Elie Jarrouge, a College of Staten Island (CSI) student, recently earned a 2002 Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship, a sought-after, paid summer internship offering mentoring and lifetime contacts to talented college students who demonstrate exceptional academic promise and outstanding leadership skills.

Elie’s decision to leave his family in Lebanon at age 17 was a difficult one, but his ten years in the Boy Scouts honed his survival and leadership skills, and effectively prepared him for higher education in America.

A pre-med student majoring in biology at CSI, Elie not only has a 3.81 Grade Point Average, but is also very active on campus. He conducts research in the biology department, studying enzymes activities in fruit flies and gel electrophoresis to determine genetic components.

Elie tutors students in high-level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology. He also works as a Teaching Scholar with the Discovery Institute and as a math tutor with CSI’s Summer Immersion program. This summer Elie is interning at the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo.

Established by The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in 1999, the fellowship operates on the principle that “talent is broadly distributed but only selectively developed.” Watson Fellows have their pick of coveted job placements (“work they can learn from”) over three consecutive summers in non-profit agencies, business organizations, and government service that give them a chance to grow and develop interpersonal skills, and gain self-confidence in a variety of professional settings.

Five Watson fellows currently call CSI home, including 2000 Fellowship recipients Kenyatta Carter, Yekaterina Lushpenko, and Tara Lynch, as well as the 2001 recipient Kristine Gansico.

During the third summer of being a Watson Fellow, international assignments can be granted through partnerships with Save the Children in Haiti, Malawi, or Ethiopia, as well as The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Tara Lynch was the college’s commencement speaker on June 6, 2002, and is working this summer in Ethiopia with Save the Children, while Kate Lushpenko, a CSI senior, will be guarding the museum walls of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy.

For more than 40 years The Thomas J. Watson Foundation has provided opportunities for graduating seniors at 50 selective liberal arts colleges to travel abroad for a year of work and study through The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

A series of weekly seminars further enhances the learning experience by encouraging debate and interaction, and also provides an opportunity for Watson Fellows to swap stories about their work experiences. Visits to cultural institutions like Shakespeare in the Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art enable students to discover New York’s free summer offerings. Every Watson Fellow receives a generous stipend as well as a laptop computer to complete their assignments.

In 1999 The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship was launched to provide a set of unparalleled workplace and seminar experiences to ignite the professional and personal growth of students. Students compete annually for 15 Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship openings with only the most fiercely determined candidates surviving the rigorous soul-searching required of them.

For more information about The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship visit www.jkwatson.org