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Biggie Tangane and Wyatt Bensken

Biggie Tangane, SIS '15 and Wyatt Bensken, CAS '16

American University creates meaningful change in the world. AU students and graduates distinguish themselves through their service, leadership, and ability to address global challenges and opportunities.

Biggie Tangane, SIS '15, is fulfilling his promise to pay forward the scholarship he received at American University to help "change the story of Africa." A native of Botswana, he consults governments as a member of the African Leadership Group
on how to better foster a culture of entrepreneurship.

Originally attracted to American University because of its diverse student body and international focus, Tangane was the first recipient of the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship. He credits AU with sharpening his skills, helping him secure prestigious internships, and connecting him with people who challenged and shaped his thinking.

Grateful for the scholarship that made his education possible, Tangane cites the impact of charitable giving on the community. "Every dollar you give will support a student who will then go on to help a large number of people through their work."

Wyatt Bensken, CAS '16, administered polio vaccinations and collected medical data in Kibera, one of the world's largest slums, while participating in the AU Abroad program in Nairobi, Kenya. A public health student, Bensken interned fulltime, completed courses, and designed and administered an award-winning public health questionnaire.

The AU Abroad Student Mobility Award helped Bensken cover the costs associated with international travel, such as vaccinations, passports, visas, and flights. He appreciates that this assistance has allowed him to focus on his education, internships, and experiences without having to worry about the burden of finances.

American University is one of the few universities currently offering a study abroad program in East Africa, and Bensken maintains he "wouldn't have had such a transformative experience anywhere else."

You Can Make a Difference
If you are interested in helping provide scholarships and experiential learning opportunities for American University students by making contributions during your lifetime or through your charitable estate plans, please contact Seth D. Speyer, at 202-885-3411 or

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