A network of microphilanthropy that supports Middlebury students.

We have surpassed our initial goal of $10,000! Thanks to everyone who has helped us so far. We have raised our goal by an additional $5,000 and we hope you will join us in supporting incredible international students like Marjeela and Tawanda, profiled below, by making your gift today. Their presence at Middlebury enriches the entire community!

Talk about it »

Dollars Raised: 297%

Funding Details

Deadline: Jun 30, 2012
Total needed: $15,000


Current MiddSTART International Scholars

Marjeela Basij-Rasikh ’15
Home Country: Afghanistan
First-Year Seminar: Jane Austen and Film
Career Goal: Medicine or other field where she can take critical skills home
Middlebury siblings: Shabana Basij-Rasikh ’11 and Freshta Basij-Rasikh '14


Tawanda Chipwanya ’14
Home Country: Zimbabwe
Major: Computer science
Favorite Professor: Daniel Scharstein
Favorite Music: Reggae and gospel


Project Sponsors

Humberto Garcia-Sjogrim ’96
Lucienne Ide ’97
Adil Husain ’01
Roohi Iqbal, LS


Middlebury has a long history of international education and a commitment to bring students from around the world to study in Vermont. During the academic year, the campus is home to more than 300 international students and faculty members from more than 70 countries. They make Middlebury a more diverse and interesting community and enrich the educational experience for all students.

Unfortunately, tuition and travel costs put a Middlebury education out of reach for many international students. That’s why we hope international alumni will join together to sponsor international scholarships.

2011 MiddSTART Scholars

Marjeela Basij-Rasikh

First-year student Marjeela Basij-Rasikh grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was 4 when the Taliban made education for girls illegal. Her parents risked their lives to ensure their daughters received an education.

“My parents have made a lot of sacrifices to send us this far,” Marjeela says. “My father always told us, ‘I invest not in buildings because they can be ruined, but in my children, because you are my future. People can steal material goods, but not your education.”

Marjeela is interested in studying sciences at Middlebury and hopes to become a doctor. “Developing countries need good health care,” she says. “As a student who has the opportunity to study abroad, I want to think ahead about how I can use my education and skill to serve my country.”

Tawanda Chipwanya

Tawanda Chipwanya is a second-year student from Zimbabwe. He grew up in a rural community where farmers use ox-drawn plows. Tawanda excelled in math and sciences in school and says from an early age he was fascinated by computers, although he had few opportunities to use them. He’s interested in computer architecture—how computers work and how they are built—and plans to major in computer science. Tawanda says his job at the College’s Help Desk gives him insight into how people use computers and he loves solving problems.

Tawanda lost his parents several years ago and has only infrequent contact with his five older brothers, since they have no electricity at home and cannot call or email him. He has built a community at Middlebury, where he belongs to Umoja, plays intramural sports, and attends the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Leave a Reply


This project is included in these themes:

Success Stories

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.