Belton High School graduate, Stephanie Gruetze, has been awarded one of approximately 625 National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarships for 2013-2014.
The NSLI-Y program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly-taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. NSLI-Y offers overseas study opportunities in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish. The NSLI-Y scholarship enables Gruetze to study Chinese in China for the summer.
The scholarship covers all program costs for participants including domestic and international travel; tuition and related academic preparation; language testing; educational and cultural activities focused on language learning; orientations; meals; and accommodations, usually with a host family.
Launched as part of a U.S. government initiative in 2006, NSLI-Y seeks to increase Americans’ capacity to engage with native speakers of critical languages by providing formal instruction and informal language practice in an immersion environment. Educational and cultural activities are designed to promote language learning and build mutual understanding and long-lasting relationships. The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a life-long interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing a corps of young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue in the private, academic or government sectors, and build upon the foundations developed through person-to-person relationships while abroad.
Through her participation in the program, Gruetze will serve as a citizen diplomat while developing the skills necessary to be a leader in the global community.