BRIS student earns National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

As published in The Advocate on January 22, 2020.

Baton Rouge International School junior Benjamin Rodrigue has been selected to receive a Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship.

The Virtual NSLI-Y: Digital Classroom Program is an initiative of the United States government through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Rodrigue will be participating with students across the country from January through March and will be part of the 2020 Digital Classroom Arabic Cohort.

Rodrigue applied for the scholarship in Fall 2019, seeking an opportunity to enhance his proficiency in Arabic. In addition to learning Arabic outside of his in-school studies, he takes courses in Chinese, Spanish and English at BRIS. Because the program falls within the regular school day, Rodrigue had to obtain permission to participate.

“When I told my counselor that I would need an hour during school to attend, she was very helpful in rearranging my schedule,” Rodrigue said. “The teachers and administration at BRIS always help make sure students have every chance possible to take part in activities outside of regular classroom work.”

Entering the second half of his junior year, Rodrigue intends to major in chemistry and plans to continue language studies in one or two languages as minors.

“I am considering a gap year also, “Rodrigue said. “BRIS, a STARTALK Arabic camp at BYU and attending the Middlebury Interactive Language Academy have shown me the value of immersion when it comes to language. I would like to experience various cultures and practice speaking with native speakers.”

Rodrigue is a member of BRIS’s cross country and track and field teams. Additionally, he competes in archery competitions as a member of Gotham Archery in Central and is a member of Boy Scouts of America Istrouma Area Council Troop 97, based out of Denham Springs.