Biberaj Foundation announces $1.1 mill scholarship for 40 students

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 20, 2020 18:49

Biberaj Foundation announces $1.1 mill scholarship for 40 students

TIRANA, July 20 - The Biberaj Foundation Inc. has announced a new academic scholarship, in the amount of $1,160,000, for 40 students to study to obtain a Bachelor's degree at Rochester Institute of Technology in Kosovo/American University in Kosovo Foundation ("RIT Kosovo (A.U.K)").

The competitive Biberaj Family Scholarship provides for a total of 40 scholarship awards, granted over four years, to students with strong academic records and demonstrating financial need. Thirty-six of the scholarship awards will be granted to students of Albanian descent from Tropoja, Plava, Gucia, Presheva, Tetova, Shkup, and rural parts of Kosova, and four to students from minority groups in Kosova. It is the goal of the Biberaj Family Scholarship to grant a minimum of fifty percent and up to seventy-five percent of the scholarships to women.  Preference in receiving a scholarship will be given to students interested in Science, Engineering, Technology, Math and Journalism concentrations. 

Ken Biberaj, a spokesman for the Biberaj Foundation stated that, "The Biberaj Foundation is proud to support this innovative and exciting program. Like countless other families that emigrated to the United States, our family is very appreciative of the opportunities that America has given us and the success we have achieved.  This scholarship aims to provide a truly global experience for these young people, with a strong emphasis on women and those prioritizing course work in science, engineering, technology, math and journalism."

RIT Kosovo (A.U.K.) will administer the scholarship and be responsible for recruiting the students. The College will provide Room and Board.

The RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) President, Dr. Kamal Shahrabi, upon establishment of the Biberaj Family Scholarship thanked the Biberaj Foundation by stating: "I am very happy and appreciative that the Biberaj Foundation has selected RIT Kosovo (A.U.K) to be the institution of their choice to provide the education to the recipients of the Biberaj Family Scholarship. The generosity of the Biberaj Foundation will enable 40 youngsters of Kosovo and the region to receive an exceptional American education near home with the opportunity to get U.S. experience as well. The Biberaj Foundation generosity is a clear indication that the Biberaj family counts on our graduates for a better future in Kosovo and the region. Thank you for placing your trust and support in RIT Kosovo (A.U.K.) to turn the passion of the recipients of the Biberaj Family Scholarship into a career."

As requirements of the Biberaj Family Scholarship, each student will spend one month each summer between each academic year, working to support community service in their home region, and each student will be required to complete a Capstone project by the end of their fourth year. Additionally, each student will spend one academic semester studying in the U.S. under RIT Kosovo (A.U.K.) Global Scholar Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology's New York campus. To maintain his or her scholarship, each student will need to maintain a superior grade point average.

The Biberaj Foundation was established on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Biberaj family's arrival in the United States in 1968.

After fleeing repression in communist Albania, and arriving in the U.S., their story is a testament to the American Dream. Through their individual and collective hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, the Biberaj family established their own businesses and pursued careers ranging from education, technology, law, public service, finance, retail, real estate, philanthropy, and the arts.

As such, they know have a strong belief in supporting their communities and making sure the opportunities that higher education has afforded them continue to help others.

Elez Biberaj, one of the initiators of the current co-sponsoring program and founders of the Biberaj Foundation,  is a prominent Albanian-American political scholar and thinker, who has also been essential in explaining post-communist Albania and has authored three very important books on the topic.

Biberaj's book, 'Albania in Transition: the Rocky Road to Democracy', first published in 1998, to be republished by the Albanian Institute for International Studies in 2010, is an all-inclusive political account of post-communist transition.

The book has served not only to clarify the Albanian transition, but also to foster international awareness of a small place like Albania, as well as the entire region contributing to a sparking of Western interest for peace and stability in the Balkans.

His other works, also published by AIIS, include 'Albania and China: a Study of An Unequal Alliance' and 'Albania: a Socialist Maverick.'

Biberaj was recently appointed acting director of the Voice of America after heading heading the Eurasian Division since 2006. In this capacity, he has overseen VOA broadcasts to Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and the Balkans. Previously, he served as chief of the Voice of America's Albanian service.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 20, 2020 18:49