Janileyah Thompson of Newnan recently was named a finalist for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
Thompson, a 2017 graduate of Georgia College, will teach and serve as an American cultural ambassador in South Korea.
"The Fulbright Scholarship is one of the oldest as well as one of the most prestigious international exchange awards in the U.S.," said Anna Whiteside, national scholarships coordinator. "As a Fulbrighter, Janileyah will join the ranks of such distinguished figures that include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. In South Korea, Janileyah is going to be a great representative of the U.S., as well as Georgia College."
Thompson, who earned a degree in mass communication, said that while she doesn't yet know what city or school she'll work in, she's excited for the opportunity to work in a country she's both familiar with and appreciates.
"It's a very diverse country, so I want to experience as much of it as I can," said Thompson. "I've actually already lived in Seoul. I would be content to go back there or anywhere else. "
Thompson studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea, during summer 2017, an opportunity she said she’d worked toward since a high school project sparked her interest in the country.
"I've actually wanted to go to South Korea since I was in high school," said Thompson. "I had a teacher who taught in Taiwan for a while. She had us watch a drama and write a paper, and I chose a South Korean drama. I enjoyed that project so much I made the decision then that I was going to go there someday."
Thompson’s Fulbright period begins in July 2018 and runs through July 2019.
"I am extremely grateful to everyone who aided and supported me throughout this process," Thompson said. "I would not have had the confidence to even submit my application without Anna Whiteside, as well as the kind words and recommendations from the faculty of the communications department."
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) program places American college graduates as teachers in elementary and secondary schools across South Korea.
Thompson will spend about 22 hours a week in the classroom teaching, according to the program's website. ETA's may be assigned more than one school based on need.