Yusun Tobkin Abrahams, 25, who is the granddaughter of Mac Tobkin, has been designated a Fulbright Scholarship Recipient by the U.S. Department of State.
Abrahams will graduate from Ohio State University on June 14, with a major in mathematics and a minor in German and head to Germany later this summer.
Her Fulbright grant will allow her to teach English to German students at a post-secondary school in Germany as an English-language Teaching Assistant. Abrahams says she will finish her Master's degree in secondary education after her Fulbright Scholarship duties, and plans on teaching mathematics to high school students
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."
With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants--chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential -- with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide.
Abrahams graduated in the top 20 of her class of 650 at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, OH, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and played varsity volleyball her junior and senior years. She says she believes in the importance of the development and the nurturing of one's spiritual life and values at an early age.
Abrahams spent her 8th grade year attending school in Seoul, Korea, where she learned the language and culture of the Korean people. Abrahams also did volunteer work in her high school years for the Religious Youth Services where she helped build a school in Guatemala.
After high school and before entering college, she made the decision to complete two years of volunteer work through an international leadership training program supported by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. She and other college-aged youth traveled around the United States leading service projects, outreach programs on college campuses, and organizing intercultural and inter-religious activities in schools across America.
She subsequently started her college life at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland in 2004 followed by a year at Miami (of Ohio) University in 2005 before transferring to Ohio State University in 2006, where her husband Garrun Abrahams (who is the youth minister for their church) and her brother Jason (who plays for the Ohio State Buckeyes men's volleyball team) also attend.
Abrahams credits the spiritual teachings of her church, her spouse and her parents for instilling in her a strong work ethic and a determination to reach high goals. "I have found that by giving of yourself with a positive attitude, it all comes back to you in some way or another. That's just the way God works. You just have to trust in the process of life," she says of her spiritual life.
She believes in the value of the family and family values. Abrahams is the daughter of Paul and Jutta Tobkin, who live in the Cincinnati, OH area.