MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Rana Abdelhamid, a Middlebury College junior and outspoken advocate for women’s rights, has been selected for the 2014 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, in addition to leadership training, specialized counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government. Middlebury’s recipient is one of 59 undergraduates in the United States to receive this year’s Truman Scholarship.
Abdelhamid, from Flushing, N.Y, plans to apply to graduate programs at the Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is also the recipient of a 2014 Pickering Fellowship, a program that often leads to a career with U.S. Department of State.
As she wrote in her Truman Scholarship application: “I hope to work with international organizations that aim to bring about global political and economic reform. For example, I see myself helping to develop more equitable policy as a program specialist or policy advisor in the State Department’s Office for Global Women’s Issues.”
Before enrolling at Middlebury, Abdelhamid founded the Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), a self-defense, leadership, and entrepreneurship program for Muslim girls in New York City.
The director of the Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Professor Jon Isham, said, “The work Rana is doing alongside young women with WISE is absolutely inspiring. It’s a program that matters, that works, and that – through Rana’s training of other young women – is replicable and scalable. WISE is social entrepreneurship at its very best.”
Abdelhamid is a Posse Foundation scholar who also works on campus with the Islamic Society, JusTalks (which promotes social justice), two Alternative Break Trips to Latin America, the Student Government Association, and the college chapter of Amnesty International. She is currently studying abroad in Spain.
The Truman Foundation, which was established by Congress in 1975 to honor the 33rd president, defines Truman Scholars as “future change agents” who have demonstrated “the passion, intellect, and leadership potential that in time should enable them to improve the ways that public entities – government agencies, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, or advocacy organizations – serve the public good.”