Fulbright Scholar program allows Monroe woman to pursue her passion

| 22 Feb 2012 | 05:06

    MONROE - Monroe resident Kerry Kennedy is a recipient of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study abroad for one year. Kennedy’s selection for participation in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships Program places her and other U.S. students as English teaching assistants in schools or universities overseas, thus improving foreign students’ English language abilities and U.S. knowledge while enhancing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” “It is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity,” Kennedy said of her selection to this elite group. “For me, it’s something I’m looking forward to doing. When I get there, I should be able to jump right in. But I don’t look at this as something that sets me apart from anyone else. It allows me to pursue my passion.” The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its inception, It has provided almost 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Of those 300,000 “Fulbrighters,” only 114,000 are from the U.S. with 186,000 coming from other countries. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually. - Nancy Kriz