Sophomore wins inaugural ‘Global Gateways’ National Scholarship to study in Mexico

Chloe Banks

Chloe Banks

Staff Report, The Hornet Tribune

An Alabama State University sophomore is one of three students selected nationwide for a non-profit “Global Gateways Study Abroad Scholarship,” targeted for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The inaugural scholarship is allowing ASU’s Chloe Banks, an Alabama State Computer Science sophomore, to study abroad at ITESO University in Guadalajara, Mexico, from May 19 – June 17. The scholarship is sponsored by Global Gateways, a Jackson, Miss. based non-profit that launched the inaugural summer study abroad scholarship, which provides financial and cultural support to students who wish to immerse themselves in new cultures, broaden their educational experiences, and develop a global perspective, explains Shameka Reed, executive director of the organization.

“Global Gateways is proud to have selected ASU’s Ms. Banks as one of its first students to receive its scholarship to study in Mexico,” Reed said. “We received a large number of applications from talented and ambitious students from many HBCUs from across the country and after a thorough review process, Global Gateways awarded scholarships to three deserving students who demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, a genuine interest in global education and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities.”

Besides Alabama State’s Ms. Banks, Global Gateways selected Breyunha Smith, a junior at Dillard University, majoring in Psychology, and Jayla Jones, a sophomore at Jackson State University, studying Political Science.


The University’s winner is a native of Atlanta, Ga, who attended Westlake High School. Before leaving for Mexico, Banks shared that winning the scholarship is among the most exciting things to have happened to her.

“Winning this scholarship is just absolutely more amazing to me now than when I first learned of my selection,” Banks exclaimed. “I have also got to give some credit to ASU for helping me win this great opportunity. I would have never even heard of the scholarship if it had not been for staff members in ASU’s College of Business Administration, especially Dr. Candice Stinchcomb, who regularly sends out scholarship, internship and employment opportunities to all COBA students at ASU,” Banks gushed.


Global’s scholarship covers almost everything a student would need, including passport fees, tuition, housing, and meal plans while studying abroad. Prior to departure, Global Gateways provides each student with mentorship and assistance with understanding and navigating new spaces such as their dorm rooms in Mexico, and offering conversational Spanish classes.

“We are thrilled to support these outstanding students in their pursuit of international education. Study abroad experiences have the power to transform lives, broaden horizons, and promote mutual understanding and respect among cultures,” Reed stated. “We believe that ASU’s student will return from her study abroad program as a more informed, empathetic, and a more globally engaged individual, who will make meaningful contributions to her community and to the world.”

Reed also shared that the organization specifically focuses on providing scholarships and study abroad programs to students attending HBCUs.

“I know our HBCU students want to study abroad, but some can’t afford the astronomical price that is often associated with being educated in a foreign nation. Of the 165,000 college students that study abroad each year, only five to six percent are Black. The number-one barrier is money. In as much as we can, we want to help alleviate some of that pain by creating affordable programs and providing scholarships. I have seen firsthand how impactful and life changing global experiences are for our students. I’ve had students share that they got jobs and into graduate schools of their choice because of their global experiences. This scholarship is about leveling the playing field and creating more opportunities for students at HBCUs.”


Its mission is to expand access to study abroad programs for African – American students by providing resources, support, and funding to overcome systemic barriers that limit participation in international education. It aims to promote cultural exchange, personal growth, and academic achievement through immersive study abroad experiences that foster intercultural understanding and global citizenship. Its goal is to empower Black students to become leaders in their communities and the world by enhancing their knowledge, skills, and perspectives through international education.