Erik Herrera, a junior at the Houston Academy for International Studies, has been awarded one of 625 National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarships. 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 will enable Erik to study Chinese in China this summer. The scholarship covers all program costs 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.
This is the second year a HAIS student has won a NSLI-Y scholarship. Last year, two students were selected for the award and spent the summer in South Korea and Russia.
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 his participation in the program, Erik will serve as a citizen diplomat while developing the skills necessary to be a leader in the global community.