Group picture of 2017 alumni representatives

Posted On February 8, 2017 By In Global With 1250 Views

2017 NSLI-Y Alumni Representative Workshop

The 2017 Alumni Representative Workshop was held at American Councils headquarters in Washington, DC on January 6-8. The 2017 NSLI-Y Alumni Representative cohort consists of sixteen alumni from across the United States. They gathered in DC for a weekend of training on their responsibilities to lead and support the NSLI-Y Alumni Association by helping alumni learn, grow, connect, and serve.ECA team presents to the 2017 representatives.

On Friday,  two members of ECA’s alumni relations team presented on International Exchange Alumni opportunities and resources, after which American Councils staff gave an overview of the workings of the NSLI-Y program and the roles and responsibilities of Alumni Representatives. The group was enthusiastic to learn and to get to know one another.

The activities and trainings on Saturday focused on professional development activities and event planning.  Alumni Representatives also learned more about how to effectively establish and utilize a virtual presence to support and promote the NSLI-Y program, the types of events they can plan as representatives in their areas, and logistics for planning and carrying out events. There was then time during the afternoon to work in groups to begin brainstorming and planning events for the year. Many exciting ideas were generated for alumni events on professional development, continued language learning, service and program outreach, and virtual engagement. The afternoon ended with a surprise visit from the President of American Councils, Dan Davidson, and a leadership development activity. During the leadership activity, participants learned more about their personal leadership styles and values and how to work effectively with others.The representatives working in groups to brainstorm and plan events for the year.

In the final hours of the Workshop, Alumni Representatives practiced their public speaking skills, planned for the year, and reflected on lessons learned.

On Monday, four representatives—Angela Avonce, Elise Harwell, Deni Hoxha and Andy Nguyen presented at the Department of State and later to volunteer evaluators  at the American Councils offices on their NSLI-Y program experience and their service as Alumni Representatives. All four presented with confidence and poise and did a commendable job representing the program.  Part of Angela’s presentation touched on how NSLI-Y offered her an opportunity to go abroad and study Chinese when she would not have otherwise had the resources to do so. One focus of Andy’s presentation was on how his experience with NSLI-Y has helped him become a better global citizen, student, friend and person. Deni shared about his excitement when he learned he had achieved an Intermediate-Low score on the Oral Proficiency Interview exam having started out with no knowledge of Arabic. Elise touched on how NSLI-Y solidified her interest in Arabic and continues to motivate her service and public diplomacy efforts in her home community.Alumna, Angela Avonce, presents at American Councils on her NSLI-Y experience.

The 2017 NSLI-Y Alumni Representatives are   impressive, motivated, and passionate leaders committed to the NSLI-Y Alumni Association’s mission to “foster an alumni network by providing resources for continued language acquisition, professional development, and service to strengthen international dialogue and intercultural understanding.” NSLI-Y Alumni who have not yet registered for the alumni association should do so soon to not miss out on this year’s great events and opportunities!

The following alumni will be serving as NSLI-Y Alumni Representatives in 2017:

Angela Avonce

Angela is from Orlando, FL and participated in the 2015 summer Chinese program in Deyang, China. She is a returning representative from 2016 and is currently a high school junior.

Mayesha Awal

Mayesha is from Indianapolis, IN and participated in the 2016 summer Persian program in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. She is currently attending Georgetown University and will serve as an Alumni Representative in the Washington, D.C. area.

Jaime Cantwell

Jaime is from Bellevue, Washington and participated in the 2016 summer Chinese program in Deyang, China. She is currently a high school senior and will serve as a representative of the Seattle area.

Alisa Chen

Alisa is from Troy, Michigan and participated in the 2016 summer Chinese program in Zhuhai, China. She is currently a high school senior and will be a representative for the Detroit area.

Shanice Gitau

Shanice is from Grapevine, Texas and participated in the 2016 summer Chinese program in Zhuhai, China. She is currently a high school junior and will serve as a representative for the Dallas area.

Benjamin Guggenheim

Ben is from San Francisco, California and participated in the 2014 summer Chinese program in Suzhou, China. He is currently a high school senior and will serve as a representative for the San Francisco area.

Elise Harwell

Elise is from Tucker, Georgia and participated in the 2015 summer Arabic program in Rabat, Morocco. She is currently a high school senior and will serve as a representative for the Atlanta area.

Deni Hoxha

Deni resides in Worcester, Massachusetts and participated in the 2016 Arabic program in Amman, Jordan. He is currently a high school senior and will serve as a representative for the Boston area.

Charlotte Isidore

Charlotte is from Montclair, New Jersey and participated in the 2016 summer Arabic program in Rabat, Morocco. She is currently a high school junior and will serve as a representative for the New York City area.

Nicole Jarmula

Nicole is from Chicago, Illinois and participated in the 2016 summer Russian program in Moscow, Russia. She is currently a high school senior and will serve as a representative for the Chicago area.

Jeremy Lee

Jeremy is from Salt Lake City, Utah and participated in the 2015 summer Korean program in Seoul, South Korea. He is currently an undergraduate student at the George Washington University and will serve as a Virtual Representative.

Ryan O’Malley

Ryan is from Iowa City, Iowa and participated in the 2011 semester Chinese program in China. He is currently finishing is undergraduate degree at Saint Louis University and will serve as a representative for the Saint Louis, Missouri area.

James Noh

James is from Irvine, California and participated in the 2016 summer Chinese program in Deyang, China. He is currently a high school senior and will serve as a representative for the Los Angeles area.

Andy Nguyen

Andy is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and participated in the 2015 summer Chinese program in Hangzhou, China. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania and will serve as a representative for the Philadelphia area.

Emma Potts

Emma is from Lemont, Illinois and participated in the 2016 summer Korean program in Seoul, South Korea. She is currently a high school junior and will serve as a Virtual Representative.

Elizabeth Ray

Elizabeth is from Atlanta, Georgia and participated in the 2013 summer Arabic program in Rabat, Morocco. She is currently studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will serve as a representative for the Chapel Hill area.

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