New College of Florida student Lizabelt Avila has been awarded a prestigious Gilman Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Avila’s award will allow her to attend The Hague University for European Studies in the Netherlands during the fall 2016 semester.
“I’m honored to receive this award and I hope to make the most of this opportunity,” she said.
The third-year student from Miami plans to study human rights law, global citizenship, French and other topics. She also plans to volunteer with the United Nations, International Court of Justice or another non-governmental organization based there.
Avila, whose family immigrated to the United States from Cuba seven years ago, said the experience is vital to her plans of working in public service.
“As I plan to further my studies in policy making and international social work, I believe that experiencing diversity through a study abroad experience can concretize my idea of the world,” she said. “By better understanding human interaction at a practical level I can become a better world citizen and serve its community with greater expertise.”
Avila is concentrating in international relations and philosophy at New College. She is active in College organizations including LatinX and Model U.N., and has volunteered at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex tutoring students in math and literacy.
This year, she was also named a Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow, a national award recognizing students demonstrating public service that improves their campus communities.
Avila thanked her academic advisors, Professors Barbara Hicks and April Flakne, and College administrators Courtney Hughes and Florence Zamsky, for their guidance and assistance.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program was created in 2000 to provide scholarships for study abroad to U.S. undergraduates with financial need, including students from diverse backgrounds and students going to non-traditional study abroad destinations. The federally funded program is administered by the Institute of International Education.