Amy Cosgrove, 2011 SM East graduate, name Fulbright Scholar

Northeast Johnson County native Amy Cosgrove is headed to Thailand as a Fulbright Scholar.
Northeast Johnson County native Amy Cosgrove is headed to Thailand as a Fulbright Scholar.

SM East’s 2011 Homecoming Queen has earned a prestigious national honor that will take her abroad this fall.

Amy Cosgrove, now in her senior year at the University of Arkansas, learned last month that she had been named a Fulbright Scholar. Cosgrove will leave for Thailand this September, where she will teach English for a year with a J. William Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Cosgrove said she was compelled to apply for the competitive program based on her experiences teaching English the past two summers through the Youth Ambassadors program here in Kansas City. She also volunteered as an English teacher while studying abroad in Italy.

After submitting her application to the Fulbright program in the fall, she learned in January that she was a finalist. She knew she could hear back on the status of her application anytime between February and May.

On April 1, she flew to Dallas for a full time job interview. On the way to the airport after the interview was over, she saw that an email from the program had come in. She didn’t need to see more than the first word to know what she would be doing after graduation.

“The first line read, ‘Congratulations!'” she recalled. “I honestly didn’t believe what I saw. This dream that I had worked so hard for came true.”

Cosgrove has never been to Thailand, but said she’s developed a fondness for the the culture after talks with a former Fulbright scholar who served there and who is now a researcher at Arkansas. Cosgrove doesn’t know exactly where in Thailand she’ll serve, but expects to find out in early June. She leaves for Bangkok in late September for a five-week orientation and language training program.

“This is a really exciting opportunity and I am also forever grateful to the long list of mentors at St. Ann School and Shawnee Mission East,” she said.