Students in Germany Earn Scholarship, Trip to Washington

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2014 – Two students from Defense Department-managed high schools in Germany have earned $5,000 scholarships and will represent the Department of Defense Education Activity at the 52nd annual U.S. Senate Youth Program here March 8-15.

Adrian Talley, DODEA’s acting director, announced that Phillip Ramirez of Vilseck High School and Avalon Roche of Kaiserslautern American High School are this year’s DODEA delegates.

Phillip is his school’s student body president and has been his class president for three years. He is a member of the Model U.S. Senate Board of Directors, the National Honor Society and the school band. He also has earned varsity letters in cross-country and track. He plans to major in international business in college and hopes to become an officer in the U.S. military and aspires to serve in national government, officials said.

Avalon also serves as student body president. She is member of the National Honor Society and Model United Nations, and she is a Girl Scout. She plans to study architecture in college, with a minor in Chinese or Arabic. In the future, officials said, she would like to work for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization preserving World Heritage sites, or as an urban planner.

David Neaverth of Seoul American High School in South Korea and Luke Pirotta of Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan, were chosen as DODEA’s alternate delegates.

The program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and DODEA — to the nation’s capital for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.

While in Washington, the students will attend meetings and briefings with senators and congressional staff, the president, a Supreme Court justice, leaders of Cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media, officials said. They also will tour many of the national monuments and several museums.

In addition to displaying outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, officials said, the student delegates rank academically in the top 1 percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors.

The program’s mission is to help instill knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service, officials said. The Hearst Foundations provide each student delegate with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship, with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.

The foundation also pays for transportation and all expenses for the delegates, officials said, noting that no government funds are used.


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