Kaitlynn Lake, a twelfth-grade student at Wooster High School, was recently awarded the Ohio Foreign Language Association’s (OFLA) competitive Study Abroad/Immersion Scholarship for 2019. This is OLFA’s most prestigious scholarship, given to only one student each year.
OFLA believes in the value of immersion experiences, especially for those planning to become professionals in the field, and this scholarship is intended to provide some assistance to students planning to become world language teachers.
The award is open to all Ohio university and high school students who are already in their pre-service programs or who intend to pursue their degree in world language education.
To apply for the Study Abroad/Immersion Scholarship, Lake was required to contribute three components: an essay explaining her plans to become a world language teacher and her need for financial assistance for her immersion/study abroad experience; two letters of recommendation; and a download of a brochure or a link to the program in which she is participating.
The OFLA’s Scholarship Committee then reviews, discusses and votes on each of the applications, eventually presenting their recommendation to the OFLA Board. The Board holds a final vote in December, and the winner is announced shortly thereafter.
According to Wooster High School Spanish teacher and OFLA Scholarship Committee Chair Denise Broda, winning this award from a pool of competitive applicants attests to Lake’s curiosity in learning about and experiencing other cultures. The scholarship also attests to her dedication to become a global citizen.
“The Scholarship Committee and the entire OFLA Board recognizes that her study abroad will be a transformative experience for Kaitlynn,” said Broda. “We hope that it helps her strengthen her language skills and cultural knowledge, and that it enforces her enthusiasm to become a world language teacher and advocate.”
Lake and Wooster High School will both be recognized at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Columbus this March, which will bring together a consortium of 14 midwestern states.