NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Institute of International Education (IIE) is distributing $150,000 in one-time grants to 42 Bahamian students enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States who were affected by Hurricane Dorian.
This funding comes from IIE’s Bahamas-Emergency Student Fund (Bahamas-ESF). Students will receive between $2,000-$5,000 to help cover tuition, room and board, and other expenses necessary to continue their studies.
These grants were supported by an additional special gift from the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation (CTCF).
Hurricane Dorian was the strongest storm in recorded history to strike the Bahamas, and caused more than 60 deaths and widespread destruction across Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco Islands.
Many Bahamian students in the United States are at risk of not being able to continue their educations for financial reasons because of the hardships their loved ones and support networks have suffered due to this storm.
“On behalf of the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation, we are pleased to work with IIE on the Bahamas-ESF,” said William L. Gertz, CTCF trustee and Chairman of AIFS.
“Hurricane Dorian created such a high level of need in the Bahamas and CTCF is proud to be able to help Bahamian students. Thanks to our partnership with IIE, we are making a difference in the lives of international students who will now be able to continue their studies in the United States.”
Bahamas-ESF funding will go to outstanding Bahamian students attending 28 two- and four-year institutions in the United States.
Host institutions will also provide additional financial aid to grant recipients to offer them further support. Some are contributing matching funds, other additional work study opportunities and free meal plans.
Nele Feldmann, Head of IIE’s Student Emergencies Initiative, said: “From the destruction of their family homes to the loss of family members, students that were nominated for the Bahamas-ESF face incredible financial and emotional hardship. We are most grateful to AIFS and the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation for providing this critical funding that made the Bahamas-ESF possible.”
More than 2,000 Bahamian students were enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities during the 2017/18 academic year, according to Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange 2018, making it the second-highest place of origin of international students in the United States from the Caribbean region.
Since 2010, IIE has awarded more than 900 emergency grants through ESF to students across the world, amounting to more than $3 million in financial aid.
Grants have gone to students in Haiti, Iran, Japan, Libya, Nepal, the Philippines, Syria, Thailand, Yemen, and others after these countries were affected by conflict or natural disasters.
IIE is raising support for a dedicated fund so that we can respond quickly to help students when disasters and emergencies arise.
Previous ESF initiatives have been funded with support from individual donors and organizations who share this goal.