USAID celebrates 76 gifted students during graduation ceremony at AUB

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webnexttech | USAID celebrates 76 gifted students during graduation ceremony at AUB
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U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson has attended the graduation from the American University of Beirut (AUB) of 76 scholars awarded U.S. government scholarships through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. embassy in Beirut said in a statement. “These academically gifted students represent a new generation of public and private sector leaders in Lebanon, many of whom might not otherwise be able to attend university amid Lebanon’s economic crisis,” the statement said. “This is the latest milestone in the U.S. Embassy and AUB’s long-standing partnership in higher education and our shared commitment to empower Lebanon’s youth through USAID’s Higher Education Scholarship program,” the embassy said. Ambassador Johnson was joined by USAID Mission Director Julie Southfield, AUB President Fadlo Khuri, AUB faculty and staff, and the graduating scholars. “Education is one of the most powerful tools for individual progress and a country’s growth and prosperity,” the Ambassador said. “This is why the United States, through USAID, launched the Higher Education Scholarship program – to increase access to education amid Lebanon’s ongoing challenges.” During the event, students shared testimonials about the impact of the program on their lives and received Excellence Award certificates for their academic achievements and engagement in community service. President Khuri addressed the audience, saying, “The USAID Higher Education Scholarships Program at AUB has been a blessing for the community of young scholars, as well as for the American University of Beirut. This program enables us to admit the most talented students without succumbing to economic elitism, which can overshadow and stifle intellectual excellence.” Since 2010, the United States has invested over $100 million to provide full undergraduate scholarships at AUB to students from all of Lebanon’s 26 districts, including refugees. These scholarships have enabled 760 students to pursue a high-quality education, the U.S. embassy said. It added that in addition to the full scholarship program, USAID provided an additional $19.5 million in 2022 to support AUB’s financial aid program, targeting 1,950 students enrolled at AUB who have been adversely affected by the economic crisis. USAID’s assistance require students to engage in volunteer work, training workshops, internships, and community service in their own communities to better cope with the challenges posed by the multiple crises in Lebanon.

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