Release date: 20 December 2011
BP today announced the creation of a $4.5 million high school scholarship program aimed at providing financially challenged students with the opportunity to study abroad and gain intercultural skills needed to succeed in a global economy. The program, BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow, was developed with AFS Intercultural Programs, the non-profit cultural exchange organization.
“As an international company we value the diversity of talent and seek employees with experiences in other cultures,” said Helmut Schuster, BP Group’s global human resources director. “Our goal is to make intercultural education available to students who might not otherwise be able to afford the valuable career preparation that overseas study provides.”
Beginning in 2012, the BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow program will award full scholarships to approximately 250 financially challenged high school students who have strong academic records and a desire to study abroad. Students with demonstrated strengths in academics, but particularly math, science, technology and other fields important to the energy industry will be a focus of the program. The goal of the program is to increase intercultural awareness and in some cases, second-language skills.
AFS staff and volunteers and BP employees in each country will welcome and work with the young scholars who are selected to participate in this innovative global leadership development and education program.
In this first year of the planned five-year strategic collaboration, the BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow program, expects to sponsor the exchange of approximately 45 high school seniors between the U.S. and Brazil, China, Malaysia, South Africa and India – countries with rapidly expanding economies and BP operations. Full scholarships will be provided for a 10-month academic year of study in most countries.
AFS provides intercultural learning experiences that bring global cultures together by helping people connect, transforming the lives of thousands of students, families, and individuals every year. With AFS organizations in more than 50 countries and a global network of approximately 45,000 volunteers and staff, AFS is committed to helping participants develop the intercultural skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a global marketplace through immersion experiences in foreign cultures.
BP is one of the world's largest energy companies. In the US, BP has approximately $52 billion in assets and employs some 23,000 staff. The company's main businesses are exploration and production of oil and gas; refining, manufacturing and marketing of oil products and petrochemicals; transportation and marketing of natural gas. BP also has a growing renewables business, BP Alternative Energy, focused on proven technologies like wind and emerging forms of renewable energy like advanced biofuels