Kelsey Lechner selected as 2022-23 Rotary Scholar
Rotary’s Southern Indiana District has selected Kelsey Lechner of
Columbus, Indiana, as the organization’s 2022-23 Global Grant Scholar.
Kelsey, who received her bachelor’s degree in East Asian Languages and
Cultures and International Studies from Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar
School of Global and International Studies in 2015, will use the $40,000
award to pursue a master’s degree in Education, International
Development and Social Justice from St. Mary’s University in London. She
was endorsed by the Columbus Sunrise Rotary Club, and she will be
hosted in the UK by the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens in London.
Through her studies in London, Kelsey wants to gain knowledge and skills
to help her create and strengthen opportunities for students who have been
hindered from receiving quality education.
“My career goals match Rotary’s in education,” Kelsey says. “I want to
support Rotary’s mission to promote basic education and literacy in
children and adults, especially girls and other marginalized students,
including refugees, victims of trafficking, and low-income communities.
Kelsey, who grew up in Fort Wayne, has lived and worked in Japan,
Tanzania and Bangladesh.
In Japan she was a coordinator for international relations in the Japan
Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) and later worked at Human Rights
Now in Tokyo.
In 2018 she conducted field research in Rohingya refugee camps in
Bangladesh and worked for the Asian University for Women (AUW) in
Pathways Pathways to Promise, an intensive student-centered program
where she helped students develop English and critical thinking skills need
to succeed in the Western-style, English undergraduate curriculum.
Despite the pandemic, in 2020 Kelsey moved to rural Tanzania where she
worked as a teacher trainer at a village secondary school and started a
reading program for students.
In addition, in Louisville, she served as a refugee summer program
coordinator through AmeriCorps for Catholic Charities, helping 35 local
refugee children from Africa, Latin America and Asia combat summer
learning loss and adjust to their new environment.
“These students have taught me the skills needed to represent a
community and have an impact upon our world – and also a need to further
my own education.”
Kelsey is the fifth recipient of a Rotary District 6580 Global Grant
Scholarship. Previous honorees are: Aubrey Seader (2018-19), King’s
College London; Arts and Cultural Administration; Alexandra Starry (2019-
20), Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Public Policy; Clarice Cross
(2020-21), Waseda University, Tokyo, Community Economic Development;
and Cameron Davidson (2021-22), University of Salamanca, Spain, Global
and International Studies.
Contact: Jim Bright / Rotary District 6580 (Southern Indiana) / (812) 219-0228 /