The Slovak honorary consuls in the United States were honored to join Amb. Peter Burian, now State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, in presenting the first annual Ambassador Peter Burian Roma Scholarship in Bratislava. The 2012 scholarship was awarded to Mr. Vladimir Gaspar, who will be studying at the School of Management in Trencin. This school is affiliated with the City University of Seattle.
The money raised for the scholarship, which includes the student’s tuition, board, and tutoring expenses, is the result of the efforts of all the honorary consuls who, in collaboration with Friends of Slovakia, have been sponsoring silent auctions during the annual Slovak Gala Dinners held in Arlington VA.
In the past three years, the consuls have raised over $13,000. In addition to the silent auction, individual donations from people who wanted to honor Amb. Burian have also contributed to the fund.
The scholarship winner was selected from among the top Roma students who achieved the highest academic grades in high school (gymnasium). Students who applied needed to complete an application as well as an essay on why they wished to pursue higher education and what they envisioned themselves doing in the future. Peter Muzila, Massachusetts honorary consul, and Martin Valko, Texas honorary consul, reviewed the applications and made the final recommendation to the Slovak Embassy in Washington.