Emily Rodriguez | Supplied photo
Updated: March 17, 2014 10:33AM
Emily Rodriguez, of Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort Township, is spending her senior year of high school overseas.
She was awarded a U.S. Department of State YES Abroad Scholarship to study in Indonesia for a year, making her one of 65 scholarship recipients in the country given the chance to study abroad via the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad program.
The merit–based award covers the $16,000 cost of an academic year abroad, providing students a full-immersion experience, according to a news release from Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210.
Rodriguez is living with a host family in Indonesia, attending an Indonesian high school, and helping develop the skills necessary to be a leader in the global community.
“Emily is a strong individual. She has a strong focus on education and sets high goals for herself,” her father, Carlos Rodriguez, said in the release.
While attending Lincoln-Way East, Emily participated in Air Force Junior ROTC and was a member of Pi Sigma Pi (social science honorary), Junior States of America, Book Club and Paws Cause.
“We are proud of Emily’s accomplishments. Through her participation in this student exchange program, she will be involved with citizen diplomacy, serving as a youth ambassador and helping to promote mutual understanding in another part of our world,” Lincoln-Way East Principal Sharon Michalak said in the release.
The Kennedy-Lugar YES program first was authorized by Congress in the aftermath of 9/11 as an effort to increase dialogue and understanding between the United States and countries with significant Muslim populations, according to the press release. Initially created as a program for international high school students to live and study in the United States, the YES program was expanded in 2007 to include YES Abroad for American high school students, the release said.
The YES Abroad program provides opportunities for Americans to study for an academic year in select countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey, it said. The YES Abroad program is administered by a consortium of nonprofits led by American Councils for International Education and including AFS-USA, AMIDEAST, and !EARN-USA.