2023 Work & Travel USA Scholarship Winners

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Work Exchanges

We are excited to announce this year's CIEE Work & Travel USA scholarship winners. Introducing Diana, Fiyin, Neto and Nestor! At CIEE, our mission is to enhance access to intercultural exchange programs, humanizing international relations and cultivating a harmonious global community. With this scholarship, we aim to unlock transformative educational experiences for young people from across the globe. Please read on as they share their inspiring stories.

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Diana Marcela García

from Colombia going to work at Brett Robinson Gulf Corp Phoenix All Suites this summer.

Meet Diana Marcela Garcia, a determined and hard-working 23-year old Economics student at the Universidad Militar Nueva Granada. Her unique journey has shaped her character, personality and outlook on life in many ways.

Since Diana was 5 years old, she has been under the protection of the ICBF (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar). Despite the challenges she has faced, she has triumphed over them with the support of those she has encountered along the way. They have shown her a new perspective, allowing her to view life as a realm of opportunities, rather than obstacles. Diana's brothers have been a constant source of inspiration and motivation, propelling her to move forward.

Diana's determination and spirit have pushed her to achieve great things. Currently in her ninth semester of Economics, she has many aspirations, including specializing in financial markets, learning more about investment opportunities, and integrating this knowledge into her career as an economist. Her passion for her profession and eagerness to learn are truly remarkable.

Through her life story, Diana aims to inspire her siblings and community, proving that with hard work, anything is possible. She serves as a ideal example that one's past does not dictate their future; rather, it is a journey that one can design for themselves.

Diana is grateful for the opportunity to immerse herself in American culture and develop new friendships. She is thrilled to be a part of an unforgettable experience through the CIEE Work & Travel USA program.

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Fiyinfoluwa Adesina

from Nigeria going to work at Valleyfair Cedar Fair Park this summer.

Meet Fiyinfoluwa, a dedicated advocate for social justice and community engagement, currently pursing a degree in Information and Communication Technology. His passion for making a positive impact on the world and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion shines through in every aspect of his life.

Fiyinfoluwa is highly motivated with an insatiable drive, constantly seeking new challenges and opportunities for personal and professional growth. He believes that technology has the potential to revolutionize the world and create meaningful change, which fuels his excitement to pursue a career in this field.

The work and travel scholarship gives Fiyinfoluwa with a wonderful opporuntity to broaden his horizons, immerse himself in a new culture, and leave a lasting imprint on the world. He is committed to becoming a global leader who inspires others to make a difference and create a more just and equitable world.

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Neto Tadas

from Nigeria going to work at Cedar Point Amusement Park Cedar Fair Park this summer.

Meet Neto Tadas, a down-to-earth third year law student at Afe Babalola University. Neto has a deep passion for music, nature, and meeting new people. She is a skilled chef who enjoys experimenting with various recipes and creating innovative dishes. What truly sets Neto apart is her commitment to utilizing her abilities and knowledge to create a better world.

Neto pulls inspiration from the memory of a dear friend who passed away due to air pollution. This tragic event compelled her to take action to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of air pollution on people's health.

As the President of the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship program at her university, Neto and her team developed an air quality monitor, participating in an international competition at UC Berkeley. This project provided an opportunity for her to channel her skills and expertise towards making a positive impact on the world.

Neto is driven to pursue a law degree to be in a position to help others. She is passionate about becoming a distinguished legal luminary, acting as a voice for the voiceless to bring about peace and change in the world. Firmly believing that the law can be a catalyst for positive change in the world, Neto is committed to using her legal skills and knowledge to make a difference.

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Néstor David Sánchez Mayorga 

from Colombia going to work at Cedar Point Amusement Park Cedar Fair Park this summer.

Meet Néstor, a courageous individual navigating a world where acceptance and tolerance are still being fought for. It requires immense bravery for someone to authentically express their true identity and for years, this remarkable student grappled with the challenge of coming out and revealing his sexual orientation. However, inspired by his father's belief in community and embracing individual uniqueness, he found the courage to be true to himself.

Now, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this student welcomes a new challenge -- spearheading a research project on the impact of physical exercise on the immune system of HIV+ adults within the LGBTQ+ community. With a strong desire to effect positive change in public health, this research project has the potential to generate substantial changes that enhance the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ student collective, Néstor is determined to utilize his knowledge and skills to bring about positive change. His research endeavor stands as a testament to his commitment in making a difference in the world. Through this project, he aspires no only generate valuable insights into the influence of physical exercise on the immune system, but also to raise awareness about the unique health challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

The courage and determination displayed by Néstor are truly inspiring. Despite the obstacles he has faced along his journey, he continues to push forward, motivated by a desire to create a positive impact. His commitment to his community and dedication to the field of public health serves as a testament to his character and unwavering belief in the transformative power of collective action.

As the fight for acceptance and equality for all members of the LGBTQ+ community continues, seeing individuals like Néstor leading the charge is empowering. Through his research and advocacy, he is setting an example for others to follow.

Blog Written by Katelyn Mensah