The Bridging Opportunities for Leadership through Diversity or B.O.L.D. scholarship is for APSU students looking to study abroad but are financially unable. The scholarship is sponsored by APSU’s Learning Opportunities Center and was created to make study abroad more accessible. B.O.L.D. scholarship recipients can receive up to $3,000 to cover traveling costs for study abroad.

The Learning Opportunities Coordinator, Allie Michael, said: “B.O.L.D. makes study abroad more accessible for students, it’s specifically geared toward students with diverse backgrounds.” Along with studying abroad, B.O.L.D. can also fund a service learning project and some trips count as both.

“Diverse backgrounds” is a broad qualification and can include first-generation students, military/veteran students, non-traditional students, students with disabilities, those from underrepresented minority groups or from the LGBT community.

What the Learning Opportunities Center considers “diverse” constitutes a long list and they have reason to do so.

“Those are the students that have more barriers to studying abroad, to having these experiences. And the more categories that you fit into the more barriers that you face,” Michael said.

The maximum of the $3,000 award was decided after much research done by Michael and her Learning Opportunities team. 

“Personally, I think anytime you can experience something outside of your comfort zone, it’s going to make you stronger as a person. It helps to build empathy and compassion; it’s very easy for us to judge people that are different from us,” Michael said.  “When you get to experience other cultures and other ways of life; it removes those prejudices that we may not even be aware of.” On the practical side, students can be better prepared for the workforce and better able to work in a team.

Having a background in grant writing, Michael warmly welcomed any applicant to contact her whether it be through an email, phone call or personal meeting at her office. Michael’s contact information is listed on the Learning Opportunities page on the APSU website.

In order to be eligible for the B.O.L.D. scholarship, applicants must be a full-time student, have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, and at time of the award have a minimum of 30 earned credit hours. 

Further requirements involve the student demonstrating financial need and to have never traveled abroad with APSU sponsored programs before. Applicants must also not possess formal discipline charges.

Applications are available on the APSU website and are due on Feb. 1 at 4 p.m.