JUNE 2015
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From Somaliland to Harvard

ASSIST Scholars attend the world's most prestigious universities

The headline of a recent CNN Money article reads: “Abdisamad Adan could barely carry a conversation in English five years ago, but he’s just been accepted to study at Harvard University.” Abdisamad ’14 spent his ASSIST year at The Master’s School (NY), where he excelled in his studies, was beloved by the community – and even learned to line dance.

While his journey and accomplishments are remarkable, he is not alone among ASSIST alumni in receiving admittance to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States (and around the world) – institutions that prize international diversity in the classroom and within their communities. The success of ASSIST alumni in their university placement comes as no surprise to ASSIST President Bob Stanley: “American universities are seeking to be more global and to enroll students from underrepresented cultures – and in particular, students who can excel in a competitive environment. ASSIST alumni thrive in the classroom, but unlike many international students, they make notable contributions outside the classroom, too.”


To date, the following ASSIST Scholars are scheduled to begin their undergraduate studies in America this fall:

Abdisamad Aadan ’14, Somaliland, The Master’s School (NY) - Harvard University
Ana Borja ’14, Spain, Laurel School (OH) - Yale University
Lukas Gondek ’13, Czech Republic, The Key School (MD), - University of Chicago
Ray Guo ’14, China, Washington International School (DC) - Dartmouth College
Joanie Hofmeyr ’13, South Africa, The Episcopal Academy (PA) - The Juilliard School
Justas Janonis ’13, Lithuania, Solebury School (PA) - Harvard University
Trang Luu ’14, Vietnam, Fountain Valley School (CO) - University of Pennsylvania
Daniel Nguyen ’14, Vietnam, The Key School (MD) - Northeastern University
Nhu Nhuyen ’14, Vietnam, The Potomac School (MD) - Tufts University
Doron Shapir ’11, Israel, The Loomis Chaffee School (CT) - Brandeis University
Myla Swallow ’13, Australia, Episcopal High School (VA) - Duke University
Leslie Wang ’14, China, Trinity Preparatory School (FL) - University of Pennsylvania
Esin Yunusoglu ’13, Turkey, Miss Porter’s School (CT) - Princeton University
Gege Zhang ’14. China, The Waterford School (UT) - Carleton College
Leandra Zimmerman ’13, Germany, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School (GA) - MIT

Since the mid-1970s, more than 400 ASSIST Scholars have earned degrees at American colleges and universities. The following list represents those institutions that have enrolled four or more ASSIST Scholars to undergraduate and graduate programs.

Myla Swallow ‘13, Australia, Episcopal High School (VA)

Inventor, Founder of Pure Start Clear Water Initiative, Australian Woman of the Future Awardee, ASSIST Scholar

Myla continues her trajectory of excellence. She was accepted to Duke University (NC), Class of 2019, as a Robertson Scholar. Robertson Scholarships are invested in young leaders who strive to make transformational contributions to society. Their Scholars and ours at ASSIST are “selected based on a student’s demonstration of outstanding academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, force of moral character, purposeful leadership and collaborative spirit.”

Meet Ashley Gosnell
ASSIST's New Director of Development

Fundraiser, Educator, Independent School Graduate, World Citizen

Ashley Gosnell was introduced to ASSIST during her years at St. Andrew’s School (DE), where she had the opportunity “to see, firsthand, the contribution ASSIST Scholars made to the life of the school.” When the ASSIST position came to her attention, Ashley said she “knew instinctively what the organization did and how it benefited both students and school … I did not have to be convinced of ASSIST’s value!”  On July 6, Ashley assumes the mantel of ASSIST’s Director of Development.
Ashley received her BA from Vanderbilt University (TN) and an MA from Stanford University in International Comparative Education. Her work experience includes being a teacher (a year in China teaching Oral English Language), an admissions officer with a scholarship program for underprivileged students (Student/Partner Alliance, NJ), and most notably a successful fundraiser (Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts in D.C.; Asia Society of Northern California; Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey).

For the past three years, Ashley served as Director of Secondary Placement at Due West Education in Beijing, where she created a new secondary school placement business for the organization. She returned to the US in April with a growing fluency in Mandarin and with a record of accomplishment in her career. And what drew her to ASSIST?  Ashley’s replied:  “ASSIST shares my values. I know on a personal and professional level how important it is to step inside another culture and to learn and grow as a result. It is a privilege to be part of an organization that offers that opportunity to deserving students.”

