Newarker Wants to Study Abroad in Vienna, Austria—But Needs Some Support

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About Me

My name is Jamani Montague and enjoy comic books, my favorite food is collard greens, and I value my time. More importantly, I am deeply passionate about communication, equality, and education. I pursue my passion for communication through learning languages. As an International Studies major and German Studies minor, travelling is a large component of both my academic and personal life.  Being able to communicate effectively with people of different languages, cultures and values enables you to see yourself as a part of a larger, global society. Thus far, I am fluent in English, comprehensive in Spanish, and now learning to read, write, and speak in German. I plan to master German very soon, with the help of my study abroad experience, and then move on to French. I am also currently taking classes, outside of Emory, to earn earn my TESOL certification (Teaching English as a Second Language).

Personally, learning different languages and teaching English allows me to converse with, learn from, and build connections with people all over the world. It also allows me to inspire other women of color to see themselves as a part of a larger, global society, as I have come to see myself.

As a systematically oppressed black, lesbian, female living in America, pursuing equality is extremely important to me and a very large part of my life. As Alice Walker once wrote, “Activism is my rent for living on this planet.” Throughout high school, I served as President of the Youth Council for Global Unity, and non-profit organization based in the 34th legislative district of New Jersey, and sponsored by NJ State Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver. The council aimed to bring global consciousness to inner-city youth, focusing on topics such as human-trafficking, rape-culture, and the school-to-prison pipeline.

In the winter of 2014 I was selected to serve as Youth Coordinator for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka during his campaign. As youth coordinator, I organized youth canvassing, high-school and college voter registration, and youth engagement activities.

Independently, I served as an active speaker at Newark Public Schools advisory board meetings, addressing the various concerns of Newark students and advocating for local control of public schools.

I am an active organizer and protester. Currently, I stand as President of the Black Student Alliance here at Emory. I have organized countless vigils and demonstrations, on and off campus - in Georgia and New Jersey, in reaction to the countless black people murdered by the hands of state-sanctioned black violence. I have received countless honors and awards, including recognition as a NJ Governor's Spirit of a Hero Scholarship recipient (2014), a Questbridge Scholar (2014), Black Student Alliance Freshman Student of the Year (2015), and a ranking on the Emory University Merit List (2015).

Conclusion

Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey,  I have never left the east coast, let alone the country. I come from a socio-economic background where we treat airplanes like shooting stars because no one we know has ever been on one. This study abroad opportunity in itself is a transformation of a dream into a reality. As an International Studies major and a German Studies minor, my appreciation extends beyond both English and German words. Please donate, share my story with your networks, and help me get to Vienna this summer! Ich danke Ihnen fur Ihre Zeit (I thank you for your time). Attached is both my school and work resume, the program budget sheet, and a photo. 


Personally, learning different languages and teaching English allows me to converse with, learn from, and build connections with people all over the world. It also allows me to inspire other women of color to see themselves as a part of a larger, global society, as I have come to see myself.

As a systematically oppressed black, lesbian, female living in America, pursuing equality is extremely important to me and a very large part of my life. As Alice Walker once wrote, “Activism is my rent for living on this planet.” Throughout high school, I served as President of the Youth Council for Global Unity, and non-profit organization based in the 34th legislative district of New Jersey, and sponsored by NJ State Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver. The council aimed to bring global consciousness to inner-city youth, focusing on topics such as human-trafficking, rape-culture, and the school-to-prison pipeline.

In the winter of 2014 I was selected to serve as Youth Coordinator for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka during his campaign. As youth coordinator, I organized youth canvassing, high-school and college voter registration, and youth engagement activities.

Independently, I served as an active speaker at Newark Public Schools advisory board meetings, addressing the various concerns of Newark students and advocating for local control of public schools.

I am an active organizer and protester. Currently, I stand as President of the Black Student Alliance here at Emory. I have organized countless vigils and demonstrations, on and off campus - in Georgia and New Jersey, in reaction to the countless black people murdered by the hands of state-sanctioned black violence. I have received countless honors and awards, including recognition as a NJ Governor's Spirit of a Hero Scholarship recipient (2014), a Questbridge Scholar (2014), Black Student Alliance Freshman Student of the Year (2015), and a ranking on the Emory University Merit List (2015).

Conclusion

Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey,  I have never left the east coast, let alone the country. I come from a socio-economic background where we treat airplanes like shooting stars because no one we know has ever been on one. This study abroad opportunity in itself is a transformation of a dream into a reality. As an International Studies major and a German Studies minor, my appreciation extends beyond both English and German words. Please donate, share my story with your networks, and help me get to Vienna this summer! Ich danke Ihnen fur Ihre Zeit (I thank you for your time).

