The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 27, 2013

A bridge to Asia

Woman sets heart on studying abroad

— When Garisha Goodman sets her sights on a goal, nothing can stop her — not even the thousands of miles between here and Asia.

Since she was a child, Goodman has been interested in Japanese and Chinese culture. Now, as a college student, she has a chance to spend 10 weeks studying and traveling in Japan and China.

Goodman, a 2011 graduate of Danville High School and a sophomore at Augustana College in Rock Island, has a double major in communications and Asian studies, with minors in Japanese and Chinese. She has applied to the college’s East Asia Term Fall 2013, which is offered every four years.

The 10-week trip begins Aug. 23 and takes students throughout Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China. Courses include geology, literature, economics, political science and community language.

Although this is a dream come true, there’s one hurdle: the price. The trip costs about $18,000, roughly $3,500 over standard Augustana tuition, room and board. Goodman has received a $2,000 scholarship from Augustana to apply to the trip.

Otherwise, she plans on getting a job, holding fundraisers and soliciting donations.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I just want to broaden my horizons and make all the connections I can.”

Her mother, Lisa Williams of Danville, has no doubt her daughter will reach her goal.

“I’m excited for her,” she said. “I trust God will make a way.”

The two will have fundraisers later, Williams said, adding, “We’re going to get her there. We have willing people willing to do the fundraising.”

Her daughter deserves to go, Williams said, explaining, “She’s been doing this all of her life.”

When Goodman was 5 years old, she developed an interest in the Japanese cartoon “Dragon Ball Z,” which she watched on Saturday morning television. At 8, she found out that all the cartoons she enjoyed were actually anime (animation originating in Japan).

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