For many Gilman Scholars, studying abroad ignited a passion for public service. It was this growing desire to give back to the country that drove them to pursue further education and other international or federal fellowships, and eventually to proceed into public service. When considering the profile of Gilman Scholars, this impact study highlights the value of the Gilman Program not only in nurturing further ambassadors for the United States but also in diversifying the pool of individuals who serve.
“Being a Gilman Scholar changed my entire life. Before, it was hard to believe in myself, being a first-generation college student with financial need. I felt like I did not have what it took to achieve my dreams, but Gilman opened that door for me. I learned about the State Department because of Gilman. I was invited to the Gilman Regional Career Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 2019 after my study abroad in Spain. There, I learned about the Foreign Service and fellowships like Rangel, Pickering, and Fulbright. I collaborated and shared ideas with a diverse group of hardworking and talented students also interested in international relations! Because of Gilman, I found my passion for public service, the Foreign Service, and won a Fulbright!”
After her Gilman experience, Tatum actively participated in multiple global programs with the intention of strengthening her knowledge of foreign service and giving back to her community. She volunteered with Arizona State University’s Global Launch, an intensive English program for more than 350 international students, and interned with the U.S. Department of State and EducationUSA Albania via the Virtual Student Federal Service Internship, where she virtually mentored and worked with Albanian high school students. Tatum will continue her role as a “representative of the U.S.” and a “future diplomat,” spreading the values and culture of the United States, when she embarks on her journey as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and a Rangel Fellow in Spain.