Opening Global Opportunities for Future Students
At the age of 27, Brett Travis ’16 has traveled to over 15 different countries. He studied Portuguese in Brazil, volunteered in Ecuador and studied environmental planning in Togo – all with assistance from the University of Idaho.
“My study abroad trips made me realize how much we all need each other,” Travis said. “A little bit of help can make you feel a whole lot of good.”
Now Travis is preparing for a two-year assignment in Paraguay as an agricultural science promoter with the Peace Corps, and he wants to provide other U of I students with the same experiences he had. To ensure future students have the opportunity to travel, Travis established a $25,000 scholarship endowment, while still paying off his student loans.
As an employee of Hancock Forest Management, Travis decided now would be the best time to establish an endowment because the company would match his gift.
“I encourage everyone who works for a bigger corporation to donate to something,” he said. “You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity for your employer to match your gift.”
Travis named the endowment the Kelli Schrand Helping Hand Scholarship Endowment after the program advisor for the University of Idaho International Studies program, part of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.
“Kelli was my advisor, but she was also my ‘Moscow Mom,’” he said. “She made it her job to take care of the international studies students in every way.”
Travis thought the perfect way to honor Schrand’s commitment to U of I and its students would be to establish a scholarship in her name. She inspired Travis to dedicate himself to U of I as a student, and now as a working professional.
“I just want to give back as much as I can,” he said. “I don’t want to waste any opportunity given to me, and I want to encourage others to do the same.”
"My study abroad trips made me realize how much we all need each other. A little bit of help can make you feel a whole lot of good." Brett Travis ‘16
Travis has required future scholarship recipients to travel to a developing country, thus encouraging the students to see firsthand the lives of others around the world. Travis said his outlook changed after attending study abroad trips hosted by U of I, and believes other students should have the same opportunities.
“U of I formed who I am,” Travis said. “My schooling and travels prepared me in every way possible: emotionally, physically and mentally.”
After Travis completes his master’s degree, he sees himself teaching at a university. He may even come home to Moscow and be a professor for U of I. But first, he has some traveling to do.
Article by Rosemary Anderson, Donor Relations and Stewardship
Published November 2018