‘I never felt so alive until I took risks…’
Celebrities and artists alike are beginning to lend their philanthropic arms towards higher education. Just ask 21-year-old Laquisha Springer of Connecticut College. The behavioral neuroscience major spent a semester earlier this year at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen.
I never felt so alive until I took risks, had engaging conversations with people [with whom] I seemingly had nothing in common, explored a new city, ate food I had no idea what it was, and took classes from professors who have had experience in their field. I stepped and was gently nudged outside of my comfort zone. I do not believe that there was a moment that I did not learn something new from studying abroad.
Springer wrote of her experience in Denmark. So how involved was Jay Z in this opportunity? Springer got her study abroad experience through a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, Jay Z’s charitable organization.
Springer was one of four students to receive one of the Shawn Carter Foundation-Gilman International Scholarships through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The East Hartford bred student is more than appreciative that Mr. Carter has invested in her future with the opportunity.
It makes me proud, you know, to know that someone who is relatively close to my age and someone I can relate to who’s had to struggle to get to where he is, that he’s investing in my future. That shows me that he believes in my future.
What’s even MORE dope about this is that she would not have been able to afford this type of experience. Plus, studying abroad was her first experience venturing outside of the east coast. She said she never would have been able to make the trip abroad, as the airfare alone from New York to Denmark cost over $1,000. The Carter-Gilman scholarships were for up to as much as $12,000. And for those who have criticized that Jay hasn’t done enough, she said:
So I’m assuming people, when they say he’s not doing enough, they’re expecting him to literally help the world. But for me, personally at least, his foundation has helped me out at lot since I’ve been a scholar.