Students Receive Over 200 Free Passports from CIEE

October 12, 2017

Thursday morning, Panthers gathered in front of the Willie A. Tempton Sr. Memorial Student Center for a celebration! Prairie View A&M University was selected to be a part of the CIEE Passport Caravan where over 200 students were able to receive free passports. “In today’s world it is very difficult to go far if you don’t have a passport,” said Interim President Ruth J. Simmons, “It’s not a symbol, it is a practical thing that one has to have.”


During a brief program, the PVAMU Marching Storm Band serenaded the audience and “Pete” the mascot took pictures with Caravan participants. Interim President Simmons, Student Government Association President, Kendric D. Jones, and Stacy Benjamin Wood, a representative for CIEE, made remarks about the importance of international travel and obtaining a passport.  Simmons spoke about how international travel to Mexico changed her life and played a part in her pursuing a degree and career in the languages. “When you are international, you’re very special in the workforce,” said Simmons, “You’ll get more opportunities, get promoted faster; You’re going to get a greater variety of opportunities because you have a passport.”



Eveadean Myers, JD, special advisor to the president for international affairs and international initiatives, played a key role in including the University on the CIEE Passport Caravan Tour where 210 students received free passports. “We are very grateful to be selected as a campus on their tour,” said Myers. While at an international conference, she talked to CIEE about coming to Prairie View A&M University. After submitting the paperwork and being selected, CIEE donated 50 free passports to PVAMU students and asked Myers if she could match the number of passports. “We are really blessed to have two vice presidents, each, match the 50 passports, the Student Government Association matched 50 passports and then, some alumni matched ten,” said Myers.



Following the program, students gathered in the MSC Student Lounge to meet with representatives from the Office for International Affairs and United States Post Office employees to complete their passport requirements. “CIEE started the caravan in order to expand access to international education,” said Wood, “We know one of the things that can stand in the way is getting that little booklet.” Wood says her company, CIEE, thought that by bringing passport agents to campus they could remove that barrier and give students the idea they can go abroad.


Tiphanie Bradley is a junior education major from Dallas, TX who participated in the passport caravan. “I got a passport because I don’t want to be limited,” said Bradley, “I want to be able to travel the world and explore the many different cultures.” She has plans to travel to the Dominican Republic with her brother as a graduation gift from her mother.  Destiny Boyce, a junior education major from Houston, said she the Passport Caravan was a great opportunity for her, “Because where I’m from it is not really afford often, so I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity when it was presented.” Boyce has intentions on teaching abroad in Dubai after graduation. “It’s something similar to my culture here in America and I feel it would be a great place for me to start,” said Boyce.