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SCHOLARSHIPS CAN LEAD TO INTERESTING PLACES

“As a Rotary Scholar, I have also benefited from the immense support of the Rotary network. This includes the support of my sponsoring Rotary club in Canada, as well as members of my host Rotary club in Sweden who have helped me settle into my life abroad. I am grateful for the opportunities and support provided to me by the Rotary international community!” – Tabitha Black-Lock

The new season for scholarship applications has begun.  January 15, 2023 is the deadline for applying for the District 5020 Ambassadorial Scholarship which can lead to the Global Grant Scholarship.  We are looking for candidates now for grad studies to begin in September 2023.  “I encourage all Rotarians to think about who might be a great Rotary Scholar and pass information about our scholarships to them. Tabitha Black-Lock is a great example of the kind of candidates we are looking for.” says Harry Panjer, Chair of the District 5020 Scholarship Committee.  

Tabitha is a current Rotary Global Scholar who was selected and endorsed in 2021 by the Scholarship Committee.  She is a graduate of the University of Victoria with a double major in Political Science and Environmental Studies. 

Tabitha has completed the first year of the two-year MSc degree in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation at Lund University in Sweden. She reports that she has “thoroughly enjoyed (her) first year of classes, both due to the engaging content of the courses and the teaching style, which focuses on group work and shared learning.”

Under Rotary’s Global Grant Scholars Program, Tabitha has received US$30,000 to support overseas study in an area related to any of Rotary’s interests.  “Often this scholarship is the key difference in making foreign education opportunities affordable to the typical Canadian or American student. Out of country tuition fees alone can exceed $30,000 in many countries” reports Harry Panjer.

Tabitha states “Being a Rotary Global Scholar has allowed me to pursue my goal of studying a Master’s degree in Europe. It has also supported me to gain experience in the field as an intern with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Crescent Movement in Nepal. With the support of the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship, these experiences have set me up well for a career in disaster management and climate change adaptation.”

Studying in a foreign country also means broadening one’s universe. She reports “I’ve also enjoyed living in Sweden and learning more about different European perspectives and challenges related to disaster management.”

As part of her second year of the degree program, she recently completed a 3-month internship working for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in Nepal.  She reports “Not only did this help me achieve my career goal of working for the IFRC, but it also gave me greater insight into disaster management in Nepal during the monsoon season, during which the country experiences many challenges due to heavy rainfall, flooding, and landslides.”

While she worked in the IFRC headquarters in Kathmandu, she also conducted field visits to rural areas to see how communities are managing the impacts of climate change and associated hazards.

She has been invited back to the IFRC to return to Nepal to conduct her MSc thesis research there in January 3023. She will be focusing on how traditional knowledge and practices in two rural communities in Nepal contribute to resilience to hazards and the impacts of climate change.

Information on Rotary post-grad scholarships, including application forms, see the district website at https://www.rotary5020.org/foundation/scholarships/

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