An EWU student was given his passport to travel to New Zealand last summer thanks to FundEWU, an in-house crowdfunding platform that helps fund student projects.
One of the first FundEWU projects, led by the Office of Global Initiatives, was to fund passports for students who wish to study abroad. Senior Kelly Watt received a $100 passport grant, which led him to apply for the American Indian studies program cultural exchange in New Zealand.
“I saw the trip to New Zealand, and I wanted to go. But looking at the overall cost, I thought, ‘That’s very expensive. I don’t know if I could make that,’” Watt said. “With the passport grant, it helped me out because it was one less thing to pay for.”
For three weeks in July 2016, Watt traveled with five other students and two staff/faculty members to New Zealand to participate in a cultural exchange at the University of Waikato and their School of Maori and Pacific Development in Hamilton. Watt learned about Maori culture, comparing and contrasting that with the indigenous perspective of the Pacific Northwest.
“I found my direction when I was down there,” he said. “We met with a lawyer who handles indigenous cases with the government, and I realized that’s the line of work I want to do.”
Watt hopes to eventually head back to his hometown on the reservation and work for the Tribal Colville Business Council. He’s currently in the process of applying for the master’s in public administration program, and will graduate from EWU this June with his bachelor’s in communications and a minor in American Indian studies.
Help fund student projects
Choose your favorite projects, support any amount and follow their progress. FundEWU offers the opportunity to connect with and support innovative and inspiring student-involved projects at Eastern Washington University. Learn more about current and past student projects.
Submit your idea to FundEWU for consideration
All students currently enrolled and in good standing with Eastern Washington University are eligible to apply for a FundEWU fundraiser to fund a project, event or activity affiliated with the university.
If you or your organization have a dream that you need help to raise funds for, submit your idea to FundEWU for consideration.
The university launched FundEWU early November 2015. The platform is the product of five years of research and two years of development by a team of senior capstone computer science students led by Professor Chris Peters and advised by Eastern’s Office of Information Technology.
The Fund a Passport project met its goal of $5,000, and allowed 50 students to purchase their passport – giving them to a chance to participate in academic experiences all over the world.