Morelia Hernandez, senior, learned to be patient and grateful for everything that she has on her visit to Pune, India this past summer with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth. The program is an intensive language immersion program for teens. In the past year, Morelia’s home has flooded twice, but she is using her experience in India to see these challenges as opportunities to grow even further. Morelia commented that while in India she “could see so much class division with cardboard and tent houses. Struggling there is on a whole different level. It was eye-opening to see and live their life.”
Morelia’s other big takeaway from the experience was the importance of language and perspective. “In communicating with others you learn their culture and their way of life.” While in India, Morelia connected with her host mother through their shared appreciation for the Hindu god, Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. Morelia was drawn to the symbolism of opening doors as she prepares to end her high school career and start college.
She plans to pursue a career in linguistics or law and has been named as a Posse Foundation finalist for Bryn Mawr College. Currently, she serves as the Secretary of the Interact Club and the President of CERT (Campus Emergency Response Team). In addition, Morelia has played basketball for 4 years and was a receiver on the flag football team this year, making her the first female participant in the sport for Chinquapin. We at Chinquapin know that many doors will open for this outstanding young woman!