Help Naida Study Abroad in Chile!

About Me:

Hello, my name is Naida Hill. I am a junior Computer Science Dual Engineering major at Spelman College. I am also an Atlanta native from the Westside. This summer, I am expecting to study abroad in Valparaiso, Chile. Exciting, right? But as a low-income, first-generation student, the likelihood of me being able to pay for the trip out of pocket is low.

About My Need:

I have been awarded a partial scholarship by Spelman College Study Abroad program. The scholarship covers 65% of the trip for first-time travelers such as myself.  Specifically, the scholarship will be used to obtain housing and tuition for the 3-credit class I will be taking while abroad. It is a great honor to receive this scholarship, however, there are other fees that need to be covered. Those fees consist of things such as airfare, passport, vaccinations, transportation around town, activities and entry/exit permits.

Due to having an on-campus job and dipping into my emergency savings account, I was able to pay the $1,200 deposit. This payment really hurt me financially which is why I am now seeking support from my community and network.

Why Is This Important?

I grew up in a low-income neighborhood in a single parent household. Throughout my childhood, I have had to sacrifice several opportunities and experiences. My mom worked hard to provide for our family, but of course bills and other needs were given priority over field trips and vacations. There are several things I have not experienced that my classmates, colleagues and my counterparts have experienced- some more frequently than others. Through my mentors at Raising Expectations, it was stressed that as I execute my post-secondary plans, I should also explore the world and broaden my life plans. It wasn’t until college that I started to experience small luxuries that most people overlook such as going to the beach, visiting a historical site or flying on a plane.

Consequently, as I continue to matriculate through college, I realize that I may never have the time to travel or receive opportunities such as the CIEE program again. In fact, I will not be eligible for the CIEE program next year, since I will be a graduating senior. I definitely will not have time after graduation to travel internationally, as I will be focused on my career and be entering the workforce as an IT Network & Security Specialist. This opportunity is a once in a lifetime chance for me to travel and gain the several benefits of studying abroad.

Studying Aboard to Chile will do the following:

· Change my perspective on life and the world.

· Diversify my thoughts and values.

· Give a new understanding of personal agency, heritage, culture, and values.

· Force me to be independent, self-reliant and self-confident

· Experience a side of a culture I was not exposed to at home.

· Gain skills that cannot be taught in a classroom or textbook

Please donate or share with your community, network, and friends. Any donation, whether it's $10 or $200, will be helpful and appreciated. I am and will be forever grateful for your contributions. If there are any questions or concerns, I will happily address them.

With Gratitude,
Naida Hill
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Naida Hill 
Atlanta, GA
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