African American Irish Diaspora Network and CIEE Create Scholarship for African Americans to Intern in Ireland

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Program Designed to Foster Connection to Ireland and Bolster Career Development

The African American Irish Diaspora Network (AAIDN) and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) have partnered to launch the AAIDN/CIEE Intern Scholars in Ireland Program for African American college students.

Nearly forty percent of African Americans have Irish ancestry, according to some researchers, and African Americans share many other cultural, historic and social justice affinities with Ireland. Beginning in 2023, the AAIDN/CIEE Intern Scholars in Ireland Program will provide a life-changing opportunity for Scholars to explore their heritage, provide international business experience, and polish tangible work skills that will aid them in their future career.

In this inaugural year of the program, three exceptional African American college students will attend CIEE’s Summer Global Internship in Dublin program that includes an eight-week work placement, housing, and a three credit academic course. During the students’ eight-weeks in Ireland, CIEE will provide the academic and work experience for each intern, while AAIDN will provide each student with a stipend to offset travel and living expenses.

The students selected for the first cohort of AAIDN/CIEE Intern Scholars in Ireland are:

Benedict College: Mia Douglas (’24), Mass Communication and Media Studies
Delaware State University: Dapria Fell (’26), Mass Communication and Media Studies
Sacred Heart University: Jayla Vyent (’25), Psychology

“We are honored to partner with AAIDN to help build bridges between African American and Irish communities through people-to-people exchange,” said James P. Pellow, Ed.D., president and CEO of CIEE. “The AAIDN Internships in Ireland program will allow African American college students to prepare for the global job market, develop intercultural communication skills, and embrace Ireland’s well-known hospitality, rich culture and natural beauty.”

Dennis Brownlee, founder and chairman of AAIDN, stated: “We are delighted to work with CIEE to offer this transformative international learning and career development opportunity in Ireland to a group of outstanding students. These are the kinds of experiences that will help broaden their perspectives and advance their careers.”

The AAIDN/CIEE Intern Scholars will be encouraged to share reflections of their time in Ireland through written blogs and weekly posts on social media. They will serve as mentors for the next class of AAIDN Intern Scholars, thereby extending the African American Irish family network to future decedents of Africa and Ireland.

To learn more about the AAIDN Intern Scholars in Ireland program, or to contribute to this effort, please contact Stacy Benjamin, CIEE’s Director of Professional Development, at

About CIEE

For 75 years, CIEE has helped young people participate in high-quality international exchange and study abroad programs that build bridges between people, countries and cultures. Since 1947, CIEE has supported over 1,000,000 student exchanges from over 140 countries. Learn more at


The African American Irish Diaspora Network was launched in 2020 to foster relationships between African Americans and Ireland and the Irish Diaspora through shared heritage and culture. With nearly 40% of African Americans having some Irish ancestry, AAIDN is bringing the African American and Irish communities together via that ancestry and other affinities including entrepreneurship and innovation, education, arts, and culture. AAIDN’s mission is actively supported by Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs as well as the government of Northern Ireland. Learn more at

Media contact: Leslie Taylor,, (207)553-4274

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