The Hearst Foundations have awarded a $75,000 grant to Roger Williams University to support its Intercultural Leadership Ambassador (ILA) program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to underrepresented students. The grant, awarded over a three-year period, will provide further financial support for ILA students for costs related to housing, dining, textbooks and other educational expenses.
The University launched the Intercultural Leadership Ambassador program in 2007 as part of a campus-wide initiative to increase educational opportunities for students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Eligible students must have overcome a life challenge in pursuit of education; be first-generation college students or speak English as a second language; and come to the University from an under-resourced community.
The Hearst Foundations grant will assist Roger Williams in increasing access to and affordability of a college education, one of the key goals of the University’s Affordable Excellence initiative. Each ILA award provides its recipient with more than $120,000 in tuition dollars over four years; the program has awarded more than $6 million in total to date and Roger Williams graduated its second cohort of ILA scholars in May 2012.
“A diverse student body that represents a healthy mix of viewpoints means that each of our graduates emerges from college having worked side-by-side with peers in an environment reflective of broader society,” says Lynn Fawthrop, senior vice president of enrollment management and retention. “With this grant from the Hearst Foundations, the University can support our ILA scholars even more fully.”
The ILA program emphasizes a balance of academic excellence, collaborative work with faculty and ongoing engagement in leadership programming and campus life. ILA scholars participate in a range of co-curricular activities in which they are paired with peer mentors, faculty advisors and academic tutors and offered career center sessions to learn about relevant internships, improve networking skills and formulate career goals. Students also engage in seminars, brown-bag discussions and cultural field trips.
In awarding the grant to Roger Williams, the Hearst Foundations sought specifically to support the ILA program for its focus on supporting under-served students and preparing graduates to thrive in a global community. Since their inception, the Hearst Foundations have been committed to awarding organizations and nonprofits that help people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.
To learn more about the Intercultural Leadership Ambassador program or other academic and scholarship programs at Roger Williams University, visit http://rwu.edu/admission-financial-aid.