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PRESS RELEASE: Office of the Lieutenant Governor - Inaugural Class of Washington World Fellows Departs for Spain

Inaugural ClSaturday, the 15 high school students who make up the inaugural Washington World Fellows class departed SeaTac Airport for Spain. Staff from the Lt. Governor’s office, as well as representatives of the Association of Washington Generals, joined the students, families, and program directors at the airport to see the students off.

Launched this past year by Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib, the Washington World Fellows program is the result of a partnership between the Office of the Lt. Governor, the Association of Washington Generals, and Central Washington University. The program is an equity-focused study abroad and college readiness fellowship for high school students in Washington state.

This summer, the Washington World Fellows will spend six weeks studying abroad at the University of León, where they will earn 10 college credits from Central Washington University, take part in guided field trip excursions, and live with local homestay families in the medieval city of León. Upon their return, they will have access to college preparation resources and leadership opportunities.

The 2018 Washington World Fellows cohort represents students from schools in eleven different counties in Washington, almost all of whom will be the first in their families to pursue higher education. For all of the fellows, this summer’s study abroad trip will be their first overseas travel experience.

“Not only will these fifteen students benefit from the new learning that comes with international travel and intensive study,” Habib said of the program, “Fifteen communities all over Washington will also benefit from the lessons these students bring back with them when they return home. We can’t wait to build on their new learning over the next few years to help them grow as leaders in this state.”

The program will continue in future years as part of the Lt. Governor’s larger effort to improve access to higher education in Washington state.

This past legislative session, the state legislature passed the Lt. Governor’s request legislation, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer, dedicating sustainable funding for the Washington World Fellows program from Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners specialty license plate revenues. Additionally, last month the Lt. Governor led a legislative delegation to Spain, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of León, committing both parties to three additional years of collaboration on the program.

 

Libby Hollingshead