UALR student wins national scholarship to study abroad

Denzel Jenkins

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student has received a National Gilman Scholarship to help fulfill his dream of studying abroad.

Denzel Jenkins, who is double majoring in Spanish and media production, will participate in a Spanish language intensive program in Costa Rica.

He was awarded $2,500 towards his studies. He was one of 850 applicants awarded a scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year. Jenkins also received a $1,500 Trojan Travels Scholarship.

The goal of the Gilman program is to provide funds to undergraduate students who otherwise might not be able to afford to study or intern abroad. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the scholarships.

Jenkins has always wanted to take classes in a Latin American country, but most universities do not offer the classes he needed for his major. He eventually came across a private university, Universidad Veritas, that was the right fit.

“I then knew in my heart that it was for me,” Jenkins said. “I’m grateful to have found this university.”

This will be Jenkins’ first study abroad trip. He left July 31 for San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be there for 4 ½ months. He will be taking classes in Spanish, acting, multimedia, and documentary appreciation.

“I plan to work hard and play hard,” said Jenkins. “I’m striving for all As while I’m there and having the best time of my life.”

Most provocative documentary

Jenkins has a passion for film and hopes to become an international director.

“I have a story to tell,” he said. “I have a vision, and seeing things on television that misrepresent people of various races and unrealistic perceptions of life help create it.”

Jenkins submitted a short film to the UALR School of Mass Communication Film Festival this year and won the most provocative documentary award for his film, “The American Dream Today.”

Jenkins believes the American dream is the idea that people have the chance to live out their personal dreams in America.

“I believe that there is no one definition of the American dream,” Jenkins said. “The American dream will be different for everyone, because they all have different backgrounds and perspectives. I was curious to see what others thought about it, especially in this day and age.”

For a look at Jenkins’ work, “The American Dream Today” can be viewed online.

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