Merrill Scholar: Alexandria McBride

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Alexandria McBride, Melbourne '07-'08

This Howard University graduate and alumni of the IES Abroad 2007-08 Melbourne program pays it forward. She works for Exxon as an engineer yet remains involved with her university through unique philanthropic endeavor called Engineers Without Borders (EWB). While studying abroad, an experience she calls “untraditional for engineers,” McBride learned of EWB and the work it did to help developing countries around the world. She took the concept back to Howard and has since partnered with needful nonprofits in efforts including establishing a water filtration system in the small Nandi community in Africa.

“You open doors by studying abroad,” says McBride. “It starts with getting people out there… and I think it’s important to support historically Black colleges and universities.” She, along with the other inspiring Merrill Scholars, is dedicated to making sure Mr. Merrill’s legacy lives on. Says McBride, “As a philanthropist, Mr. Merrill built trust to support these institutions. I’ve now made it a point to give back to my school and stress the importance of going abroad.”

To Mr. Merrill, McBride says, “Not only do I want to thank you but I want to pay it forward. I’ve now made it a passion to help others. You’ve made that a possibility.”