Requested Amount: $7,480

Alternative Requested Amount: 2,780

Two months, eight university credits and an experience of a lifetime awaits me in Vienna, Austria. My name is Jamani Montague, and I am a Freshman at Emory University.

I have the honor of being one of the twelve students accepted into my school’s longest standing study abroad initiative, the German Studies Program hosted in Vienna. This summer, from June 6th to July 25th, I will hopefully be living with an Austrian family in Vienna, taking two German language courses (201 and 202), and exploring European history and culture.

The total cost of the program, as stated on the program's budget sheet (attached), is $15,580, which includes a passport, airfare, living expenses, college tuition, and food and activities during my stay. Because I qualify for financial aid, I have been awarded $5,000 of the $15,580 from my school. I have also won a study abroad scholarship for $1,100. But that means I still need to come up with $9, 480 on my own. Thus far, through family, friends and supporters on GoFundMe, I have raised about 2,000. This leaves me with exactly $7,480 to come up with. As you will see on the budget sheet, $4,700 of the total cost includes: airfare, books, personal expenses and additional meals. These are all expenses that I have to pay directly. Due to Emory University by May 13th is the remaining tuition and program fee balance, which is $2,780. If I do not have this balance in by May 13th, I will not be able to participate in the program, and the money that I have already submitted will not be refunded to me.

Here at Emory, I am a Questbridge scholar, President of the Black Student Alliance, and a member of both Emory Law Society and Amnesty International. My tuition is paid in full, based on need and academic-merit (which I worked very hard for and consider an absolute blessing). I do not pay anything for college, any family budget is set around my tuition being paid in full. My mom is a single-mother of two children, and my father is not in my life. I can not afford this trip on my own, and without your assistance, I will not be able to study abroad in Vienna, Austria this summer.

Why German?

For some time now, I have been fascinated with the complex concept of being an individual versus serving the collective. I’ve repeatedly asked myself questions like: “Are we as human beings naturally egoistic, or are we all in the pursuit of the common good?”... “Are races, religions, and regions truly distinguished enough to place us into superior/inferior categories to each other, or is there some underlying force of energy that connects us all, whether we want it that way or not?” As I’ve pondered these questions and began my journey of research, I found hundreds of theories, ideologies and philosophies that have attempted to cure my curiosities. Surprising to me, there was one commonality among the conception of each novel, article and portion of research that I studied: German.

For centuries, German philosophers and scientists have pondered the same concepts and questions as I, desperately trying to determine and explain the best philosophy for human interaction. Father of Communism, Karl Marx, contemplated the nature of individualism versus collectivism in relation to economics and power-structures. Mein Kampf author and Nazi-Germany dictator, Adolf Hitler, claimed the superiority of the Aryan race based on their maintained collectivism in conquering and oppressing non-Aryans. The Diary of Anne Frank captures individualism within the Jewish religion during the Holocaust, triggered by a Nazi-forced survivalist mentality. Albert Einstein explained the natural collectivism of not just humans, but all living things, through physics and energy that place us all in an inescapable network of mutuality. Even Black Panther, Angela Davis chose to study in Germany, at the Frankfort School, in attempt to grasp a better understanding of Socialism and how individualism and collectivism combined can create a prosperous society if practiced properly.

The most well-seasoned scholars in the subject have either been native-German speakers, or have acquired German as a language, and that says to me that the first step towards fully understanding individualism versus collectivism is mastering the German language. I plan to further my studies throughout my undergraduate career and eventually pursue my PhD in the field. Having the skill and luxury to be able to read original German works in order to better develop my research is very important to me and crucial to my research.

This study abroad experience is significant to me because I am determined to learn German, and there is no better way to do so than to immerse myself into the culture and environment of native-German speakers.

Why Austria?

I choose to pursue my studies in Vienna, Austria this summer for two reasons. The first, is that the only study abroad program offered at Emory University that focuses intensely on learning the German language is this one, hosted in Austria. More significantly, I believe Vienna to be an intriguing location to begin my research of individualism versus collectivism. Vienna, Austria is a prime example of a country torn in half by the influence of the Nazi-Holocaust, and whose history is still being pieced back together. Surprisingly, Vienna, Austria is currently ranked #1 in the world for Quality of Life, and it excites me to learn of the city’s transformation from a vulnerable, torn country to becoming an European economic power and comfortable, quality home for millions.

 If you'd like to support please visit the GoFundMe account that has been set up for Jamani Montague: http://www.gofundme.com/hkc0c4

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