An Energizing Summer in Northern Ireland by Scholar Omar Corona Monroy
JRF Scholar Omar Corona Monroy, a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, earned a Rachel Robinson International Fellowship (RRIF) to attend The Clinton International Summer School. Through CIS, he participated in the International Conflict Research Institute at Ulster University in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
He recently reflected on this unforgettable opportunity:
“Perhaps my favorite element of the summer school was the opportunity to meet the other participants who hailed from different countries and represented a diversity of backgrounds. I especially appreciated how each one of the participants was conscious and critical of their own community’s sociopolitical atmosphere. And I was inspired by their passion for creating institutional and cultural change.
All in all, my experience in Northern Ireland as both a Clinton Scholar and Rachel Robinson International Fellow was an incredibly substantial and fulfilling one. I was able to gain a great depth of insight into the culture and conflict of a completely different society and draw parallels between this society and my own. Furthermore, I gained a sense of how social discourse and political innovation can create a bridge between divided groups that allow them to overcome their hostility against each other. Without a doubt, I am walking away from this experience with new knowledge and a fresh perspective which will greatly supplement my professional career.”
JRF established RRIF in 2008 with a generous grant from the Sheila C. Johnson Foundation to promote and support international and study abroad opportunities for JRF Scholars. Additional support for the program is provided by the United Health Foundation and Nike. Since its inception, 37 students have traveled to study and volunteer on six different continents. Fellows are selected on the basis of their leadership potential, academic excellence and commitment to community or national development.