The scholarship was part of a four-week viral campaign with Abroad101.com inviting students to enlist their friends and family in a Facebook competition. Students were asked to describe why they felt they deserved this scholarship and how they would incorporate their study abroad experience back at their home institution or community. The best answer that also elicited the greatest number of Facebook “Likes” won. Almanza secured more than 6,000 “Likes” for his entry. This is the highest number of “Likes” that any scholarship applicant has acquired thus far.
"My parents really encouraged me since I was in junior high school to study abroad” he said. “They agree with me that this kind of challenge helps forge character and helps you grow as an independent person.”
Almanza will take college courses for credit in liberal arts and sciences at CEA's Global Campus in Rome, Italy, this Fall. Born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, he expects his immersion experience to reflect much of what he felt moving to the U.S. with his family just a few years ago. “I feel that I can rise to the challenge, learn, and adapt quickly to the Italian culture and customs,” he said.
New for this scholarship, Abroad101 revealed to Almanza through a video interview that he was chosen as the $5,000 scholarship recipient. They also shared this moment of surprise through social media. You can watch Almanza’s response here: http://www.youtube.com/