University of Nevada, Reno sophomore Ivon Padilla received a $4,000 award from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad in Costa Rica during the summer of 2013. The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies abroad.
Padilla, who is 19-years-old, will travel to Puntarenas, Costa Rica, for a 5-week summer course provided by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC). While abroad, she will volunteer as an improvisational theater instructor at local Costa Rican orphanages.
“I want to inspire others to study aborad and immerse themselves culturally and linguistically in the arts, as I hope to do during my time abroad by attending national theaters,” Padilla said.
The Gilman Scholarship requires recepients to complete a service project once they return home. Padilla plans to offer unique bilingual improvisational theatre classes to low-income students of Washoe County School District during the fall of 2013. She co-founded the children’s theatre program of Good Luck Macbeth and currently volunteers with the GLM Spotlight: Acadamy for Young Actors.
“I am confident that my experiences abroad will enhance my undergraduate experience, my Latino Studies (Ethnic Studies) minor, and my professional aspirations,” Padilla said.
Padilla just completed her second year at UNR. She is a dual-major in History and Philosophy and a minor in Latino Studies. She has been closely involved with the Latino Research Center through her participation in the Latino Student Advisory Board and was elected President for next year. She has attended the U.S. Hispanic Leaderhsip Institute Conference in Chicago, Illinois, for the past two years with a group of students from the Latino Research Center.