The Paul Shaheen Endowment Fund is committed to providing the means to give high school students diverse global experiences through overseas travel and hosting visiting students in the greater Lansing, Michigan area. In doing so, students will have the opportunity to expand their educational and cultural horizons at home and abroad.
Maria is a 16-year-old, second-generation Mexican American who attends Holt High School in Holt, Michigan.  No one in her family has ever gone to college after graduating high school.  She was not going to either until the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission (LRSCC) entered the picture.

In 2023, LRSCC announced a student exchange program with Asan High School in Asan, South Korea. LRSCC would offer $1,500 to each student who was interested in participating and traveling to Asan to experience a unique educational experience.  Her family could not imagine the trip but with the travel scholarship, she decided to go. Land expenses were all covered by the Asan Education Department.

After 10 days of an amazing cultural and educational experience in Korea, Maria’s enthusiasm for higher education flourished. She said with joy, ” Why not go to college after graduation in 2024?”  Maria’s student exchange experience was life-changing.

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