By Alex Aguilera
Jennifer Preston ‘16 has won this year’s Bertie Green Travel Award, according to Paul VI’s Spanish Department Chair Señorita Cindy Ali. “It is INCREDIBLE…when I got an e-mail from my Spanish teacher, I started screaming and jumping up and down; I was beyond excited,” said Preston, after the winners were announced in March.
Every year, the Spanish National Honor Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, selects 24 high school juniors from around the nation to win the travel award. This is done through a rigorous application process, which includes a recorded conversation in Spanish, letters of recommendation, a transcript, resumé and a short essay.
Preston will travel to Puerto Rico with the other recipients, where they will go ziplining, visit a national forest, explore caves and visit a bioluminescent bay, which “glows” at night due to an illumination caused by dinoflagellates, a type of oceanic plankton.
In addition to Preston’s prize, Paul VI co-valedictorian Sarah Thomas ‘15 received a $1,000 scholarship towards college, and Monica Maher ‘16 will attend Virginia’s Governor’s School for Spanish this summer.
“The fact that only 24 students across the nation would be chosen never discouraged Jennifer,” said Ali. “She stayed optimistic throughout the months we waited for the results.”