Thanks to the generosity of the Ratkin Family, Overseas Programs is pleased to announce the Ratkin Global Community Engagement and Social Change Fund. The Ratkin Fund was established by the Ratkin Family to help foster WU undergraduate students’ understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by marginalized or impoverished communities around the world. The Fund provides financial support for international service-oriented projects or volunteer opportunities arranged and proposed by WU undergraduate study abroad participants in connection with their study abroad program. Within the context of their host community abroad, recipients may participate in a service or research project helping to address a social welfare, educational, cultural, or environmental problem, or work with an established organization that seeks to alleviate social and economic inequalities. The Ratkin Fund may prioritize activities that focus on enhancing opportunities for disadvantaged women and children in areas including education; addressing the societal and bodily aspects of global health disparities; or supporting participatory, community-led strategies that deliver access to basic services and infrastructure. This program aims to encourage WU students’ innovation of practical approaches to transform the lives of people in poverty and to create meaningful, sustainable social change in marginalized communities worldwide. Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to social justice and positive engagement with the poor and disadvantaged.
- Eligible applicants must meet all prerequisites for study abroad through Overseas Programs, including a minimum 3.0 GPA and suitable academic preparation for the proposed program.
- Semester, Academic Year, and Summer study abroad students are all eligible to apply.
- Students must have arranged a service-oriented project or volunteer opportunity as a component of their study abroad experience. The planned activity may take place during or after the study abroad program.
- Program location in no way determines a student’s eligibility for an award from the Ratkin Fund, as long as a student has identified an opportunity for participating in a socially-conscious community service or engagement effort.
- Recipients of the scholarship must complete their entire study abroad program. Students who withdraw early will have their award rescinded.
- Upon return to WU, students will be expected to submit a reflection of approximately 1,000 words on their experience accompanied by photos or other visual documentation of their activities in the host community. This report should specifically address how their experience materialized in relation to their original proposal and how they plan to share about their experience with the WU community.
Proposals will be evaluated based upon
- Unoffical Student Record
- Current Resume
- The Quality of the Proposed Project:
- Clearly articulated project plan and goal
- Feasibility – is the proposed project realistic? Is it likely to have a positive impact on the intended community?
- Sound logistical arrangements (including guidance from faculty and/or staff either in the host country or at WU)
- The Qualifications of the Applicant
- The overall strength of the applicant in areas relevant to the proposed project
- The extent to which the applicant’s previous activities demonstrate a commitment to social justice and creating meaningful, sustainable engagement with poor and disadvantaged communities.
- The applicant’s ability to conduct the proposed project as evidenced by the applicant’s references or previous experiences
- Project Relevance to the priority areas of the Ratkin Fund, including the themes of social justice; issues affecting women and children; and social change for marginalized communities.
For more information, please e-mail Dr. Amy Suelzer at firstname.lastname@example.org