By Deborah Fleck, July 30, 2018
The George W. Bush Institute has announced it will divvy up $26,000 to help North Korean refugees pursue higher education in the U.S.
The institute started the North Korean Freedom Scholarship last year. The Communities Foundation of Texas administers the program.
Ten escapees from the repressive country — which Bush as president said was part of an “axis of evil” — were named the 2018 recipients.
The named award-winners were Johnny Han, a student at Los Angeles City College; Grace Jo, who attends Montgomery College in Maryland; Debby Kim, who studies at Elmhurst College; and Seongmin Lee, a student a Columbia University.
The remaining students were only identified by their initials for their own and their families’ safety. They were O.S.H., who is studying at a theological seminary in Illinois; A.J., a student at the University of South Florida; H.S., who will attend the University of Southern California; and C.K., S.J.K. and S.K., who are community college students.
The Bush Institute will also implement a pilot program this year to pair the students with mentors who have expertise in their field of study or can address other needs. The goal is to eventually offer a mentor pairing to all applicants, even if they don’t receive a scholarship. Fourteen students applied this year. A committee of seven reviewed the applications.
Applications for the 2019 scholarship will open in January. Learn more at bushcenter.org.