IIE PEER Bridge Graduation 2019
IIE PEER - Scholarship Bridge AwardAuthor: IIE PEER - CLCC Member
Over three decades of unrest in Myanmar have impacted nearly 3 million people residing in both Thailand and Myanmar with limited access to basic rights, health care, and education. Education is crucial to displaced Myanmar youth, and many aspire to go on to higher education. However, obtaining admission and attending university is nearly impossible due to constraints from non-formal schooling, unsuitable documentation, and a lack of resources.
To address this challenge, IIE PEER developed the IIE PEER Bridge Scholarship Award (PBA). The purpose of the Bridge Scholarship is to support displaced Myanmar youth in achieving their goal of earning a university degree by providing academic counseling and grants of up to $2,500 to offset the upfront challenges of enrolling in an academic degree program, e.g. documentation requirements, applications, educational resources/equipment, testing, and travel. Each year, IIE PEER selects approximately 15 displaced youth to receive the Bridge Scholarship Award. On June 24, 2019, the first cohort of Bridge Scholarship awardees graduated from the program. Students have since started their studies at higher education institutions in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Philippines with IIE leveraging more than $600,000 in cost-share through tuition waivers and living expenses support.
“When I was rejected from the [other] scholarship, I was physically and mentally broken… then I heard from IIE that I got the scholarship, and it was amazing. The university life makes me able to think critically and logically. Moreover, this life makes me mature and expert in making decisions. My life has changed so much in a short period. I am now trying my best to improve myself” – 2019 IIE PEER Bridge Award Recipient, Name withheld for reasons of confidentiality.
“The university life makes me able to think critically and logically. Moreover, this life makes me mature and expert in making decisions. My life has changed so much in a short period. I am now trying my best to improve myself.” – 2019 IIE PEER Bridge Award Recipient, Name withheld for reasons of confidentiality.
To read other stories from the 2019 CLCC Yearbook, click here.