Jackson State University sophomore Lauren Burns was named the winner of the $5,000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Burns plans to use the scholarship award to finance her studies at Pukyong National University in Busan, South Korea, for the next academic year.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers study abroad scholarships for U.S. citizens that are undergraduates receiving a Pell grant. Burns had to complete a 700-word essay on how a study abroad opportunity would benefit her in the future. She also had to write a 500-word essay on how she would promote the Gilman program upon her return.
The Terry High School grad and Jackson native is elated to win the scholarship that provides her with the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.
“I grew up with a lot of interest in Asian subcultures,” says Burns. “I’ve been saying I was going overseas since I was 4 or 5.”
The study abroad opportunity will be Burns’ first time leaving the country.
“I’m really nervous about it. It’s going to be a lot different,” says Burns. “I have gotten a good foundation here at JSU though.”
Burns has been thorough in her preparation. She has studied the Korean language at a Korean school housed in a Korean-language church in Clinton, Miss.
The English major plans to teach English in Korea and eventually work for the Korean Embassy.
While in Korea, Burns will blog and share photos and videos on her personal blog. Click here to visit the blog.
-Darrell Robinson, Jr.