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Shely Awarded Fulbright Grant to Colombia  Jared Shely '18 will use the grant to continue his work teaching English to students in Latin America.

Washington and Lee University senior Jared Shely has been awarded a Fulbright grant for an English teaching assistantship in Colombia.

In 2012, as a high school student, Shely spent time in Honduras, and it was that experience that inspired him to apply for the Fulbright grant and continue his work teaching English to students in Latin America.

“The Fulbright ETA award to Colombia will allow me to work alongside students, as I learn about Colombia and its culture while teaching them about my own,” said Shely. “By incorporating U.S. music and television in lessons, I hope to improve listening skills and expose students to U.S. culture.”

With a double major in Spanish and history, and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies, Shely has devoted his time at W&L to immersing himself in the Latin-American culture. In addition, Shely has also taught English as a second language to fifth graders.

“Jared has a demonstrated commitment to learning about Latin-American cultures and societies, and is very well poised to contribute meaningfully to cultural exchange during his time as a Fulbrighter in Colombia,” said Jonathan Eastwood, Laurent Boetsch Term Professor of Sociology and Fulbright Program adviser.

“Spanish language skills allowed me to travel abroad, engage in historical research using primary resources, teach English, and build relationships with lifelong friends in communities outside my own,” said Shely. “I recognize the value of speaking another language, and I want to assist Colombian students in English language acquisition so that they can share in those experiences.”

While abroad, Shely also plans to volunteer as a tutor and mentor to secondary school students as they prepare for their next steps in life.

“I want to assist [in any way I can] as those students prepare for the new opportunities that exist in a unified Colombia,” said Shely.

As his time at W&L nears completion, Shely said he is left with two passions: education and Spanish.

“I relish the opportunity to help students in Colombia gain access to the English language and all the opportunities it can offer,” said Shely. “I do not simply want to teach skills or facts. Through cross-cultural learning, I want to cultivate mutual understanding and linguistic skills that can open doors to new people, ideas and places.”