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Grant to double international student enrollment

Central Lakes College will receive $604,737 to host 18 students from
Central America and the Caribbean for two years through a Youth Scholarships
program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The students, who will
arrive in August, will come from countries participating in the Scholarships
for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program administered by
Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development.
Those countries are Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras,
Mexico, and Nicaragua. Dr. Suresh Tiwari, vice president of academic and
student affairs at the community and technical college in Brainerd and Staples,
announced Friday that CLC is the only partner institution in Minnesota selected
for the two-year grant and one of nine colleges nationwide awarded the federal
grant. “It doubles our
international student enrollment,” he said, noting that “it is a wonderful
complement to the Community Colleges for International Development program that
has been at CLC for three years.

 “It moves the college forward as an institution of global competence
with cultural influence on the larger community,” Dr. Tiwari said.
            The SEED scholarships provide
training to youth and community leaders from economically disadvantaged and
historically underserved populations, including women and ethnic/indigenous
groups. The goal is to enable the students to become change agents in their
countries’ development.
             “The impact these students have is tremendous,”
said Kayra Fili Alhambra, assistant director of SEED at Georgetown University. “They
receive much more than technical training. This is a development program that
makes them agents of change. They acquire critical thinking skills and
            She said potential host
families for the first nine to 12 months of a student’s time here can greatly
benefit through the association with young people from Central American and
Caribbean cultures. “Success stories from previous participants are numerous,”
she said, owing much to the friendships and personal growth built into the
            The 18 college-age individuals
will be selected within a few weeks. They will be enrolled in the Business
Management Associate Degree program at CLC, where they will be trained, receive
leadership skills enhancement, and learn English as a second language.
            The focus will be on civil
society, volunteerism, free-market economy, and democratic participation as
practiced in the U.S., similar to the CCID initiative, which as with SEED, operates
under the auspices of the U.S. State Department.
            Central Lakes College has
hosted 21 CCID students since it became a participant in the 2009-10 academic
year. The students spend one year at CLC and come from as far as Indonesia and
South Africa.
            Host families will be
arranged for the first year, after which the SEED students will be in an apartment
complex adjacent to the Brainerd campus. All will return to their respective
countries following their time here, having completed a minimum120-hour
            First priority for the
incoming students will be assisting with the English language. Most of the
participants are from indigenous, rural, and minority populations and arrive
with little or no English ability. Structured ESL instruction is required during
their first two semesters.
            The college also will
provide introductory classes in business as part of the program that aims to
develop entrepreneurial skills as well as specific skills in areas of small and
medium business management and marketing, and financial and personnel
and its predecessor, USAID’s Cooperative Association of States for Scholarships
(CASS), since 1986 have provided
technical and professional training to more than 6,000 low-income and rural
students from Central America and the Caribbean.
For more information go to http://cied.georgetown.edu

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