Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson Awards 50 SEED Scholarships
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN SALVADOR– On June 27, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson, in representation of the U.S. Government, delivered scholarships to 50 Salvadoran fellows selected by the SEED Program to study in the United States. The scholarships are valued at over $1.4 million. The SEED program is funded by the U.S. Government through its Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.
Fellows for this year’s SEED Program were selected from a pool of over 500 highly qualified applicants in a variety of fields. This new group of 50 Salvadorans will participate in programs that range from six months to two years in length in a variety of areas, including: strengthening primary education for rural children; administration and marketing for small and medium enterprises; quality control; agricultural enterprise management for export; environmental technology and vector control of transmissible diseases.
Their studies will take them to U.S. schools across the United States, including Broome Community College (New York), Northcentral Technical College (Wisconsin), Mt Hood Community College (Oregon), Kirkwood Community College (Iowa) and CaliforniaState University and Dominguez Hills (California). This year’s program is scheduled to begin in August 2012 and ends in August of 2014.
“When we invest in a young person’s future, it is not always possible to know all the doors that investment will open,” commented Assistant Secretary Jacobson during the ceremony, “but we are committed to making those investments, to give people every opportunity to reach their full potential." In addition to Assistant Secretary Jacobson, participants in the ceremony included Salvadoran Minister of Health, Maria Isabel Rodriguez; Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Erlinda Handal; U.S. Charge d'Affaires in El Salvador, Sean Murphy; Director of the SEED Program at Georgetown University, Paul Silva; National Coordinator of the SEED Program in El Salvador, José Alfredo Bonilla; and Mayor of Conchagua and former governor of the Department of La Union, Jesus Medina Flores.
Since 1989, USAID has invested over $20 million in scholarships which have benefited more than 1,000 Salvadorans.
Under the Partnership for Growth initiative signed between the Government of El Salvador and the Government of the United States, barriers to sustainable economic development have been analyzed, along with ways in which to overcome these barriers. One of these strategies is human capital development. Because of this, it is important to look for opportunities to close the skills gap through professional training, higher education, and schools that promote innovation and technology.