Keshini Maynard '20 recently earned a U.S. State Department National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarship to study Chinese in Taiwan this summer. The competitive program awards just over 600 merit-based scholarships to high-school students each year, accepting only about one in five applicants. Its goal is to equip young Americans with "the linguistic and cultural skills to advance international dialogue and compete effectively in the global economy," with a special focus on Arabic, Chinese, and other lesser-taught but critical languages.
According to former teacher Amy Liao, Keshini is "passionate language learner" who has challenged herself in an array on on- and off-campus Chinese programs for the past six years. At school, she has not only taken language classes; she has helped teach them, regularly assisting with Lower School courses. "She has been a valuable collaboration partner, helping with classroom management, modeling, and various activities," says Liao.
In 2017, Keshini attended the Middlebury Interactive Languages Summer Academy, speaking only Chinese for four weeks. Similarly, this summer, she will be immersed in Mandarin, taking intensive classes and living with a host family in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Keshini sees the scholarship as an opportunity to become more of a global citizen and deepen her knowledge of the Chinese language and culture.
Both Keshini's current Chinese teacher, Ning Jiang, and Liao are extremely proud of her and look forward to all that knowledge and experiences that she will share back on campus in the fall.