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2023 Class of Teacher Scholars Announced

Graduate in cap and gown outside a high school in a crowd of students and parents
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The Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program provides merit-based funding to graduating high school seniors committed to pursuing the language teaching profession in languages other than English. Scholars receive an annual award of $1,500 per academic year, renewable to a cumulative total of $6,000 per recipient, as well as complimentary ACTFL membership throughout their participation in the program and for one year upon graduation and entry into the field.

Meet the Scholars

The fifth class of Lead with Languages Teacher Scholars hail from 14 home states and plan to teach seven languages other than English—including ASL, Chinese, French, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.

A reflection of our promise to expand funding opportunities in support of the teacher pipeline, for the first time since the program's 2019 launch, a record 20 outstanding students have been selected to form the incoming Class of 2023—doubling previous cohorts in size.

These future educators have already begun to use their skills as tutors, classroom assistants, babysitters, interpreters, and more. They count among their many achievements placing on national exams and language competitions, earning the Seal of Biliteracy, and being recognized as participants in programs like the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Summer Scholars Program.

Congratulations to the 2023 Class of Teacher Scholars!

Scholars shown starting in top left corner by row
  • Abby, New York – Spanish
  • Anna, Iowa – Chinese
  • Anthony, Oregon French
  • Ashlyn, North Carolina American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Dahria, New Jersey Russian
  • Isabel, Massachusetts Latin
  • Isaiah, Pennsylvania Spanish
  • Jasmine, New Hampshire French
  • Joey, California Spanish
  • Julia, Michigan (not shown) Spanish
  • Kaelyn, Illinois Spanish
  • Katie, Ohio Spanish
  • Kenna, Montana Spanish, English as a Second Language (ESL), French
  • Lindsey, Ohio French, Spanish
  • Nicholas, Pennsylvania (not shown) Spanish
  • Olivia, Montana Spanish, Japanese
  • Saehee, Virginia Chinese
  • Sam, Pennsylvania French
  • Sydney, Massachusetts French
  • Taryn, Michigan Spanish

In their words:

I have experienced how it feels to be taught by someone who loves what they do, as well as how it feels to love teaching, which is something I aim to further in my future classroom.
Language is so powerful, and the ability to speak more than one language is powerful. I am ready to learn new languages and continue to be open-minded for my future students.
I have seen the impact of the gift of bilingualism through my ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking coworkers, and I want to be able to share it with my students. Combining my love of the language and culture with my desire to make an impact will be a dream come true.
I wish to encourage my future students to take risks and make the language their own by painting a picture with words. If there is any opportunity to express yourself, it is through a world language course.
My ultimate goal as an educator is to make others feel valued as the diverse individuals they are.
I choose to go into language education because I believe language can connect and create deeper understanding between people. I am resolute in my belief that my college education will build a lifelong career and passion that I will stay enthusiastic about for a lifetime.

Sincere thanks to all applicants who expressed interest during the 2023 application period, as well as the dynamic group of language educators who carefully reviewed applications to select our recipients.

We thank 2023 Selection Committee chair Bonnie Wang and members Jacquelyn Burch, Borbala Gaspar, Sergio Guzman, Wenjing Huang, Maureen Lamb, William Lee, Matthew Mangino, and Jennifer Schwester for their service and dedication to supporting future teachers.

Do you know a future language teacher who will be a high school senior in Spring 2024?

Visit our Teacher Scholarship Program page to learn more about this program, sign up for our newsletter, and stay tuned @LangConnectsFdn for updates about the Scholars as well as the call for applications in 2024.