Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Español Para Todos!

Name: Lauren Wolf
From: Newark, DE
Grade: 11
School: University of Delaware
Votes: 0

As
if taking the leap from preschool into elementary school isn’t hard
enough, try being uprooted from your safe and familiar preschool and
thrown into a new school that doesn’t even teach a single class in
English. This was my situation; my parents decided to enter me into a
newly developed program called Spanish Immersion. Honestly, I had a
difficult transition into this program, and I was not always thankful
to be part of something so unique. I remember being upset that I made
it in because I had to go to a different school from my older
siblings and all my neighborhood friends. On top of that, the
academics were very difficult. It took me 10 years to thoroughly
enjoy being bilingual. It wasn’t until high school that I saw the
benefits of such a challenging elementary experience. I became
increasingly confident with my speaking abilities in Spanish and in
other areas, which led to my love of helping others find their
passion for speaking Spanish.

My
sophomore year, thinking back to the my struggles during elementary
school, I decided to start a “Spanish Immersion Club”. I wanted
to help other kids who were in a similar situation as me when I was
their age, so with help from teachers and my parents, the club was
supported by all and ready to go. I began my volunteering by visiting
my elementary school once a week for the school year, and was
responsible for organizing and leading a game or activity in
Spanish. We would play easy games like I-Spy, silly activities like
writing vocab words in shaving cream on desks, or split up in teams
and play Jeopardy: all in Spanish!

I
also began a private tutoring service that occurred in the back of
the classroom. The head teacher would send one student at a time to
the back table, where I would sit with them and help with their
fluency while they read out loud to me. My biggest challenge was
definitely encouraging struggling students, and attempting to give
them the motivation they needed to know they were capable of
conquering this language. I was the same way at their age, and
hearing an older student tell me that I can do it, could have made
all the difference. Overtime, the head teacher and I both grew giddy
as we saw the improvements each individual was making. Hearing a
second grader speak nearly like a native gave me the utmost
satisfaction, and assured me I was indeed making a difference.

Creating
and leading this club for children has been a huge blessing in my
life. Through this forward looking activity, my Spanish has improved,
and I hope to go to school to be a Spanish teacher someday. I hope
the world provides more schools with the Spanish Immersion program.
It is crucial to learn a second language in today’s society, and
studies show that after the age of 12, it becomes increasingly more
difficult to pick up another language. I hope that my efforts to
help children are improving their fluency, and inspiring them to
pursue a career in the language field. I believe that in upcoming
decades, my volunteering as a tutor will certainly have made a
difference, not only in the education of these elementary students,
but also in their outlook on their gift of bilingualism.

To
me, forward looking is investing time in something that will help
others, but also find yourself. That is exactly what this club has
done for me. ¡Español para todos!


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