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WKU student from Glasgow receives National Boren Scholarship

Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A WKU student from Glasgow has received a national scholarship to extend his studies in Japan.

Jayden Thomas, a senior political science and international affairs major from Glasgow, has earned a $25,000 David L. Boren Scholarship to fund intensive language study abroad in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Thomas earned a fully-funded Critical Language Scholarship to study in Japan in his second year at WKU, Gilman and Freeman-ASIA scholarships to fund his third year abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka.

Due to the pandemic, Thomas was sent home early from Japan and his US Foreign Service Internship Program-- was canceled. Thomas applied and completed a Virtual Student Federal Service internship with the US Consulate in Naha City, Okinawa.

“For me it was just confirmation of I guess my dedication and hard work. You know, because I remember when I got back home because of COVID, I was devastated. Honestly, it was awful. A terrible time for me. So, having received that was like things are starting to look up again. So, it was a great feeling,” Thomas said.

He is currently studying virtually in a second Critical Language Scholarship. Thomas will be starting his final undergraduate year abroad in Japan on a Boren Scholarship in January 2022.

Boren Awards are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants identify how their study abroad programs or overseas projects, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their Boren Awards Campus Representatives as early as possible in the application process to discuss how to ensure compatibility between their proposed Boren Awards-funded program and their institution’s matriculation requirements. Campus Representatives and administrators with questions about Boren Awards matriculation requirements are encouraged to contact boren@iie.org or 1-800-618-NSEP (6737).

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