involved with Dance Marathon on the finance committee.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/6/13