Four students — Fré Halvorson-Taylor, Santiago Padrón, Matthew Robinson, and Elsa Schenck — are Charlottesville High School’s most recent recipients of U.S. State Department travel fellowships. In the past years, a number of CHS students and Charlottesville schools teachers have earned places in these selective programs designed to foster international understanding and language development in critical areas such as Arabic or Mandarin.
- Santiago Padrón, recipient of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) will spend the summer in China. He is presently completing his third year of Mandarin Chinese at CHS. As suggested in the name of the program, NSLI-Y is sponsored by the State Department to develop knowledge of critical languages and cultures.
- Matthew Robinson and Elsa Schenck will spend next year in Turkey with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad) program. That program places students for a year in countries with significant Muslim populations to promote mutual understanding between the US and the host country.
- Fré Halvorson-Taylor is completing a year in Morocco with the same YES Abroad program. (And she will go to Beijing for the summer with another exchange program before returning to CHS in the fall for her junior year.)
Recipients from the last few years:
- In 2014, 10th-grader Emily Bambury and Spanish teacher Karen Nelson spent the summer in South America with through a partnership with the State Department and U.Va’s Center for Politics and their Youth Ambassador program. CHS has hosted South American students through the program, as well.
- Also in 2014, English as a Second Language teacher Renata Germino traveled to Colombia on a State Department teachers’ fellowship. Subsequently, she won a grant that allowed 20 Charlottesville City Schools employees to study Spanish here in town this spring to improve their ability to speak with our Spanish-speaking student and families.