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DC China Scholars

The DC China Scholars Program is a challenging and life-transforming Chinese language and culture program for competitively selected DCPS high school students.  The program includes a free summer intensive language program in Beijing, China, offered through CGEL’s partner, Americans Promoting Study Abroad.  

APSA Summer Program

Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA) is a nonprofit organization created by a group of Americans who live and work in China.  Their mission is to provide fully-funded study abroad opportunities for high school students in American urban public school districts who might not otherwise have the opportunity. 

In summer 2008, five DCPS students joined five students from Rochester City School District (NY) in APSA’s initial 5-week summer program in Beijing.  With assistance from the Embassy of China and the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, the students lived and attended classes at Number 2 High School Affiliated with Beijing Normal University. 

Read our DC China Scholars’ report on their summer experience:  2008 Summer Report

And check out the students’ blog at http://china2008trip.blogspot.com/.

In summer 2009, nine (9) DCPS students traveled to Beijing, along with 18 other students from Atlanta, Rochester, and Boston public schools, for APSA’s 2009 China Scholars Program (June 28-August 6, 2009).  Last summer’s program was funded in part through a grant from the US State Department National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), administered by American Councils.  The summer program was a demanding and exhilarating educational experience for all of our students.  It included:

  • Daily morning Mandarin language classes (3-4 hours a day).
  • On-the-street, real world application of their Mandarin.
  • Afternoon culture classes (art, calligraphy, traditional dance, martial arts).
  • Field trips to sites of historic significance, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
  • Meetings with business leaders, journalists, diplomats and NGO leaders to learn about contemporary issues, as well as future career opportunities.
  • Interactions with Chinese migrant students, including the opportunity to teach English at the Dandelion School.
  • Travel to Inner Mongolia to work on an innovative environmental project, the Green Long March.

Check back to see our 2009 China Scholars Photo Album and our 2009 Summer Report.

Our 2009 DC China Scholars 

The 2009 DC China Scholars were chosen through a citywide, competitive application process, which considered their academic record, community service, leadership potential, recommendations, essays, and commitment to the goals of the program.

Our 2009 China Scholars are:

  • Miguel Alcazar – Wilson SHS
  • Gabriel Allen – Wilson SHS
  • Royelle Jones – Ballou SHS
  • Juanique McNeill – McKinley Technology HS
  • Adis Rivera – Columbia Heights Education Campus  
  • Nina Robinson – School Without Walls
  • Jeffrey Wood – Roosevelt SHS

In addition, congratulations to our two China Scholars who have graduated from DCPS and have moved on to college:

  • Peter Mambwe – Wilson SHS Class of 2009 – now at Penn State University
  • Li Ann Rose Marco – Wilson SHS Class of 2009 – now at Knox College, Illinois

Peter and Li Ann participated in both the 2008 and 2009 summer programs, and plan to continue with Chinese language and international studies in college.

The 2009-10 School Year Program

As follow-up to their summer China experience, the China Scholars will participate in an afterschool program throughout this school year.  The 2009-10 School Year Program provides learning opportunities, as well as a support structure that will encourage students to continue their study of China and the Chinese language throughout their high school years and into college.  This year’s program will include:

  • Preparation of a report on their summer experience.
  • School and community presentations on their summer experience.
  • Chinese language classes for all students.
  • Briefings, field trips, and cultural activities.
  • A community service project involving Chinese elders at the Asian Service Center in Chinatown.

"DC to Beijing"

A documentary filmmaker, Jesse Burke, is currently working on a film to document the impact of the China experience on the DC China Scholars.

How You Can Help!

  • Make a financial contribution.  This is a $20,000 program.  Contributions to the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL) are tax-deductible.  Please designate CHINA on the memo line of your check and send to CGEL, PO Box 11503, Washington, DC 20008.  Or make a contribution online.
  • Lend your expertise and experience.  We can always use individuals with China expertise, experience, and interests who are willing to be speakers or serve as coaches or mentors to our students.
  • Volunteer.  Even without China expertise, if you’re interested in helping out with the program, we can use your talents.  Technology savvy individuals are particularly welcome.

Contact Sally Schwartz at sally@dc-cgel.org or 202-362-2152 for further information, or to discuss ways you can help.

Sign up here if you would like to be on our email list for updates on CGEL’s China programs.

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