Launched in 2017, the Fulbright in the Classroom program is designed to connect Fulbright alumni with U.S. K-12 schools to share their experiences and introduce students to foreign countries and cultures. This chapter-led initiative has continued to gain interest, with 4 chapters leading successful programs this spring.
The Central New York Chapter successfully held two programs this spring, with presentations by visiting Fulbrighters at Syracuse University. The first program was to a Syracuse City (NY) middle school by a Fulbrighter from Indonesia, who discussed her home country and her decision to come to the U.S. The second visit was to Leighton Elementary School in Oswego, NY by 3 Fulbrighters, who gave short presentations on their home countries (Turkey, Indonesia, Afghanistan) and talked about their Fulbright experiences.
The Indiana Chapter’s program was led by alumni and chapter treasurer, Kelly Day, who is a teacher at Westfield Middle School. Over the course of 2 days, Kelly spoke with 600+ students at the school about the Fulbright mission and program and her own experiences while in Finland. The response from students was overwhelmingly positive, with over 200 thank you notes, many expressing future interest in applying for a Fulbright.
The Georgia Chapter held their program in partnership with the Atlanta Suburban Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. during their annual May Week Senior Girls Reception. Parents and students from high schools from 3 metro-Atlanta counties were invited through the school guidance counselors to attend the luncheon and program, given by alumni to Brazil, Cleopatra Warren. Ms. Warren’s presentation emphasized the importance of higher education in the community as well as the international opportunities that the Fulbright program offers to local Georgia students.
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter
The Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter took a different approach to Fulbright in the Classroom by visiting a French class at Arcadia University. Fulbrighter from Belgium Felix De Bie gave the presentation, discussing the differences between Belgium and the U.S. After his program, Felix gave us feedback on the importance of this program, saying “I think it is every Fulbrighter’s duty to do these classroom talks as it is part of the experience and a very easy way to give back.”
-Jordan Bradford, Chapter Relations and Membership Manager