SCV student traveling to Latvia to participate in State Department language initiative

Press release

News release 

Alexander Black, of Santa Clarita, will study Russian this summer in Latvia on a National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship.  

NSLI‑Y, a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, promotes the study of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, or Turkish. 

Black was one of 540 students selected from thousands of high school applicants across the United States to receive a NSLI‑Y scholarship. While in Latvia, he will live with a host family, immerse in the local culture and host community, and engage with local peers to enhance language learning and build mutual understanding. 

The Saugus High School student where he will be in the 12th grade next year. He is active in Future Business Leaders of America and raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He is also active as a runner in track and field and cross country. He is planning to major in international business, linguistics, or Slavic studies in college. 

Launched in 2006 as part of a multi-agency U.S. government initiative, NSLI‑Y increases the number of young Americans with the critical language skills necessary to advance international dialogue, promote economic prosperity and innovation worldwide, and contribute to national security by building understanding across cultures, according to a news release from the program.  

Many NSLI‑Y alumni go on to pursue education and careers vital to U.S. national security and credit the program experience with helping them improve their academic, leadership, and cross-cultural communication skills, the release said. 

NSLI‑Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS‑USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, Amideast, iEARN‑USA, Stony Brook University, and the University of Delaware. 

Applications for NSLI‑Y programs are available at each fall. 

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