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DCCC Wins Grant in Support of Student Study Abroad Opportunity in Argentina

October 27, 2017 – The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the latest 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant winners sponsored by MetLife Foundation. Grant recipients receive $25,000 and contribute additional resources to leverage and implement sustainable short-term study abroad programs in the Western Hemisphere.

Davidson County Community College (DCCC), through a partnership with Universidad Nacional de Villa María in Argentina, will create a Gilman scholarship-eligible, study abroad program that will enable Pell grant recipients to take a Humanities course abroad and provide them with a framework for examining and analyzing the history, geography, and distinctive cultural aspects of Argentina, along with basic Spanish language instruction. With the Innovation Fund grant, DCCC will be able to continue its commitment to and support of economically disadvantaged and underserved students in North Carolina to study abroad, and will open the course to other institutional partners, Guilford Technical Community College and Forsyth Technical Community College.

With MetLife Foundation’s support, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant competition will facilitate eight new higher education partnerships between the United States, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. These grants will provide new exchange and training opportunities, with an emphasis on students who traditionally lack access to or are underrepresented in international exchange programs.

“MetLife Foundation values the opportunities that study abroad programs can offer in helping students develop skills and experience that put them on the path to success, “ said Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “We are proud to strengthen the partnership between higher education institutions across the Americas and to enhance the development of the students these institutions are preparing for leadership in the workforce and communities.” 

100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grants fuel strategic partnerships among higher education institutions in the Western Hemisphere.  The 19 new institutions announced will provide groundbreaking exchange programs that will allow students to work in teams, gain technical skills, and become more competent for the global workforce. 

The Innovation Fund provides grants to higher education institutions, which strengthen institutional capacity for exchange programs, increase student mobility, provide more student training opportunities, and enhance regional education cooperation and collaboration throughout the Americas.  Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 134 grants to teams of 263 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere. More than 1,700 higher education institutions form the Innovation Fund’s network, including 1,000 U.S. universities and community colleges. 100,000 Strong in the Americas — the leading higher education initiative in the Western Hemisphere — aims to increase the annual number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000, and bring 100,000 students to the United States by 2020.


Director of International Education at DCCC, Suzanne LaVenture (far right), accepting the Innovation Fund Grant, with other grant recipients.


The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, corporations, foundations, regional governments, and Embassies working together to inspire U.S. universities and colleges to team up with universities and technical education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to create new student exchange and training programs.  Innovation Fund grants build institutional capacity, increase student mobility, stimulate regional education cooperation, and contribute to workforce development.  Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 134 grants to teams of 263 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere region.  Innovation Fund grants facilitate partnerships between universities and community colleges in the United States and  higher education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to increase student exchange and training opportunities and to strengthen connectivity and collaboration between higher education networks throughout the Americas.  For more information visit www.100KStrongAmericas.org or follow us via Twitter at #100KStrongAmericas. 

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964, under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC.  Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica

With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest non-profit professional association dedicated to international education program and policy.  Learn more: www.nafsa.org and www.connectingourworld.org or via Twitter @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld. 

MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2016, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $744 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. In 2013, the Foundation committed $200 million to financial inclusion, and our work to date has reached more than 3.5 million low-income individuals in 39 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org 


Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is a fully credited, multi-campus college where students of all ages and backgrounds pursue academic and career-focused education in order to build successful futures. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers more than 40 degree and professional certificate programs to students in Davidson and Davie counties, as well as affordable college-credit coursework to students who plan to transfer to 4-year universities. With a mission to serve the changing needs of students competing in a global environment, DCCC is committed to quality education, innovative and equitable learning experiences, training, and support across a wide range of 21st-century career fields. Visit Davidson County Community College at DavidsonCCC.edu.