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Three Students Awarded Scholarships for MatadorU Travel Writing Course

by Julie Schwietert Jan 1, 2010
What better way to celebrate the new year than helping aspiring writers achieve their goals?

When the Matador team began accepting applications for its MatadorU scholarship program, the plan was to award one scholarship to a deserving and ambitious student who dreamed of becoming a travel writer.

But after reading dozens of scholarship applications, we decided one scholarship just wasn’t enough.

Last week, we informed three aspiring writers they’d been selected as the first recipients of MatadorU scholarships. These scholarships provide full tuition to MatadorU’s 12 week travel writing course. What better way to celebrate the new year than helping students achieve their goals?

The recipients of the scholarships are:

Juan Pablo de Gamboa of Panama

Juan Pablo, who will be taking the course along with his wife, was an easy choice because he’s already living the Matador vision. Juan Pablo and his wife, who are Colombian, moved to Panama to start a new life together. That new life isn’t just about their partnership, though; it’s also about their professional vision for themselves:

“Now that I don´t have a job [Juan Pablo lost his job recently], well… there is no better moment to jump into life and see where it takes me and my beautiful wife! We went to Hawaii on our honey moon, and there we discovered that we are an amazing traveling couple, so there is your answer: We want to travel all around the world, all the time, and we want to get paid for doing so. We are a 30 /33 year old couple struggling against the system, we want to teach the world that traveling is possible, even if you don´t have the money to do so.”

Reeti Roy of India

Reeti, a 21 year old college student, was already familiar to the Matador team, as she has published several articles on the Network. Aware of her potential to grow even more as a travel writer, we didn’t hesitate in selecting Reeti as a scholarship recipient.

“As a travel writer, I hope to be able to depict real life incidents and to tell stories with as much zeal, passion, sensitivity and compassion as I can,” Reeti wrote in her application. We have no doubt she’ll do exactly that.

Mijan Celie Wilder of the United States

Mijan, a single mom, wrote in her application:

“I only want to write fiercely moving work. Something that can bring a reader uptown where they swear they can hear the lyricists as if they were actually with me on the train and sitting in the front row. Words and passages stronger than strong, that make eyes cry so hard they swell, and bellies laugh so intensely they need super strength adult diapers.”

We can’t wait to see what she does with her scholarship.

Welcome to MatadorU, Juan Pablo, Reeti, and Mijan!

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