Education student Derrick Lemon has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which will help him pursue his dream of studying abroad in Costa Rica. The scholarship was created to help students study or intern abroad and, in turn, provide them with skills critical to supporting U.S. national security and economic prosperity.
Lemon, who is majoring in History & Political Science: Adolescent Education Social Studies, is also pursuing a minor in Spanish and is very excited to study with local students in Costa Rica to help further his fluency in the language, while also learning more about the culture.
“Studying abroad is an opportunity that not many students like me get to do and we are underrepresented in the study abroad population,” Lemon said. “I want to study abroad not only for myself and the learning experience, but to show other students that they can do so as well.”
To help achieve his goal of studying abroad, Lemon explained that the Global Programs Office has been very helpful along the way. Global Programs Coordinator Elizabeth Renner said to apply for the scholarship, Lemon “wrote three thoughtful and informative essays that touched on his reasons for studying abroad, how he plans to work with members of the community in Costa Rica, and how his experiences will impact the community here at Daemen. I am confident that Derrick will be a great representative of the college and I cannot wait to hear all about the experience!”
Melissa Fiori, associated professor of Spanish applied linguistics at Daemen College, explained that Lemon recognizes there is a need for bilingual educators and that “he is investing in himself by working to become a bilingual professional, and in turn, is investing in the communities he’ll serve.”