Making A Difference: The Allison Feldman Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Paying tribute to the most transformative experience of Allison’s life by providing Study Abroad opportunities for University of Arizona students.
Allison Feldman had a successful career in medical sales, had just bought her first home and had a loving network of family and friends. But on February 18, 2015, the University of Arizona graduate, 31, was found murdered in her Scottsdale home. In 2018, the Allison Feldman Memorial Endowed Scholarship for study abroad was established by her parents to keep Allison's legacy alive. Shortly after the launch of the scholarship, police arrested the suspected perpetrator. Today, as a tribute to the most transformative experience of Allison’s life,the Allison Feldman Memorial Endowed Scholarship continues her legacy by providing opportunities for students to participate in University of Arizona Study Abroad programs.
As her friends and family attest, Allison's study abroad journey to Spain in 2004 made a big impact. She came back a fluent Spanish speaker, more independent, and as her father, Harley Feldman put it, “she was no longer a young lady, but a confident woman.”
This month, as we mark five years without Allison, we invite you to join us in making a gift to grow the scholarship fund.
Since the day the scholarship was established, Allison’s friends have been turning their loss into something positive through their support. You can help make a difference, too.
Meet Carolina Polk, the 2020 Allison Feldman Memorial Endowed Scholarship Recipient!
Carolina Polk is a junior from Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. She is a junior studying Marketing with a minor in Global Business at the Eller College of Management. She is spending the Spring 2020 semester in Rome, Italy thanks to the Allison Feldman Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Polk had been saving money from two part time jobs to be able to pursue her dream to study abroad and is so grateful for this scholarship support that will help her on her journey.
The first scholarship award recipient was University of Arizona student Taylor Lepird. In the Spring of 2019, Lepird participated in the IDEAS Guatemala program. Like Allison, she went with hopes to become conversational in a new language, earn a minor in Spanish and gain intercultural competence. She is studying English and Global Studies at the University of Arizona, and hopes to pursue a career in human rights.
“I knew about Allison’s story before I learned that I received the scholarship, so I was very emotional when I found out,” said Lepird. “Obviously, the money was amazing – but it meant so much more than that. It was about honoring Allison. The fact that so many people donated to this fund shows the power of travel and the transformative experience it offers.”
Keeping Allison's Memory Alive
Allison was a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Spanish when she studied in Alcalá de Henares, Spain in the spring semester of 2004. Monica Brown and Rob Stirling also participated in the program and are now leading the fundraising effort with help from Allison's parents, Harley and Elayne Feldman, and the University of Arizona Foundation. “We were so close as a study abroad group,” said Brown. "Ali was so bubbly and funny. She had that ability to make you feel welcome.” Stirling added, “like Ali, my family encouraged me to study abroad. I was nervous about being on my own, but it ended up being one of the best times of my life. Ali’s father describes it as the same for her.”
Click here to learn more and to make a donation.
“We are such big believers in the study abroad experience, and we truly wish all kids had the opportunity to do it,” said Harley. “Allison always put everyone first, so we want to share that spirit with others.”
Study Abroad: Study Abroad inspires students to make learning their own adventure. Through immersive academic programs, students work, research and study abroad to gain intercultural awareness. Global Study Abroad offers more than a hundred programs that span one week to one year across nearly 60 countries. With each experience, students learn to identify global problems, make connections with their career goals, and act as global citizens. For more information, please visit https://international.arizona.edu/study-abroad/.
Help make a Study Abroad experience possible for a student. Learn more at the University of Arizona Foundation Crowdfund website.