LaVergne High School

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LHS Student Earns Scholarship To Study Abroad

teacher and student
 My name is Kulaila Holt.  I’m a 17-year-old Junior at LaVergne High School.  This past summer, out of the interest to learn and explore a new world of language and understanding, I began teaching myself Spanish.  This language acquisition has now turned into a great passion of mine; leading me towards the desire of expanding my exact knowledge and information on the various Latin American cultures.

     At the beginning of this school year, I was introduced to the idea of study abroad by my School Counselor, Mrs. Feenstra.  After some research, we discovered CIEE.  CIEE is a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. CIEE helps people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world.  CIEE also offers college credit opportunities for students.  Over the fall semester, I sought acceptance to the CIEE month-long high school summer abroad program in Santiago, Dominican Republic.  However, a month of study abroad is a costly experience.   Therefore, I spent time applying for a scholarship for the program’s tuition.  This consisted of months focused on writing very thorough, multiple essays on the reasons I should be granted the scholarship.

      I am happy to report that I was selected as a scholarship winner for the program!  CIEE has granted a 98% scholarship for the tuition for my summer studies.  The tuition covers daily Spanish immersion language instruction, daily Dominican cultural experiences, weekly field trips throughout the country, safety measures, and room and board.  However, the passport, airfare, travel insurances, and college credit fees are my responsibility. 

     This program is an inspiration that will impact my decisions for the future. My current plans for college and career involve language acquisition, whether becoming a translator or a linguist.  It is important for me to experience this high school summer abroad program because I’m confident it will help me achieve overall conversation fluency. This will result from immersion in the language every day in a native Spanish-speaking country.  
**If you would like information on how to assist Kulaila financially on her trip please email