2019 MNTS Scholarship
During July 2019 MN Tamil School awarded the College Scholarship for 4 of its students who earned the Bilingual Seal for Tamil. These students were already in college as undergrads OR starting college last month.
The college scholarship for learning Tamil is first of its kind in the whole of US. MN Tamil School and Tamil Sangam has started a “MNTS Scholarship Endowment” with Fidelity during Dec 2018. MN Tamil Sangam and School contributed to the scholarship from its meager fund reserves. 2 Individual donors from Sangam & School contributed $25,000 & $10,000. Then 100’s of donors from Minnesota as Sangam Members and School Parents contributed to this further which helped to raise $48,000 + by end of 2018.
These funds were deposited into an endowment managed by Sangam/School as performing funds which return around 5% per annum. The idea was not to use more than 5% of the total balance per year. Annual and year round contribution by individual donors, Sangam and School to keep increasing the funds as much as possible. Other revenue sources like selling “Tamil Timeline History” books is also goes towards the MNTS Scholarship Endowment.
MN Tamil School has 400 students during this academic year 2019-20. During the last 4 years, totally 12 students earned the Bilingual Seal for Tamil at MN Tamil School from 7 different school districts.
Apr 2016 – 2 students (first students in whole of US who earned this distinction)
Apr 2017 – 2 more students
Apr 2018 – 3 more students
Apr 2019 – 5 more students
Apr 2020 – 8 more students will be appearing for the assessment.
Out of the 12 who earned the Bilingual seal so far 4 of them were awarded scholarship during July 2019.
GOLD level students earn $1000 total scholarship span over 4 or less years of their undergrad.
PLATINUM level students earn $1200 total scholarship span over 4 or less years of their undergrad.
Salient features of MNTS Scholarship:
- Each and every student who earn the Bilingual seal (either GOLD or PLATINUM) will get the scholarship. It is so far 12 student and another 8 students during Apr 2020. Eventually we expect our entire student population to attain the seal of bi-literacy during their 10’th or 11’th at high school.
- Students earn their Bilingual Seal during their 10’th or 11’th grade in High School, it provides 2 years in advance to determine the total funds required for MN Scholarship Endowment. By knowing the total fund required in advance Sangam/School is confident to raise the required fund, with the goal to use only 5% of the total funds every year, irrespective of the total number of students getting scholarship.
- Each student make a soft pledge to come back to community to teach the language after they graduate and settle in their primary jobs. This is not limited to Minnesota, if the student work and move out of MN, we still request them to continue their involvement to teach Tamil to our their next generation wherever they live.
- The students motivation to attain GOLD or PLATINUM seal will earn them High school credits 3 or 4 semester equivalent, the maximum credits possible ONLY via Bilingual Seal. It also helps them to use Bilingual Seal credits within 3 years as “World Language Credits” during their undergrad at college.
MN Tamil Sangam and School ratified a bylaw exclusively for MNTS Scholarship
Please support this cause with any possible amount http://mntamilsangam.org/mnts-scholarship/ scroll down for the donation link.
Unlike the University Language Chair which require millions of dollars which definitely help the Tamil research in US, whereas the above model motivate our next generation to fully learn the Tamil language during their K12. This will lay a strong foundation for our next generation to become language educators at 100’s of non-profit Tamil language schools across US, remember unlike Singapore Tamil Teacher cannot immigrate to US and only the Tamil people living in US need to take this language to their next generation.
By attaining Bilingual Seal level language proficiency during K12 will help them pursue high level language studies during their undergrad and beyond. Please note that all the university level Tamil language programs were teaching Basic, Intermediate levels which is equal to Bilingual Seal level of Proficiency only.
For example, MN state Bilingual seal GOLD level is awarded for ACTFL Intermediate High and PLATINUM for ACTFL Advanced Low. This is pretty much the same level a student attain at Universities in 2 to 4 semesters as an adult.
This is an advocacy all the Tamil enthusiast and educators all over US should pursue to sustain the Tamil learning during K12 by each one of the heritage Tamil student in US.