Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Hubbard student earns scholarship to study abroad

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HUBBARD — A Hubbard High School student was recognized at Monday’s board of education meeting for earning a full scholarship to study abroad.

Gabi Gasser was one of 800 United States applicants to receive the Jason Pollington Latin American scholarship. She said she feels special that she was the only one in the United States to earn the scholarship but she’s nervous about staying in another country.

This scholarship will cover her studies abroad in Argentina for her junior year, according to Hubbard Superintendent Raymond Soloman.

“I just applaud her efforts and her commitment to go over to Argentina and work into their schools and we just wish her the best of luck and congratulate her on the prestigious scholarship she received,” he said.

Gabi said the scholarship is worth $15,000.

She also said she chose to be an exchange student because of her Guatemalan heritage.

“Guatemala wasn’t one of the options to study at, but Argentina was and their cultures are very similar so I feel like they would help me know more about my culture and where I’m from and I also want to be bilingual and I think learning Spanish is really cool,” Gabi said.

She said she learned of the program from students from other countries that came to Ohio.

“My aunt and uncle host exchange students and I became really close with the (student) they have now,” she said. “He went through this program, he’s from South Korea and he spoke very highly of it. Once he leaves here, he’s going to Canada for another exchange year.”

Gabi said her birth parents are from Guatemala, but she was adopted.

Amy Gasser is her adoptive mother.

“Guatemala is known for very healthy, wonderful children and when she came home, she was mine,” Amy Gasser said.

Gabi said while in Argentina, a host family will choose her to come stay with them, but she doesn’t have an option to choose her host family. She also said the host family isn’t required to speak English.

She said to prepare for her trip, she has been practicing Spanish on Duolingo.

Gabi said the application process for the scholarship was long and included writing multiple essays and a one-on-one interview with a Youth for Understanding employee. The YFU sponsors study abroad programs for high schoolers.

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