The US-Ireland Alliance announced the 2014 class of Mitchell Scholarship recipients just before Thanksgiving.
The 12 scholars represent a cross-section of American students, who come from anywhere from Maine to Pakistan. Among their achievements, they count breaking the cryptic code of Rhode Island founder Roger Williams, tutoring underserved children and improving the performance of biofuels.
Meet them here. More about the prestigious scholarship is below.
The George J. Mitchell Scholarship funds one year of graduate study in Ireland, which satisfies requirements for an Irish master's degree. It honors the former U.S. senator's contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process and was established in 1999. Along with the Rhodes Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship, it's among the most venerated scholarships, particularly for its focus on public service.
Forbes magazine reports that the program has a "new lease on life" after the State Department nearly cut its budget.
Forbes noted the scholarship is still too young to count presidents and U.S. leaders among its previous recipients, but said the promise is there for those scholars to see such success:
Arsalan Suleman is a rising star at the State Department. Currently a Counselor for Multilateral Affairs at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, he was previously State’s Deputy Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, working on President Obama’s New Beginning initiative, which partners with the Muslim community; Fagan Harris, who went on to do a Rhodes and is now working for the Aspen Institute in its Impact Careers Initiative, which aims to channel college graduates into public service careers; and Melissa Boteach, who made our 30 Under 30 Law & Policy list last year and runs the Half in Ten project at the Center for American Progress, which advocates for federal funding to cut the U.S. poverty rate in half.