LAU-USAID scholarship program invests in tomorrow’s leaders
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September 9, 2013—
The coming of autumn and the beginning of a new school year brings with it a sense of excitement and optimism. This is particularly true for the 94 Lebanese students who were selected to be part of this year’s cohort of USAID grant recipients. On Wednesday September 4, a welcoming ceremony was held to introduce the students to the LAU community.
The highly competitive selection process recognized both academic merit and financial need as criteria for eligibility. Recipients of the scholarship will benefit from a full financial-support package to fund their education as part of the University Student Assistance Program, an initiative that has been operating successfully for the past three years. The program will cover all university-related expenses, including tuition and books, in addition to a cash stipend.
“On behalf of the university community, welcome to LAU,” said LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra with palpable pride. “Here our students are our passion and LAU is our pride,” he continued before introducing the institution’s philosophy of education of the whole person. “Your time at LAU will help you discover who you are and where your passions are,” Jabbra said. “Our region is experiencing much turmoil, and so this is the time to ask yourself how you can be of service to your society, how can you make a difference?”
Picking up the parlance, Elie Samia, executive director of the Outreach and Civic Engagement unit said: “We are here to ensure you excel academically as well as help develop your leadership potentials with the hope that you will use your skills and knowledge to improve Lebanon in the future.”
According to Dr. Elise Salem, vice president for student development and enrollment management, “this program is investing in these talented students to ensure a brighter and better future in Lebanon.” Salem explained that the students are part of an elite group that was selected from over 845 applications from public high schools all around the country. “And it is for this reason that we feel very hopeful on a day like today,” she said warmly, making sure to thank the American people for their generosity in supporting such a worthy program.
Students will be enrolled in a wide range of areas of study such as engineering (civil, computer, electrical or mechanical), education, nursing, social work, nutrition, business, economics, and communication arts (journalism emphasis). “Everyone at the university will work to ensure that every student achieves his/her educational goals,” said Abdo Ghié, LAU assistant vice president for enrollment management.
“I found out I had been chosen for a scholarship on August 26 and I have barely been able to contain my excitement,” says 18-year-old Fatima Issa from Saida Secondary Public School for Girls. “I am excited for the school year to start and hope to meet the high expectations LAU holds for us.”