Santana Williams and Kendall Whaley will head to Scotland soon to experience a unique learning opportunity at the Gordonstoun International Summer School, compliments of a nonprofit named the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Scholarship Trust (AAACST). 

Kendall, 16, is a well-spoken scholar who knows that the rare opportunity will help her to create a successful future that she is motivated to build. 

Photo courtesy of Kendall Whaley

“I’m a little nervous just because it’s a new experience, but overall, I just feel very fortunate and very appreciative of the opportunity that’s being given to me. I feel like, when I get to travel abroad and meet new people and get to experience new things, I’ll really have the opportunity to better myself as a person and bring that back to my community as I grow and get to do more things. I’m really looking forward to broadening my perspective on life and getting to see new things aside from what I know,” Kendall said.

Kendall, who said that her current career interests lie in the law and diplomacy fields, is a student of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Frederick Douglass High School in Prince George’s County. Santana, 16, attends the same school and program.

Dr. Letty Maxwell, the International Baccalaureate coordinator for Frederick Douglass High School, oversees ninth and 10th graders in the Middle Years Programme. She explained that AAACST has partnered with the school since 2018. Reginald Broddie is the nonprofit’s co-founder and CEO.

(L-R) Sean Roberts; Reginald Broddie, co-founder and CEO of the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Scholarship Trust (AAACST); and Annapolis Alderman DeJaun Gay. Roberts and Gay are AAACST mentees who helped Broddie welcome students from the United Kingdom.
Courtesy photo

“The Trust has a partnership with Frederick Douglass High School, particularly the International Baccalaureate program with the auspices of having international studies. Two students, every year have been selected to attend the Gordonstoun International Summer School as part of their international studies. That’s a three-week, all-expense paid scholarship that the students receive,” Maxwell said.

AAACST supports youth like Kendall and Santana to travel abroad to a private, prestigious boarding school. Maxwell added that participating students return from the trip with a global perspective and an appreciation for other cultures and other languages.

“We definitely want to ensure that the scholars that are selected are open to embracing and understanding others, as well as sharing who they are and their cultural experiences,” Maxwell said.

Santana, who is passionate about community service and leadership, welcomes a chance to discover what awaits him in Scotland. The trip will be the first one away from home without his parents.

“I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be an amazing experience, being able to be around all these different cultures and just being able to experience a different part of the world that I’ve never been to,” he said.

Broddie mentioned that AAACST was founded in 2000 with Crispin Etherington. Their objective was to find young people who break the cycle of families who would be the first individuals to attend college. Over 320 youth have been served through the nonprofit over the years. College scholarships, a college readiness initiative, a mentoring support initiative and a youth development program that reaches young people from six to 18 are offered.  

“We also have a global initiative where we’ve been sending kids to Scotland to the Gordonstoun International School for 20 years,” Broddie said.

Money is raised to send them along with help from a foundation. Broddie said that children who attend the summer school hail from all over the world. He added that students will experience enrichment courses in subjects such as foreign languages and playwriting. Outdoor adventures are included. Broddie explained that previous participants have returned realizing that the world is much larger than the city of Annapolis or Prince George’s County.

“Ultimately, what they have said to me consistently for 20 years is ‘I can live anywhere in this world and be okay,’” Broddie said.

AAACST is also sending college students to Cambodia. They will provide instruction to poor children living there this summer.

Additionally, the busy nonprofit established a presence in Annapolis Gardens, which is a low-income community in Annapolis. An eclectic summer youth camp that fuses fun with learning is underway but programs will roll into the fall. 

AAACST is in the process of developing a teen center at Annapolis Gardens. The environment will be developed around the teens’ ideas. AAACST is receiving input from youth who reside there. Broddie thanked the City of Annapolis for accepting the nonprofit’s willingness to embrace the challenge.

“It’s going to be a fantastic space for the teens in Annapolis Gardens,” Broddie said.

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