BEMIDJI – Twelve area elementary students will be honored this month as they are awarded scholarships to attend weeklong immersion camps at Concordia Language Villages.
This is the 10th year of the local scholarship program, which through donations provides funds to send local fourth- and fifth-graders to the language village of their choice.
Recipients are selected based on essays written by the students. According to CLV, about 100 local students submitted essays in December addressing “The ways that I could learn and grow from the study of the language and culture” of the camp they wished to attend.
Twelve outstanding essays were selected as winners; recipients will be recognized Feb. 23 during the 10th annual Bemidji Area Friends of Concordia Language Villages Essay Contest Scholarship Ceremony in Salolampi, the Finnish Language Village.
Scholarship funding by Paul Bunyan Communications, First National Bank Bemidji, Super 8 Motel Bemidji, Hampton Inn & Suites Bemidji, Diehl Project Management Inc., Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse, Herington’s Shoe Store and North Country Snowmobile Club.
Additionally, funds are raised through a Scholarship Benefit Dinner held annually in October, which is open to the public. This year’s dinner is scheduled to feature an authentic Russian meal.
The 2013 winners
The 2013 essay contest winners are:
- Paige Wickum, fourth-grader at Northern Elementary, who will attend the Chinese Language Village because she was born in China and adopted by her parents. She would like to learn her culture and Mandarin.
- MacQuisse Whitfield, fourth-grader at Blackduck, Spanish Language Village because her soon-to-be-adoptive parents speak Spanish. She fell in love with Mexican culture from a free book.
- Johanna Jean Swedberg, fourth-grader at Blackduck, Swedish Language Village because her grandfather migrated from Sweden to the U.S. She wants to speak her grandpa's language.
- Sujin Allison, fourth-grader at Northern, Korean Language Village because she was born in South Korea before being adopted. She would like to learn Korean language and study very hard.
- Shawn O’Brien, fifth-grader at Blackduck, German Language Village because his cousins live in Germany and he went to see them once. He also would like to meet new friends at the camp.
- Ceron McCaleb, fourth-grader at Solway, Chinese Language Village because his father is Chinese. He wants to speak Mandarin with him.
- Lyric Beaulieu, fifth-grader at Central, French Language Village because she would like to learn the French culture. Her best friend learned French and inspired her.
- Jordan Hunsberger, fourth-grader at Solway, Norwegian Language Village because her ancestors are Norwegian, and her grandma is 100 percent Norwegian.
- Jasmine Rushton, fifth-grader at Central, Finnish Language Village because her mom’s family is Finnish. She would like to learn the Finnish culture.
- Riley Dreher, fourth-grader at Northern, Danish Language Village because his ancestors came from Denmark, so he would like to learn the Danish culture.
- Darius Pierre, fifth-grader at J.W. Smith, Spanish Language Village because he would like to talk with his good friends and some of his family in Spanish.
- Jeremiah Immonen, fifth-grader at Central, German Language Village because he would like to learn German. He has relatives who live in Germany.