WHAT WE DO
The Atlanta-Latin America Scholarship (ALAS) is dedicated to providing scholarship funding and promoting educational opportunities for students in the United States looking to study, live, work and immerse themselves in a foreign country.
WHO WE ARE
Each of the ALAS founders was deeply affected in some way by an international experience. Collectively, our study, work, and travel experiences overseas have made us who we are and shaped our outlook on everything from career and family, to spirituality and optimism about the future.
But perhaps equally as important as that, these experiences were some of the most fun and memorable times of our lives. That’s why we believe that even a short trip overseas can have a perspective-altering impact that lasts an entire lifetime.
Yet, as of 2016, the U.S. State Department estimates that still less than half of Americans own a passport. We believe this must change.
THE ALAS MISSION
Established in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
The world we live in today is a very different one from that of our parents. In a span of just a couple of decades, we’ve witnessed jaw-dropping changes in the everyday ways we go about our lives. From exotic foods and imported movies to entirely new ways of communicating with our friends and neighbors (we’re looking at you, Facebook) almost everything has become more globally interconnected. With that as a backdrop, the skills young people need have also evolved.
It’s no longer realistic to expect to get a high school degree and find a steady job with benefits and a pension. In fact, not even a college degree is always sufficent for chasing your American dream. Students today need to be adaptable, versatile, and exposed to more than just the inside of a classroom. In simple terms, students need hands on experience in the fast-moving corners of the “real world.” And there is nothing that better delivers this promise than a study abroad opportunity.
To Americans, learning Spanish is a great start. With more than 50 million Spanish speakers at home, and 300 million more just a short distance to the south, gaining language skills and cultural exposure to Latin America can open up immense opportunities in the fields of business, healthcare, entertainment and diplomacy. At ALAS, we aim to equip young people with a foundation of knowledge and skills to shape the future of the U.S.-Latin America relationship. Best of all, we want to do it while providing fun and memorable experiences that they’ll cherish forever.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Everything we do reflects an emphasis on a few core beliefs:
Experience is the best teacher.
For young people today, the traditional rules for how to get educated and pursue a career no longer apply. Being ready to thrive in a 21st century world requires access to authentic hands-on experience, where one must develop real world resourcefulness and the ability to deal with people from diverse backgrounds in a wide array of disciplines.
Success today requires learning new skills.
The United States is an integral part of a globally-connected community, economy, and job market. Speaking a foreign language, getting along with people from different cultures, and appreciating non-American perspectives are all key skills that will only become more valuable in the future. But these abilities don’t come by coincidence—they must be cultivated.
Some of the best opportunity lies abroad.
As it continues to emerge, Latin America (and Mexico in particular) offers unique and highly rewarding opportunities for Americans. The region lies geographically on our doorstep, is historically intertwined with the American experience, and represents a cultural mosaic of attractions and tastes. With more than 50 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. today, the influence from our southern neighbors on our daily lives cannot be understated.
Thinking globally is patriotic.
We are patriots at heart and believe that America is a powerful force for good in this world. But Americans are often disconnected from events in the rest of the world, choosing instead to focus inwardly. We believe that Americans can have a strong positive impact on the world by sharing our culture and experiences overseas, and this ultimately makes our own country a better place with deeper curiosity and a more worldly view of humanity.
Altruism and activism are self-reinforcing.
With the accumulation of knowledge and experience comes a responsibility to use one’s skills for the betterment of communities and mankind as a whole. Helping people access new opportunities often gives them a great appreciation and desire to “pay it forward” and offer the same kind of support they received to others. In this way, we believe there is a magnifier effect on doing good deeds.
Education is the most powerful gift one can receive.
It’s a cliché that continues to resonate across time and place: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Put simply, we believe there is no better gift that a person can receive than education. With even a small amount of funding directed toward learning, a young person’s life can be fundamentally impacted for the better…forever.
Officially established in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Atlanta-Latin America Scholarship (ALAS) is dedicated to providing scholarship funding and promoting educational opportunities for students in the United States looking to study, live, work and immerse themselves in a foreign country.
333 Sandy Springs Cir.
Atlanta, GA 30328 - USA