Rayne Neunie, a senior majoring in family and child sciences from Hollywood, Fla., is headed to Tanzania to study Swahili this fall. She started to learn the language during an internship to Kenya last summer.
During that educational experience, Neunie developed a “Mother’s Care Program” and taught 16 traditional birth attendants how to safely deliver a newborn. She said the internship gave her new ideas on how to make a positive impact in her future career.
“That intensive, cultural immersion forced me to step outside my comfort zone to learn the Swahili language, take motorbike rides everywhere, spend Saturday mornings hand-washing my dirty clothes and walk to the local market to find what I would cook that day,” Neunie said.
She added that her Kenyan experience taught her an important lesson about being open to change and new opportunities. “Since receiving the Boren Scholarship, I have been overwhelmed with joy! In the past, I was very uncertain of my goals. But after completing the internship in Kenya, my goals came to light. Now that I have been awarded a Boren Scholarship, I will continue to challenge myself by formally learning the Swahili language and immersing myself in communities that I hope to assist for a lifetime.”
Including Neunie, four Florida State University students received the David L. Boren Scholarship.
Boren Scholars study less commonly taught languages in regions such as Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. The program is designed to help students learn foreign languages and gain valuable insights about global issues. In exchange for financial support, award recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.