Dear Community Member,
At this moment in time there are more than 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, with that number on the rise. In the Middle East alone, more than one in five people are displaced, including over 4.8 million refugees who have fled Syria and 6.6 million internally displaced. Many of these refugees are college-aged youth eager to pursue education, but lacking the means to do so. They rely on people who see their potential and are willing to open their doors and their hearts. No Lost Generation is a student-led group at the University of Oregon which was established last fall, and aims to increase awareness and acceptance of refugees while advocating for their rights to personal safety and access to education. We are currently working to create a tangible way for refugees to attend the University of Oregon so that they may receive the education they deserve. Below, we have outlined our plan of action and proposal for achieving this task.
What we are requesting: Five four-year full-tuition waivers and scholarships covering the cost of room and board, to be awarded to admitted applicants or current students with official UNHCR-determined refugee status from the Middle East who plan to pursue higher education through the University of Oregon. Over 60 U.S. universities provide full tuition waivers for refugee students including universities such as Columbia University, the University of Southern California, and Davidson University. Some additionally cover the cost of room and board.
In the current political climate, it is pertinent for our community to take a stand as one of acceptance. Through providing refugees with a chance of a better life and access to higher education, the University of Oregon will be enriched academically and the community will be strengthened through diversity. So far, we have received a pledge from the Office of International Affairs for an annual $10,000 to go towards the scholarships, but there is still a ways to go until we reach our goal. We are aiming to set up a work-study program so that students can work on campus in return for free room and board, so if that is approved we will only need to raise funds to cover the costs of tuition. We would greatly appreciate any size of financial contribution you are able to offer, and one-hundred percent of your donation would go to the scholarships for these students. If you would like to make a donation, please email us and we can provide you with further information. Even if you are unable to contribute financially, we ask that you consider demonstrating your support for this initiative by providing a brief letter of support. The letters we collect from students, community members and local businesses will be used along with our official proposal when we present this opportunity to the University of Oregon administration later this term. You may send letters of support to [email protected] Please feel free to pass this message on to any businesses, organizations, or individuals who may also feel passionately about this issue. We hope to collect as many letters of support as possible - along with our student petition - by mid-May.
You can find the online version of the petition and letter of support template on our website or Facebook page, listed below.
Please contact us if you have any questions or ideas regarding this project. Thank you, and we hope to hear from you soon.
No Lost Generation UO