Comments President Bob Stanley, “For ASSIST to flourish, and to keep our opportunities available to every student, regardless of income, we have to become a world-class fundraising organization. We are delighted to welcome Ashley aboard to lead our efforts. She has the experience and track record we sought, and her international experiences and outlook make her a perfect fit for ASSIST.”

Building Bridges Across Cultures

Washington, DC Chapter of ASSIST Hosts Event at the German Embassy


The emphasis on building bridges was the centerpiece of Karlfried Bergner’s welcome at this year’s DC area spring event, hosted by the German Embassy in April. Herr Bergner, Head of Communications and Culture at the German Embassy, was acknowledged with nods around the room, an affirmation that his words struck a chord with his audience. ASSIST Scholars, host families, member schools and friends are indeed international bridge builders.

Cecilie Rohwedder Horvath (Germany, Orme School ’85), a foreign correspondent with the Wall Street Journal for 20 years, is one such bridge builder. Her skill as a reporter is evident, her message compelling. In closing comments, Cecilie said, “Now, more than ever, the world needs bridge builders, and ASSIST gives its Scholars some of the tools and opportunities they need to do just that.” Her belief in the power of the ASSIST experience came through with great conviction!


ASSIST Member School Anniversaries*

Longstanding Believers & Supporters

45 years
   St. Paul's School (NH)
35 years
   Indian Springs School (AL)
   Woodberry Forest School (VA)
30 years
   Salisbury School (CT)
20 years
   The Hockaday School (TX)
   Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School (GA)
   St. Mark's School of Texas (TX)
15 years
   Culver Academies (IN)
   Gould Academy (ME)
   Lawrenceville School (NJ)
   Porter-Gaud School (SC)
   Chatham Hall (VA)
10 years
   Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)

  *as of the 2014/15 academic year

New & Returning Member Schools - 2015/16

Welcome Aboard!

  • The Bryn Mawr School (MD)
  • Colorado Springs School (CO)
  • The Gunnery (CT)
  • Lawrence Academy (MA)
  • The Loomis Chaffee School (CT)
  • Morristown-Beard School (NJ)
  • Ransom Everglades School (FL)
  • Savannah Country Day School (GA)
  • Shady Side Academy (PA)

ASSIST Goes to the Worlds!

U19 Women's 2015 Lacrosse World Championship

If it weren’t for ASSIST and the alumni network, Stella Gnädig ’14 (The Waterford School), Nina Limburg ’13 (St. Paul’s School), Philine Partsch ’12 (Wyoming Seminary), all pictured above, and Katharina Quante ’14 (Perkiomen School) might not have found one another and might not be traveling, lacrosse sticks in hand, to the Under 19 Women’s World Lacrosse Championship. Held this July in Scotland, our alumnae will be members of the German National team.

Also this summer, Spanish alumnae Elisabet Villalobos ’14 (The Madeira School) and Alejandra Finotto ’14 (Menlo School) will be representing their country in the ELF Women’s Lacrosse European Championship in the Czech Republic.

The five young women took up lacrosse during their ASSIST years, and as many alumni before them, they have extended their careers by competing on the national and international levels. We are hoping for two tournament champions to be crowned this summer!

Darlington School

Preparing Students for Life; 25-Year Member of ASSIST

"The Darlington Community has benefited tremendously from the presence of all of the ASSIST students who have attended here over the years.  We truly value our partnership with ASSIST, and appreciate greatly their desire to help us find students who fully embrace our mission."

-Brent Bell, Head of School


Is It Too Late?

Inquiring Friends of ASSIST want to know

The answer: It is NOT too late to have your name included on the list of donors to the 2014/15 ASSIST Annual Fund. Donations received by June 30, 2015 may be counted in this year's campaign - helping ASSIST to thrive.

The Annual Fund provides us the operating revenue to offer this life-changing experience to more students every year. Please consider being a donor this year.

August 18 - 22

ASSIST Orientation


Our worldwide goal for 2014/15 is US $200,000

The Annual Fund deadline is June 30, 2015

Make a gift


* 171 Scholars
* 20 countries

* 88 Member Schools
* 46th year of service
* Highest retention
   rate in industry 

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