Success Stories

Nepali student wins scholarship

Anita Joshi and Marcia Haas

When international student Anita Joshi had to write an essay as part of a scholarship application, she drew on the strength of her mother who lives in Nepal.

“She was only able to go through the fourth grade, then she had to give up school,” said Joshi, a graduate student majoring in public and nonprofit administration. “She worked so hard for her children.”

Joshi’s essay and application were successful. She received an International Peace Scholarship, awarded by P.E.O. International to women from other counties for graduate studies in the U.S. and Canada.

In early November, Joshi met with members of the Grand Rapids chapter of P.E.O. International. Members include Marcia Haas, who has a long family connection to the organization — her grandmother was one of the founders who helped establish the scholarship in 1949.

“During the war years, a lot of women made donations to help the Red Cross or United Nations,” Haas said. “Women made a difference. For my grandmother and the others, they recognized the importance that education is fundamental to world peace and understanding.”

Since 1949, more than $22 million in scholarships has been awarded. The award stipulates that recipients return to the their home countries, which is exactly what Joshi intends when she graduates in April. She will bring an impressive background with her; she had worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C.

Haas enlisted help from the Padnos International Center to spread word about the scholarship to international students. “It makes me so happy to be able to award a scholarship to someone here at Grand Valley,” Haas said.

by Michele Coffill