Graduates from USAID’s University Scholarship Program Celebrate the Completion of their Internships
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under its Community Support Program (CSP), celebrated the conclusion of its internship program enabling nine University Scholarship Program (USP) students to gain hands-on experience while simultaneously supporting Lebanon’s vulnerable communities. The internship is part of an inter-program collaboration between USAID’s CSP and USP activities that was launched in 2020. The ceremony was held virtually in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy C. Shea, USAID Lebanon Acting Mission Director Stephen Morin, USAID Lebanon Local Development Office Director Claude Zullo, and key participants from USAID, the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Lebanese American University (LAU).
USAID demonstrated its commitment to increase access to education for Lebanon’s youth by providing full merit scholarships to more than 1,300 talented students to pursue their education at AUB and LAU. This program has been ongoing since 2010. Within that same scope of support to Lebanon, USAID, through the $80M CSP program, is working to improve the delivery of essential services and enhance economic opportunities in Lebanon. This internship program is a model of successful collaboration between CSP and USP to offer recent graduates the opportunity to make their expertise available to municipalities and communities, while enhancing their own career opportunities and building on-the-job experience. These scholars, whose majors span from electrical engineering to interior design to business administration, engaged in this internship program to support underserved communities receiving USAID assistance through CSP.
In her remarks, US Ambassador Dorothy C. Shea stated that “Today, we are proud to celebrate the successful dovetailing of these two USAID programs, as well as the outstanding contributions of the nine dedicated scholarship students, who completed the first round of internships under the CSP… Lebanon needs youth like you like never before to contribute to its economic prosperity and long-term stability…Through our partnership, you have demonstrated how an individual can help a community and a community can help an individual.”
Representatives from AUB, LAU, and CSP delivered their remarks, praising the initiative and its importance for Lebanon’s youth. Noura Itani, stated on behalf of Professor Elie Samia, Director of the USP at LAU:”A partnership that serves the mutual interests of both parties is a principled one This is the case between Chemonics and LAU’s Higher Education Scholarship program.
Two USAID implementing partners seeking to develop human skills for productive employment as well as positive social change.”
Dr.Samar Harkouss, The Director of the USP at AUB added “AUB’s collaborative efforts with CSP led to a most memorable and fruitful experience for our scholars and deepened their self-confidence enhanced their interpersonal and communication skills, and cemented their commitment to serve the community. For me and for all the staff of the AUB USP team, our partnership with CSP represents a milestone and a model not only in terms of student learning and achievement, but also in terms of collaboration with USAID implementing partners in Lebanon”.
CSP chief of Party, Rhett Guerian Concluded:”This partnership between CSP and AUB and LAU is a true embodiment of the deep and the long-standing partnership between USAID and the Lebanese people.”
Finally, all nine students had the chance to discuss the impact of this program on their personal and professional lives.
Through the CSP program, USAID has committed to providing $800K in internship and volunteer support until 2025 for 100 USP students with enhanced career opportunities, while facilitating the establishment and sustainability of much needed infrastructure, equipment and services to vulnerable, underserved communities across Lebanon.