Sophomore Bethel Aklilu Receives Gilman Scholarship
- Author: Dillon Miller
- Author: Thursday, February 6th, 2020
Bethel Aklilu is a sophomore major in Professional Writing and from Mount Juliet, TN. Recently, Bethel received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. She is currently applying the scholarship while on the Semester at Sea program.
The Gilman Scholarship is a prestigious award of $100 to $5000 that recipients can use for study abroad. According to the scholarship’s website, the scholarship is available to “U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.” Selection for this award is usually exceptionally competitive.
Bethel’s time as an English major prepared her for this scholarship. She notes that the main reason she entered into the study of English was to develop herself and to get more involved in her work.
“[I became an English major because of] the ability to put yourself into your work,” said Bethel. “[You have] to not be as factual but rather filter texts through your own perspective.”
The study of English, says Bethel, has been surprising in its universality. She has discovered that many things she has learned can be applied beyond the classroom.
“The things you learn as an English major are applicable in many settings,” said Bethel. “There have been situations where the things I learned as an English major help give context to the world around me.”
Bethel is concentrating her study in Professional Writing. She says that one of the main benefits of PW has been its practicality in both her future work and in her current work, including her work for the Gilman Scholarship.
“I’m not very far in my concentration yet,” said Bethel, “but what I’ve enjoyed so far is how directly applicable it will be to workplace settings and even to work that I’m completing now.”
In regards to post-graduation life, Bethel is still unsure. Along with her major in English, she is also pursuing minors in both Film Studies and Citizenship & Social Justice, and she hopes to make use of those skills as well in her future.
“I’m interested in pursuing human rights work, so I might possibly attend graduate school,” said Bethel.
For those students who are thinking about becoming English majors, Bethel advises them to take advantage of their opportunities. After all, she is now enjoying Semester at Sea via the Gilman Scholarship.
“Share your work, take chances, and utilize your resources!” said Bethel. “One opportunity could lead to another, and then another, and so on. You never know!”