Two WKU students have been honored by the Pearson Foundation for their community commitment.
Sarah Schrader of Bowling Green and Bailey Mack of Louisville, students in WKU’s Chinese Flagship Program, were among 100 college students across the United States to receive the 2013 Pearson Prize for Higher Education. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship, guidance and opportunities from the Pearson Foundation and Pearson, a leader in education, and collaboration with past and current Prize Fellows, fostering community involvement and social entrepreneurship across the country.
“While applying for the Pearson Prize, I was amazed at the accomplishments of some of the previous winners spotlighted online,” Schrader said.
The senior biology and chemistry major has recently lived in Bowling Green, South Korea and China.
“Each of these communities gave so much to me in terms of opportunities to learn grow and meet new people, and I felt that engaging in service activities was a great way to give back,” she said. “Whether it was teaching English, tutoring, volunteering at hospitals, playing games with lonely orphans, or organizing Thanksgiving and Christmas parties to share the excitement of American holidays with Chinese children, these activities not only gave me a way to repay my communities for all they had given me, but also allowed me to fully engage in each, immersing myself in unique cultures and growing as a global leader.”
She said these global skills “will be important as I pursue a career as a physician scientist and engage in internationally collaborative biomedical research so that I can help give back to the global community in an even bigger way.”
Mack, a senior international affairs and Spanish major, has held leadership positions in Omega Phi Alpha, volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America and interned with the WKU ALIVE Center and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
She has also spent time abroad studying Chinese and Spanish, which “has given me a really unique opportunity to be immersed in both cultures, as well as being able to learn how people live, work and communicate in different parts of the world.”
Mack said it was a wonderful feeling to be recognized by a national scholarship foundation, especially one such as the Pearson Prize, which recognizes students for service done in the community.
“While winning a competitive scholarship brings obvious perks, such as helping fund study abroad trips, the application process can teach you a lot as well,” Mack said. “It is a great way to take a hard look at your interests and goals, and see how they intersect. Communicating that cohesive narrative to a scholarship committee can help you understand your own goals, and has helped me to explore paths that I never would have thought of exploring if I had not applied.”
WKU’s Office of Scholar Development assisted both students in the application process.
About the Pearson Prize: The Pearson Foundation awards Pearson Prize Fellowships to students in recognition of their commitment to local communities. To be eligible, students must have completed at least one year at a two- or four-year school and have demonstrated leadership in community service.
About the Office of Scholar Development: The OSD works with students and their mentors to build research and creative agendas, helps students identify appropriate national and international scholarship opportunities, and provides intensive writing support throughout the application process. OSD staff welcome the opportunity to speak with students about the Boren and other similar programs.
Contact: Office of Scholar Development, (270) 745-5043.