Legacy High School senior, Phillip Ipock and Lake Ridge High School junior, Ashleigh Pham were selected for the National Security Language Initiative-Youth Scholarship.
NSLI-Y is a U.S. Department of State program that provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs, according to their website.
“This is an excellent scholarship,” said Lei-Jane Chou, the Chinese teacher at Ben Barber Innovation Academy. “They only offer 25 scholarships for the 6 weeks summer program to Shanghai.”
The program began in 2006 with study abroad options in only two languages. It now offers summer and academic year programs to learn Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. NSLI-Y has helped over 6,000 individuals study abroad.
Ipock completed Chinese 4 last year and will spend the summer in Shanghai and Pham, who is in Chinese 3, will study in Xiamen, China.
“I know this validates their hard work,” said Chou. “Their knowledge of China has been limited to the media. They are now preparing to meet the Chinese and experience their culture.”
For more information on the NSLI-Y Scholarship, visit https://www.nsliforyouth.org/.