From the Gold Dome to Big Ben
Presidential Scholarship Opens Doors for Sam Hanks
Driven by his interest in public policy, rising senior Sam Hanks was originally attracted to Georgia State because of its proximity to Georgia's state capitol. Since arriving on campus in the fall of 2013, his horizons have not stopped expanding.
This past spring, Sam did an internship in the office of Georgia Rep. Jan Jones, speaker pro tem of the General Assembly, but he's also spent a semester studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, official seat of the European Parliament. This summer, he's back on the other side of the pond as an intern in the British Parliament in London.
"Never in my most ambitious dreams would I have thought myself capable of achieving the things I've done at Georgia State," Sam says. "So many doors have been opened to me, and my experience has been driven by the Presidential Scholarship."
The top award an incoming Georgia State freshman can receive, the Presidential Scholarship covers tuition and fees to the Honors College for all four years and provides additional stipends for living expenses and study-abroad opportunities. With finances taken care of, Sam says he was able to devote more attention to jobs and extracurricular activities tailored specifically to his career dreams.
"For example, I joined the policy debate team here at GSU, which another Presidential Scholar actually introduced me to," he says. Through that experience, he's been able to "travel all over the country honing my research and speaking skills."
Those will come in handy in either of the career paths Sam has an eye on: Next year, he says, he wants to take both the LSAT and the Foreign Service exam, and he'll decide from there.
"I would not have had a tenth of the opportunities I've had without the Presidential Scholarship," he says. "The scholarship allows students who otherwise might not be at Georgia State at all to succeed in incredible ways."
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