The 100,000 Strong Foundation works to increase the diversity, as well as the number, of Americans studying in China. While we enthusiastically encourage students from all backgrounds to learn Mandarin and to study abroad, we believe we must make a particular effort to reach those from underrepresented and underserved communities, including: students of color, low-income students, first-generation-American students, disabled students, and students enrolled in community colleges and from K-12 public school systems.
The typical American study abroad student is female, Caucasian, enrolled in a four-year college or university, and from the upper socio-economic bracket. With a population that is approximately 40 percent non-white, and with 45 percent of our undergraduates – almost half our future workforce — enrolled in two-year community colleges, this paradigm must shift. The 100,000 Strong Foundation takes a leading role in ensuring that Americans from all backgrounds gain the skills needed to compete, collaborate, and succeed in a global economy led by the United States and China.
1. Signature Partners: Every year, the Foundation selects a handful of Signature Partners that share not only our vision of strengthening US-China relations through study abroad, but that also recognize the need to engage students who do not typically study abroad. Our Signature Partners leverage the highly respected 100K Strong brand to raise scholarship funds, expand their academic networks, and engage with stakeholders in both the United States and China. We are proud to partner with organizations such as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID), among many others.
2. Student Ambassadors: The Foundation selects approximately 100 Student Ambassadors each year to work at the grassroots level to promote study abroad and Mandarin language learning across the country. These passionate young Americans share their China stories and inspire students from a wide range of backgrounds to follow in their footsteps.
3. Fellows: The 100,000 Strong Fellows Program provides financial aid to students who could not study in China without it. Corporate supporters such as Caterpillar, the Coca-Cola Company, Deloitte, and Microsoft have created named fellowships under the 100,000 Strong brand to provide such opportunities for students from underserved and underrepresented communities.