May 4, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Victoria Sehgal, a junior classics major at Amherst College, is one of 65 students from 56 U.S. colleges and universities selected as 2007 Truman Scholars. They were elected by 18 independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of “making a difference.” Sehgal has been awarded a scholarship to pursue advanced degrees in public service. A graduate of Bard High School Early College, Sehgal is the daughter of Barbara Sehgal.

Sehgal wrote in her application, “I hope to study and promote innovative curriculums that are not only proven to heighten children’s abilities in traditional subjects, but also proven to mitigate outside factors such as sexuality and peer pressure that often impede upon students’ success....Many of American society’s ills, including poverty, teen pregnancy, crime and poor nutrition, can be attributed to mainly one cause: poor education.”

While at Amherst, Sehgal was a policy fellow for the Roosevelt Institution, an editor with the Five College Literary Review and a member of La Casa, the Latino culture house. She has interned with the U.S. Department of Education and New York Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, and volunteered for Planned Parenthood Federation’s calling bank. She received a Tom Gerety Fellowship for Action from Amherst, which funded her internship at the Department of Education and another internship in labor law research at Verite, Inc. At Amherst, Sehgal also volunteered at a local middle school to teach students Latin language and literature.

Each Truman scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the nation’s 33rd president. The foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The activities of the foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury. There have been 2,545 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.

The 2007 Truman Scholars will assemble May 15 for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., on May 20, 2007. For a listing of the 2007 scholars and more information on the foundation, see the Foundation's website.