Enid Bloch, Ph.D.
I recently was invited to give two talks in Sarasota, Florida, about my experiences with the Muslim community here in Buffalo. My talk was titled, “Lessons from the Mosque: What a Jewish Woman Learned from her Muslim Friends.” The talk was very well-received and I hope was successful in helping to counter the unfortunate stereotypes so many Americans still have about Muslims.
While there, I learned about an initiative among people in Sarasota to provide full college scholarships for young women from Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Lebanon. These students will be supported for four years of undergraduate education (tuition, room and board, etc.) at New College, the superb honors college of the Florida State University system, located in Sarasota, Florida. This would be a wonderful opportunity for young women who could not otherwise afford higher education to study in America and earn a BA degree.
Sponsors of these scholarships asked if I had any contacts who could help them find suitable applicants. The type of young woman they are looking for would have to be a student of very high academic achievement, who would be able to handle and benefit from a demanding liberal arts program. An applicant should also be eager to engage with people from many different backgrounds and build understanding between peoples.
Members of WNYMuslims might know of such candidates, and if so, should feel free to contact me, either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (716-434-7375). You may also contact Ann Quinn, the admissions counselor at New College, by email (email@example.com) or phone (941-487-4461). Or simply encourage a student to submit an application, by having her follow the directions in the letter below. The letter was sent to me by Sue Jacobson, one of the Sarasota women supporting the scholarships.
“I’m writing to tell you about an exciting college scholarship for Middle Eastern women at New College of Florida in Sarasota, and to ask for your help in recruiting applicants for the program. New College is the honors college of the Florida State university system. New College, the Daughters For Life Foundation, and leaders from New College’s local Sarasota-Bradenton-Longboat Key community are working together to provide this program. Through Educate for Change, we will provide up to 10 full scholarships (covering tuition, room, and board) to talented women students from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt to earn their undergraduate degrees at New College on F-1 student visas. We are anxious to attract qualified applicants and, to that end, ask that you share this information with anyone whom you think may be interested or knows women who may qualify.
“These scholarships are intended to help women whose financial (and perhaps cultural) circumstances prevent or discourage their ability to complete a bachelor’s degree in their home country. By providing monetary and host family support for these talented students, we seek to create a more diverse environment that encourages respectful and open dialogue, promotes peaceful resolution to conflict, and actively builds greater understanding between peoples. We hope, in this way, not only to enhance the quality of New College’s campus environment, but also to help all of its students develop the tools to bring these positive skills back to their own communities.
“If you, your friends or colleagues know women who might qualify, please pass along the message that the students should do these three things as quickly as possible:
1. complete the New College of Florida undergraduate admission application at www.commonapp.org
2. complete the scholarship application on the Daughters For Life Foundation website
3. contact New College’s international admissions counselor Ann Quinn (firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-487-4461), for answers to any questions they may have about admission requirements, including the Test of English as a Foreign Language
“All students who are interested, including those who may wish to use this year to prepare for applying in 2015, should contact Ann Quinn as soon as possible. She is eager to provide guidance and advice to assist them all, as early as possible.
“Thank you for spreading the word to support these women’s access to a top level college education! “