February 19, 2015
By Metra Nichols
The “Hefner Initiative” 2015 program comprises of an approximate 10-day cultural and educational summer experience in Beijing and Suzhou, China.
The 2015 Hefner Awardees are: Emily Dial and Pedro De Aos, sponsored under the “Hefner Initiative – OSSM” Award, Cori McGinley and Francisco Munoz, under the “Hefner Initiative – Webb Schools” Award, and Sophia Mastakas, under the “Hefner Initiative – Albemarle” Award.
The Awardees stay with local host families of students from Beijing High School No. 4 in Beijing, China, experiencing first-hand the daily lifestyle of the host families and students. Awardees will learn about the importance of cultural-awareness and diversity from interacting directly with their hosts and peers from this important part of the world.
The “Hefner Initiative – US/China/Asia” 2015 program has also awarded a teacher from OSSM, Monique Baxter, Professor of East Asian Studies, and Heather Corpora, a School Counselor of Greene County, Virginia, to participate in the program as sponsored under the “Hefner Initiative – Ambassador” Awards.
This program provides each Awardee the opportunity to learn about China, the culture, and her people. The group will tour the ancient city’s landmarks such as The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China along with visiting Beijing’s museums of art and history.
Upon returning to the United States, each Hefner Awardee will reflect on their experience in writing a post-trip essay with pictorial references from their travels and give a presentation to their class and school as part of the program to promote an understanding of the importance of long-term, positive USA and China, and Asia relations.