Scholarships Awardees 2023

Alliance Française de Philadelphie awards two scholarships for francophone students and young professionals 

Philadelphia, PA,  May 2, 2023

The Alliance Française de Philadelphie’s Scholarship committee awarded two brilliant candidates to their 2023 scholarship program. The Alliance Française de Philadelphie scholarship committee has considered need, merit, and career plans while selecting the winner. 

The Pierre C. Fraley scholarship’s beneficiary is Madeline McDonald, who attended Princeton’s Aix en Provence Summer Program. Madeline completed her first year at Princeton in May with a double major in French Studies and visual arts/film with minors in Italian and journalism. She began studying French in high school, in addition to Spanish, which she had been immersed in since kindergarten. With language and story-telling aptitude, Madeline is ultimately thinking about a career in immersive cultural journalism and documentation as tools for creative non-fiction. She will be telling stories of the everyday world to broaden minds. With her host family and intensive language lessons, Madeline fully embraced her first opportunity to immerse in French culture and language, allowing her “the most powerful tool, the nuance – it’s essential, she says.” We are so pleased to have helped her gain this experience and build a foundation for her creative multilingual goals.

You can read Madeline's report here.

Ezra Campos-Pereira is the Marie Louise Vermeiren Jackson Scholarship recipient. He used the scholarship to attend Rutgers six week Summer in Paris term. As an undergraduate at Rutgers, Ezra is majoring in French and finance. In addition to his studies, Ezra writes for and publishes an extracurricular magazine in French. His early motivation for depth in the language came from his experience with modern French literature and poetry class, discovering the fundamental differences in language expression. He had never previously done a study-abroad program, and this opportunity has confirmed his desire for further French graduate studies and a career in teaching. “I love this language, and it enables me to enact a whole different set of expressions.” We are honored to help facilitate Ezra’s career adventure.

The Alliance Française de Philadelphie wishes to thank the families of Marie-Louise Vermeiren Jackson and Pierre C. Fraley for their generosity in establishing a scholarship program that will, in their names, encourage, enable, and promote the study of the French language and culture among deserving young people.

You can read Ezra's report here.

Mayra Santana, awardee of the 2022 Pierre C. Fraley Scholarship

Summer in Quebec

I arrived at Jean Lesage International Airport on July 4th, 2022, with the hopes of having a fulfilling academic experience. A nice customs officer looked over my papers and passport and asked me why I had decided to visit Quebec City. Upon realizing that I was there to learn French, she switched to the language and gifted me my first organic conversation in the French language. After, I made my way to the Université Laval where I spent the following 5 weeks immersing myself in the French language, Quebecois culture, and learning about all things related to French Canada. Academically, I was prepared to face the classes that I had been assigned to. We learned new grammar structures, such as le conditionnel and le futur proche, and instead of practicing them with a written assignment, we were encouraged to go to the dorm kitchens, out to the mall, or the parks and practice them with locals. The most challenging yet most wonderful aspect of my summer was the fact that there was very little reprieve from learning. It was as though French class was perpetual. I was prepared for my academic growth in the classroom, but I had very few expectations for what I ended up learning every time I went grocery shopping, ordered food, or visited a new place with my friends. Sometime during my third week in Quebec, after a long-winded conversation that involved me struggling to understand that baguettes were indeed chopsticks and exactly what I needed to eat my sushi, I realized that this immersion was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In the span of those five weeks, I learned how to properly order at a restaurant, ate my first poutine, and learned to talk about music, history, politics, and a variety of quotidian subjects that don’t often come up in French 202. However, it was when I came back to Philadelphia that I realized the true measure of my growth. Not only do I no longer struggle to understand my professor, but I also now participate more, write more, and find myself listening to Stromae, Choses Sauvages, and Dumas on my way to and from class. I sincerely thank the Philadelphia French Alliance and its donors for making this possible, and for encouraging students like myself to pursue the French language.