This year, seven Oberlin students traveled to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta to attend the third Stamps Scholars National Convention, which took place April 10-12. Approximately 500 Stamps Leadership Scholars convened to discuss the challenges of academia, and to visit CNN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Carter Center, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Scholars also shared their work and heard speeches from the Stamps, Harvard Business School Senior Fellow Bill George, public speaker and educator Bill Curry, and CNN journalist Tom Foreman.
According to Oberlin’s Stamps scholars, the convention was a whirlwind of discussions, listening to speakers, and making connections with other scholars from across the country. “It was a unique experience having the opportunity to meet so many brilliantly minded and equally passionate students who were engaged in learning and excited to be there,” says first-year Emily Stanford.
Besides providing a chance to network, seeing the achievements of his fellow Stamps scholars inspired Liam McLean, a first-year interested in journalism, to pursue all of the opportunities available to him even while he is still earning his undergraduate degree, he says. “One person I spoke with, a sophomore, writes for multiple online publications and the campus newspaper. So I would say the convention planted some seeds in my head.”
Another benefit of the convention for Oberlin students turned out to be bonding with each other. “We only have meetings every couple of months,” McLean says. “This weekend provided an opportunity to get to know my peers better and start establishing more of an Oberlin Stamps community.”
Oberlin became a Stamps Scholarship partner—a title now shared by 43 institutions—in 2013, making students entering Oberlin during the 2013-2014 academic year the first group eligible to receive the award. The partnership presents an opportunity to attract and retain exceptionally talented students who apply to Oberlin, and it complements the college's commitment to meeting 100 percent of admitted students’ demonstrated need for financial assistance.
The Stamps Foundation, created in 2006 by Roe and Penny Stamps, awards merit scholarships to students who exhibit excellent leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. Stamps Scholars receive $10,000 annually, with a one-time $5,000 enrichment fund that can be applied to the cost of internships, research opportunities, study-related travel, and other projects.
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