From left to right — Dana Sistko (Scholarship Committee chair), Alexis Barnes (scholarship recipient) and Rich Cangro (Phi Beta Delta chapter president. (Photo credit — WIU)
MACOMB, IL — The International Honor Society Phi Beta Delta's Eta Epsilon Chapter at Western Illinois University has awarded a $500 scholarship to a student studying abroad in Ecuador.
Junior nursing major Alexis Barnes, of Ellisville, IL, said the scholarship has helped her realize a dream to study abroad.
"Studying abroad has always been an unrealistic dream of mine, something I never believed would be in the cards," she said. "In college, it is not an uncommon thing for students to do. Many of my friends have studied abroad, and one commonality I discovered between them is that they come back with the most amazing stories to tell, having gained the most enriching experiences from all different corners of the world."
Barnes said she hasn't had many opportunities to travel domestically or internationally, but when she heard about the International Healthcare Systems Study Abroad trip, she knew it was for her.
"The only thing holding me back was the expenses," she said. "Because of this scholarship, I have now been afforded the opportunity of a lifetime to travel across the world to help people of varying statuses and cultures gain access to healthcare. As a nursing major, helping others is an important attribute to my profession, as is cultural diversity, both of which are being afforded to me through this study abroad experience. This scholarship helped open doors for me that would have never been possible otherwise, and for that I am forever grateful."
One of the objectives of the Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society is to fund scholarships for international students and student participating in a study abroad course. Funds are raised through the annual scholarship fundraiser dinner, as well as selling international items at the annual International Bazaar.
For more information on study abroad programs at WIU, visit wiu.edu/studyabroad. For more information about joining Phi Beta Delta, and membership requirements, visit wiu.edu/global_education/phi_beta_delta/index.php.
The next Phi Beta Delta induction ceremony will be held in April 2020. To donate to the Phi Beta Delta scholarship fund, email [email protected].