SHORT HILLS, NJ - Emma Bruce of Short Hills, a student at Millburn High School and the German Language School of Morris County has been selected as one of its 250 Youth Ambassadors for the 2013-2014 school year by the U.S. State Department-funded Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX).
Emma will live in Germany with a host family identified through the youth exchange program AFS during the yearlong immersion program. She will have the opportunity to visit with Congressional representatives in Washington DC, as well as members of the German Bundestag (Parliament).
“I’m looking forward to a whole new experience to see a new place and discover more about myself,” said Bruce, who will attend a German High School called the “Gymnasium” on the outskirts of Berlin.
Emma’s grandmother “Oma”, who arrived in the United States in 1964 on a Fulbright travel scholarship to study English at Bucknell University, with the intention of returning to Germany to teach English, met Emma’s grandfather, married and settled in Pennsylvania. Oma took her children to Germany every summer to be with their grandparents, who spoke no English, which offered Emma’s mother Ingrid the chance to learn German and be exposed to another culture. Ingrid continued the tradition with Emma, spending summers in Germany visiting relatives and supplementing the experience with German language school classes during the school year.
“We’re thrilled for Emma to have the opportunity to use her German skills and experience her heritage culture in one of Europe’s cultural capitals,” said Michaela Greco, Principal of the non-profit German School of Morris County, where Emma has studied for several years.
With more than 180 students, the German Language School of Morris County (www.glsmc.org), offers children and adults the opportunity to learn how to speak, read and write German, as well as “Weltoffenheit” – world-openness or the ability to experience and appreciate different traditions and cultures, which is a goal of the CBYX program.
According to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "A testament to our relationship with Germany, and our mutual commitment to public diplomacy... CBYX has been so successful that we chose it as a model for other youth exchange programs." Former Secretary Clinton called exchanges like CBYX "an important tool of U.S. diplomacy. Few other experiences can substitute for seeing another country first-hand, learning more about its culture, and meeting people face-to-face."